Austin McChord On The Race to Regulate Cryptocurrency


Cyber attacks, guys,
that cost businesses thousands of dollars. And ransomware payments
in cryptocurrency are making it more difficult to
track the hacks to the source. Datto is a security company
that is helping businesses protect that data from hackers. Joining us now is the
company’s CEO, Austin McChord. Austin, such a
pleasure to have you. Thanks so much for joining us. Thank you very
much for having me. So you have described Datto
as pretty much the last line of defense. You’ve exhausted
all of your options, this is all you got left. Talk to us a little
bit about your strategy when it comes to cybersecurity. Sure. So we are definitely the last
line of defense and backup and disaster recovery. And our big magic trick
for small businesses is that we can roll back
their infrastructure in a matter of seconds to the
time before an attack happens. And how are you able to do that? We’ve got a pretty
unique blend of tech that allows us to protect these
systems no matter what they are at a small businesses site. And a combination between
on-prem and the cloud, allows us to bring
back their systems in just a couple of seconds. Now thinking about
cryptocurrency and all of the security that’s
required for it, looking at how businesses are
even leveraging the blockchain technology, how is this
impacting cybersecurity? So I think the big
thing for cryptocurrency from our perspective
is that it’s an enabling factor
for cyber criminals to go out there and actually
really make a ton of money. And in the past cyber criminals
really wanted to disrupt stuff, or they might go after
only the biggest of big. But now it’s almost this
democratization of IT, and that cyber
criminals can now go after the average
small business, and try to get them on the
hook for $500 or maybe $5,000, and collect this money
in an untraceable format. And it’s caused them
to become a lot more aggressive than they were
just five or six years ago. Well talking about
cyber security, the big news story
that’s been happening in the course of the
last couple of weeks has been the hack with HBO. It seems like every day, there’s
a new leak that’s happening. Whether it’s on their
social media accounts, or whether somebody’s got
something from one of the email accounts. What has been your
reaction to the HBO hack? We know HBO has said
they’re not going to give in to the demands of paying
these people, these hackers in particular, the
cryptocurrency that they’re claiming that they want. I mean certainly
that’s the right answer from HBO perspective, to
not give into those demands. But it really just
shows how brazen these hackers are these days. And that whole
thing can go public and they really
believed that they could grab this cryptocurrency,
and really get it untraceably. But you just said that’s what
HBO thinks is the right thing to do, would you also
advise that that’s the smart thing to
do, is not given to those cryptocurrency demands? Absolutely, I mean
anytime that you’re doing that it’s money to the enemy. So wherever possible
we advise that people don’t give into those demands. And certainly the
products that we sell allow businesses to not have
to give into those demands, because they can roll back to
before the attack right away. Now where do you
see cyber security really heading to
when we think about, even the integration with
artificial intelligence as well? So I think there’s
a lot of pieces in play on the
cybersecurity story, and that data has
to be protected in a bunch of different ways. We all know that data has
to be protected in transit, whether it’s HTTPS,
and just having secure connections
between different pieces of infrastructure,
to then protecting that information at rest. And then I think that
third leg of that stool is really the part
that we do, which is having a plan for
when all of that fails and being able to
roll back right away, and basically restore and
continue to operate even if you lose that game. As technology
continues to evolve there’s more things that
we’re unaware of in terms of security threats, and our
locations, and everything else. So now as we’re talking
about the future, and Datto in particular, and looking
at us as consumers, how worried should we be about
cyber security down the road? Is this something
that’s going to be– hackers are going to become
more educated, and more complex and more everything
down the road? How worried should we be about
cybersecurity in the future? I mean I think it should
definitely be a concern, and it’s a
business-ending concern. Like a lot of small businesses,
If they don’t have a good plan it can put them out of business. I think there’s a
good news story here, and that there are
lots of experts, and really good things
available to small businesses so that they can
defend themselves. It’s unlikely that a small
business is in a position to set up their
infrastructure alone, in a way where they’re
actually really protected. And that’s where
there’s actually this new type of
small business out there called a managed
service provider, that is actually
doing outsourced IT for all these small businesses. And I would highly recommend
that any small business that’s not working with
one, move to one. Because they actually have
the resources and the skills to hire people, who
really can stay ahead of the curve on
a security basis. But on that note,
I understand why hackers would want to go after
somebody like HBO, especially if it’s Game of Thrones. Oh yeah. It’s involving a show that
people are obsessed with. But I’m curious
your thought as to, why would hackers be
interested in going after a small business? What would be the
mythology behind that? Methodology behind that, because
in theory, small businesses might not have the
money that an HBO might be able to have to
pay the ransom for it. They might not have
something that the hackers would potentially want. But I like the idea of being
secure for a small business, but what would a small business
have that a hackers would want? They have money. And I mean the thing is,
you look at the HBO story, HBO can involve the FBI. I’m sure there’s lots of really
smart talented people looking into this, trying to track down
these hackers and get them. But when they’re going out
and going in mass and saying, hey, I want $500 at a clip. That’s really hard to get
law enforcement involved. It’s really hard to get a real
structure to go back, and go after that hacker. There’s very little
consequences for them. And for a small business,
either they have their IT Infrastructure, and they’re able
to stay open, or they don’t. And they’re not in
a position, where I’m sure HBO has a bunch
of contingency plans, and stories and process
to get around it. Whereas a small
business probably isn’t prepared to deal
with the potential costs of basically losing
that infrastructure. And so $500 ends up being
a small cost to pay, and then you
exacerbate it further that the vast majority
of small businesses that get attacked by this
stuff, don’t even report it because they’re embarrassed.

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