Unique AI technology for future-proof cyber risk prevention: Onside Media Interviewed Nagaraj Kuppuswamy, co-founder and CEO of BEACONER
In a rapidly evolving digital landscape, cybersecurity remains a critical concern for businesses across industries. In this exclusive interview, we delve into the groundbreaking world of BEACONER, a leading cybersecurity company specializing in third-party risk management. Co-founder and CEO Nagaraj Kuppuswamy sheds light on the company’s innovative cloud-native artificial intelligence platform, offering businesses comprehensive and efficient solutions for cyber risk prevention.
Innovative platform BEACONER, offered as a managed service model, delivers significant benefits to the clients, such as reducing third-party risk assessment costs and time by more than 60%, comprehensive and efficient third-party risk management solutions, streamlined process for obtaining accurate risk assessments and minimizing unnecessary paperwork.
BEACONER’s unique approach to third-party risk management is based on its cloud-native AI platform, which automates and streamlines the entire process. As a result, clients no longer need to deal with the burdensome task of filling out lengthy questionnaires, making it effortless to obtain precise risk assessments.
“At BEACONER, we are committed to revolutionizing the way organizations handle third-party risk. Our cloud-native AI platform and managed service model are the future of third-party risk management, and we are excited to help businesses enhance their cybersecurity posture and make informed decisions with confidence.” Nagaraj Kuppuswamy
What inspired you to start Beaconer with Himanshu Joshi, and what was your vision behind the platform?
Nagaraj: “Beaconer was born out of our shared passion for Information security, which began 15 years ago when my partner and I started our careers together. During our extensive work in third-party risk management, we identified several significant issues in the industry. First and foremost, we observed that assessments took excessive time to complete, leading to substantial delays in business operations. Additionally, the process incurred significant expenses for companies and vendors, posing financial burdens. Furthermore, vendors found it challenging to meet the diverse needs of all their potential customers, hindering their ability to provide efficient services. Lastly, we noticed that smaller and medium-sized vendors without dedicated teams were losing out on contracts due to their inability to conduct assessments effectively.
Motivated by our collective experiences and a desire for positive change, we were driven to create a solution. This inspiration led to the birth of Beaconer, our vision for a platform to address these pressing issues in third-party risk management. Currently, my partner and I serve as the CTO and CEO of Beaconer, and with our talented tech team, we are driving the company forward.”
What level of expertise and experience do the co-founders bring to the company?
Nagaraj: “We have a combined experience of 30 years in the industry and have established ourselves as highly decorated and certified professionals. We have obtained all the major certifications in this field and gained extensive experience across various domains, allowing us to understand the intricacies of different industries and effectively identify and assess third-party risks.
In addition to our extensive experience, we have personally conducted over 15,000 assessments, giving us hands-on experience and a deep understanding of the challenges that companies and vendors encounter during the third-party risk assessment process.”
Could you explain how your AI technology works and the key features it offers to users?
Nagaraj: “Beaconer has developed an AI-powered solution that automates the third-party vendor assessment process. This solution eliminates the need for lengthy questionnaires and manual data entry, saving businesses considerable time and effort. The solution works by first having the third party upload relevant documents to Beaconer’s platform. The AI then reads and extracts the required information from these documents, facilitating a comprehensive assessment. The assessment results are then made available to the business in a clear and concise format. This solution has several benefits, including increased efficiency, improved accuracy, and reduced risk. Overall, Beaconer’s AI-powered solution is a valuable tool for businesses that need to manage their third-party vendor risk. The solution is efficient, accurate, and helps reduce risk.”
What industries or sectors can benefit the most from your unique AI technology?
Nagaraj: “Our unique AI technology for third-party risk management can benefit organizations in various industries, but it is particularly well-suited for those that rely heavily on third-party vendors, suppliers, contractors, and service providers. These industries include banking, capital markets, communication, media & technology, healthcare, information services, and life sciences. In addition to these industries, our AI technology can also benefit organizations in other sectors, such as retail, manufacturing, and government.”
