Interview With Benedict Jones – Traced
Our interview with Benedict Jones, CEO and Co-Founder of Traced, was a fascinating one. We learned all about his company’s Trustd MTD app that they developed throughout the pandemic.
Private Internet Access: What motivated you to start your company?
Benedict Jones: With a longstanding passion for cybersecurity, I would often burn the midnight oil while researching novel and emerging threats. Through this obsession for research, Matt Boddy, Traced CTO and Co-Founder, and I observed a significant rise in both sophistication and quantity of mobile-borne cyber threats like phishing, malware, and network attacks. While there were some solutions designed to protect businesses against them, they were being rejected in the market due to three main reasons:
1. They made employees uncomfortable as they required privacy-invasive permissions and control over employees’ mobiles, e.g. sharing the websites you access with your employer.
2. They were difficult for admins and employees alike as they were complex to both manage and use.
3. They delivered ineffective protection due to their reliance on traditional detection techniques, like signature-based detection.
As a result of these blockers to business protection, and due to the rise in employee mobility, businesses were put between a rock and a hard place. Either they adopt expensive and inconvenient solutions to protect themselves, or accept the risks and allow unsecured devices to access company data. Having observed firsthand the destruction and disruption that businesses experience as a result of their unsecured mobile devices, we decided to tackle this problem in a more modern and effective way.
So, in November 2019, we set out with a vision to live in a world where anyone can comfortably, easily, and securely use the same device for work and play; we’ve spent the time since then working towards this vision, having protected 250k mobile devices so far on our journey.
PIA: What do you love about working in cybersecurity?
BJ: I love the opportunity to make people’s mobile lives more productive and secure by protecting them against cybercrime.
PIA: What does your company do?
BJ: At Traced, we’re a team of mobile privacy and security experts who protect businesses against cyber-attacks and data breaches without invading employee privacy. We do this by securing their mobile devices with our Mobile Threat Defence solution, Trustd MTD, which uniquely combines AI-powered protection, straightforward user threat-remediation, and absolute employee privacy.
PIA: Why do individuals and companies need a good VPN?
BJ: For individuals and businesses, a good VPN can be helpful to protect data across insecure networks. That doesn’t however mean that all VPNs are “good.”
A bad VPN impacts your productivity with unstable connectivity and poor network speeds; it gives the illusion of privacy and security while putting you at an elevated risk of a data breach.
A good VPN is reliable; doesn’t share nor store your web traffic data; and only decreases network speeds a bit.
The Trustd app uses an on-device VPN to protect users against malware, spyware, phishing, and malicious websites. This innovative use of a VPN means that Trustd can block malicious web traffic and IoCs from all apps on the device, without compromising network speeds or privacy.
PIA: What are the worst cyberthreats out there today?
BJ: The worst threats are those which invade personal privacy, like spyware and surveillanceware; and those which hold organizations’ data to ransom, like Ransomware and data theft.
These most severe and dangerous threats often infect individuals and organizations through the most simple of attack vectors—like a malicious web link in an SMS message catching an unsuspecting user, with an unprotected mobile, off guard.
PIA: How is the pandemic changing the way your company deals with cybersecurity?
BJ: The pandemic has resulted in rapid acceleration of the adoption of mobile BYOD for businesses, with 47% of organizations reporting an increase of personal devices being used for work as a result. As many businesses have rushed to adopt remote working practices, security has often been overlooked giving attackers the upper hand. As a result, cybercriminals have shifted their focus towards mobile devices with attack techniques like mobile malware and phishing demonstrating a sharp rise.
We’ve developed Trustd MTD throughout the pandemic and have been able to design and refine it to directly solve the business security challenges around remote working. In doing so, Trustd MTD is now able to provide them with the best possible protection against these growing threats by securing their and their employee’s mobiles. We’re able to restrict access to company data from untrusted devices using zero trust principles, which other solutions simply cannot do.