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Why we launched Monad today

By Christian Almenar and Jacolon Walker, Cofounders of Monad

Tech organizations collectively have invested hundreds of millions of dollars in cybersecurity over the last twenty years. And while there’s no doubt we’re now much better able to defend our systems and data, we haven’t come far enough. The typical enterprise has dozens of security tools, but investing in more disparate tools doesn’t make security problems disappear. Simply throwing people at the security challenges (if you can even hire them fast enough) also doesn’t get us closer to where we need to be. We can do so much better.

We both witnessed this firsthand. Not long ago we were both consulting for a client who had purchased a large number of security tools, but who didn’t have enough employees to set up these tools and manage them. This reinforced a conviction that had been growing over the years: throwing more resources at the situation just doesn’t work. We need to find ways to use our tools more efficiently, and empower our security professionals to answer their questions quickly and comprehensively.

All of this — efficient tool use and empowered security teams — starts with the security data you already have. Everyone needs to extract more value from the data they already collect — the status quo is nowhere near good enough.

We founded Monad to help companies solve their pressing security challenges by accessing and extracting the value hidden within their existing security data. There are too many security vendors that provide cutting-edge technology, tools that solve a dizzying array of edge cases, but that don’t help companies meet their day-to-day challenges.

This cybersecurity data problem is easy to describe, but complicated to solve. Today, it’s a data management problem: the sheer number of enterprise cybersecurity toolsets, each capturing and generating its own data, creates significant data management and data engineering challenges for all enterprises. And because each of these security tools has separate logs, outputs, and databases, it prevents any security team from meaningfully understanding their overall security posture. It also prevents other teams in the organization from accessing their own data and using it effectively. These silos also make it impossible to answer critical security questions, like gathering an accurate view of all assets, the status of vulnerabilities throughout an environment, or the actual risk posed by a threat based on the specifics within that environment.

Additionally, when you need data from multiple security tools to give you answers about a pressing risk, an urgent set of DevOps team questions, a new business initiative, or a new application — that data needs to be collected manually, normalized and compiled in spreadsheets or documents, and then sent to various groups in flurries of emails. Those groups then have to parse through that material, correlate it with their own data, and find some practical way to communicate its meaning to business leaders.

The Monad Platform solves this problem at scale. Monad enables teams to connect and extract the data from their essential security tools, centralize it in a data warehouse, and normalize and enrich that data so that teams get the precise insights they need to secure their systems and data effectively. All of this data is also now SQL searchable, so security and DevOps teams can finally access this data directly using their existing analytics tools.

The Monad security data cloud platform transforms that data using the Monad Object Model or MoM, which works with any data warehouse. By opening the data to queries, all teams - security teams, DevOps teams, and cloud engineering teams - can interact directly with the data through SQL and third-party business intelligence tools. You can also use Monad’s built-in visualization capabilities, Insights, which is a part of the platform designed to address common security and compliance best practices and workflows. With this new knowledge in hand, security teams can now build effective security applications and compliance workflows on the fly.

Because Monad provides security and DevOps teams a “single source of truth” for all of their asset and vulnerability data for IT, application security, and cloud services, these teams can swiftly solve challenges that previously took considerable manual effort to aggregate the data. By unleashing the security data trapped within each discrete security tool, Monad provides enterprise security operations teams, DevOps teams, and cloud engineers these insights. It saves them an incredible amount of time and cost.

Getting this single source of truth, this singular view, of all enterprise security data, is the genesis of our Monad name. The concept of a monad was first developed by the Greeks, and it encompasses a mix of different things which can still be described as a single entity. Or, while all things exist individually, everything is concurrently connected into a coherent singleness. This is, essentially, what the Monad data platform does.

Of course, a company doesn’t succeed on its technology alone. It succeeds with its people and its values. We established values at Monad that we believe help us to be an inclusive, successful, productive, and fun company, well-equipped to solve the significant data cybersecurity challenges ahead.

These founding values include:

Embracing a sense of adventure in the Monad journey. We’ve seen this mistake in entrepreneurship. Founders get caught up in the lure of a successful exit, of getting rich and retiring. If that’s the goal, that rarely produces a product people want. If you’re not having fun every day and working hard, if you don’t have the right people in place, and if you don’t enjoy working with the team - without all of that, you’re just going to be miserable. Nobody does their best work in that environment. This is why we’ve hard-coded a sense of adventure for the value of the journey itself within our culture.

Embracing change. We want to entice people to push their limits and embrace change. When it comes to security and how we approach our work within Monad, we’re constantly questioning our own understanding of our premises. No one ever improved the status quo by being stagnant or relying on their assumptions.

We’re human first. We view family as a state of mind toward those who are essential in our lives. We all have families, whatever that means personally to each of us. And we all have unique obligations, commitments in our lives that are essential to us. For example, several members of the founding team recently had children, and others tend to aging parents. When someone needs time off because of something happening with family, however one defines family for themselves, no questions are asked.

Thrive through failure. When you push your limits, whether in life, business, or technology, there will be failures. It’s part of driving forward and growing. We know people say this all the time, but we strive to acknowledge wherever we commit mistakes. We work to thrive through failure. It’s okay to fail when we make decisions, and try new things. But it’s essential that we learn from failure. It’s how we become better. We acknowledge that and are very open about it throughout our work.

Checking egos at the door. We’ve all worked with people who have big egos, and it makes everyone’s day-to-day life a challenge. When we show up to work, we won’t allow egos to get in the way of the team. We all are all valued teammates working on the mission: building Monad’s success.

Of course, at Monad, the mission we’re passionate about is improving the security status quo. With hard work and innovation, there are so many things we see in the security world that Monad can improve. That’s why we are super excited, and not just about what we are doing today, but Monad’s potential tomorrow, and the next day, and the next year. The next five years. Or the next twenty years. There is so much opportunity, and we can’t do it without you: whether that’s as a customer, employee, or partner. Monad is a central place where we will be working on these significant pressing challenges together.