What sets Beaconer apart from other similar platforms in the market?
Nagaraj: “Beaconer differentiates itself from similar platforms in the market through its unique selling points and managed service approach. Unlike its competitors, who offer a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) platform for downloading assessment reports, Beaconer provides a comprehensive managed service for third-party risk management (TPRM).
Managed services are a superior choice for TPRM due to the dynamic nature of today’s business environment. As companies increasingly rely on third-party entities for critical services and access to sensitive data, the associated risks become more complex to mitigate.
Beaconer’s unique selling points lie in its managed service approach, streamlined assessment process, cost-effectiveness, efficient timeline, comprehensive assessment reports, and complimentary vendor threat monitoring platform. These factors make Beaconer a standout choice for businesses seeking robust third-party risk management solutions.”
What challenges did you encounter while developing your technology – AI-based tool, and how did you overcome them?
Nagaraj: “Securing funding proved our primary obstacle when we embarked on developing our AI-based platform. Initially, we tried to raise external capital, but unfortunately, we could not secure any investments. Consequently, we decided to bootstrap the start-up, relying on personal resources to finance the project. This limitation in funding has caused delays in the overall development of our platform.”
How do your managed services and AI tool ensure data privacy and security for its users?
Nagaraj: “Beaconer has developed its platform on AWS, which provides robust data privacy and security measures for all our customers.
As a cybersecurity company, Beaconer prioritizes the utmost importance of security and privacy. We ensure that we have implemented all necessary controls internally before assessing the security controls of third-party vendors. We strive to set an example in safeguarding sensitive information.
Moreover, we are currently in the process of undergoing a SOC2 Type 2 audit. This comprehensive audit will validate our adherence to essential security measures, including encryption, access controls, data anonymization, secure infrastructure, regular updates and patches, employee training, and compliance with regulations. Our commitment lies in meeting the highest data security standards to protect our valued users’ information.”
Where do you see the platform heading in the next few years?
Nagaraj: “Regarding the plans and upcoming features for Beaconer, we have exciting developments in the pipeline. We are expanding our offerings to include two new tools for our customers:
We are introducing “B-Watch,” a comprehensive threat intelligence platform designed to monitor vendors’ security posture. This tool will promptly notify customers in the event of any security incidents, ensuring proactive measures are taken.
We are launching “B-Scan,” a versatile and platform-independent smart plug-in. This tool enables thorough software testing within a secure sandbox environment. It generates detailed reports for the IT security team within seconds, facilitating swift analysis and response.
Looking ahead, we have ambitious goals for Beaconer in the coming years. We envision ourselves as a leading market player in the realm of cybersecurity. We aim to solidify our position as a trusted industry leader by consistently delivering innovative solutions and expanding our capabilities.”
Recently, BEACONER participated in The Collision Conference 2023. Nagaraj expresses his excitement and gratitude for being a part of such a vibrant community, where they had the opportunity to showcase their groundbreaking work, network, and gain insights that will propel BEACONER’s growth in the years to come.
Nagaraj: “As the CEO of Beaconer, I was thrilled and honoured to attend Collision 2023. The event brought together some of the brightest minds, innovators, and industry leaders worldwide, creating an environment of immense energy and inspiration. Being surrounded by such a diverse and dynamic community allowed me to gain valuable insights, forge new connections, and exchange ideas that will undoubtedly shape the future of our industry.
I am confident in saying that Collision 2023 has exceeded my expectations and proved to be a pivotal moment in driving innovation and fostering collaboration within our industry.”
Discover the advanced AI technology BEACONER provides and protect your business from vendor risks. Embrace Beaconer’s state-of-the-art third-party risk management solutions and witness its positive impact. Don’t let vendor risks compromise your business; take control of Beaconer’s cutting-edge offerings and experience the transformation it can bring.