Innovation Digital Transformation Cybersecurity Deepwatch Hackathon

By Marissa "Reese" Wood

Estimated Reading Time: 5 minutes

Innovation Drives Us

At Deepwatch, innovation drives us. That drive is what connects digital transformation to cybersecurity initiatives, and fills the cybersecurity skills gap for customers. Managed detection security partners with products and services can ‘walk the talk’ with learning and development, training, and a culture-first focus on secure product releases. Tapping into the in-house talent is a method that Deepwatch enthusiastically embraces to take ideas from concept to delivery.

Events like Deepwatch’s team hackathon held in Denver, CO, this last summer demonstrate the expert-driven approach. Teams gathered together from a wide array of domains from around the country to work on a common goal: develop products and services that advance managed detection and response for Deepwatch customers.

Three years ago digital transformations started happening faster than anyone could have predicted, with new services and product development moving ahead at warp speed. As high tech, commerce, and multitudes of software companies adopted initiatives like agile and DevOps (developer operations) to enhance speed to market, security tooling and best practices were often left unaddressed or considered tech debt that could be handled later.

At the time, Gartner predicted that 60% of digital businesses would suffer major service failures by 2020 due to the inability of security teams to cope with digital risk. Meanwhile, organizations have been migrating to the cloud (also at break-neck speeds), adding new complexities to realizing the benefits of these transformations. As expected, high-profile security incidents have occurred, and more companies are coming to realize they need help to manage increasing risks, like ransomware.

The challenge for security companies is how to manifest digital transformation, and increase speed to market, while simultaneously ensuring that security coverage keeps up with the constantly changing landscape. “Much of the solution comes down to the culture of the IT and security departments,” noted Dr. Abel Sanchez, Executive Director and Research Scientist at MIT’s Laboratory for Manufacturing and Productivity.” Security teams have to get through a transformation as well. “It’s not easy,” he cautions. The culture shift required, according to Dr. Sanchez, occurs when workers are ready to adopt new skills to interact with the security team.

Our hackathon had one rule: Hack against anything you are passionate about.”

Parag Baxi, Head of Product Engineering, Development, Deepwatch

Innovation in Security Leads to Agility in the Marketplace

Innovation drives digital transformation. Organizations that want to grow must be focused on quickly meeting their customers’ needs before the competition does. Digital transformation also increases the value of a company, attracting investors who want to scale that opportunity in the marketplace. At the same time, scaling and growth can increase security risks—and silver bullet solutions do not exist today. A security-first culture is now the new table-stakes requirement to realizing the benefits of digital transformation and innovation.

One method to foster innovation is listening to the voice of the customer and using it to develop products with in-house experts who can collaborate to advance those initiatives. Part of what works at Deepwatch is how we leverage successes and innovations with specific customers to create best of breed offerings for all customers. One way to gather the experts is through Deepwatch company hackathon events.

The Deepwatch hackathons provide a way to ‘walk the talk’ and create opportunities for innovation. With fewer levels of hierarchy to wade through, the teams work together in a collaborative format to try out new ideas in a rapid manner. These events foster the innovation that delivers quantifiable benefits to customers, as products and ideas are vetted and delivered faster and in shorter time frames. New products, concepts, and processes, all get their start at Deepwatch hackathon events.

Deepwatch hackathons are also intentionally fun, for a reason. Creativity fosters innovation, and innovation can be the bridge to connect the skills gaps in the cybersecurity workforce. By bringing the in-house experts together in a collaborative setting to solve problems, advance technology, and build morale, teams and individual contributors can shine. Team members can express their ideas and create without constraints of the usual day-to-day schedule, and contribute to the organization in a meaningful way and in areas they may not typically get to contribute.

Fostering Diversity and Inclusion in the Cybersecurity Workforce

Another benefit of these types of events highlights Deepwatch’s commitment to increasing diversity and inclusion in the cybersecurity field. As a woman working in information security and technology for three decades, I’ve personally witnessed how diverse perspectives can drive innovation. These opportunities offer pathways to demonstrate expertise and bring visibility to challenges that may have been missed in the past without the DE&I focus.

Building the cybersecurity workforce pipeline requires creative solutions; every Deepwatch hackathon is one more step in the right direction to support cybersecurity professionals, with all types of backgrounds, devoted to fighting the good fight.

Security Innovation Lifts-Off at Deepwatch Hackathons

Deepwatch hackathons are specifically designed to encourage different ideas. Our hackathon had one rule: Hack against anything you are passionate about. No boundaries, nothing is too big or too small, just have fun.

In our most recent event, team members worked on an amazing spectrum of technology. Ideas ranged from facial recognition software that matches people’s faces to celebrities to breaking RSA encryption with quantum computing. We were able to experience firsthand how, “developers, security researchers, UX engineers, and technical product managers all worked together to show that cybersecurity and creativity together can create new forms of innovation,” best said by Parag Baxi, Head of Engineering.

The event produced several projects, each with a unique focus, that we all learned from. Everyone benefited from the event, and teams are already planning the next hackathon. The focus on continuous improvement and innovation working together as “one team” is aligned with the Deepwatch mission to protect and defend customers with best-in-class MDR services and security solutions available in the marketplace today.

Read more about the hackathon in Cybersecurity meets Creativity at Deepwatch Hackathon in Denver on Deepwatch’s Tech Blog on Medium. Interested in working for Deepwatch? Check out the open roles at Deepwatch Careers. Interested in working with Deepwatch experts to advance security maturity at your organization? Contact Us today.


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