Mark Sitkowski of Design Simulation Systems tells us about cybersecurity innovation.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Mark Sitkowski: We’re all either working from home or studying from home, so as long as we don’t trip over each other, it’s not a bad experience.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded Design Simulation Systems.
Mark Sitkowski: After some years of doing contract development work for financial institutions, Telcos, and others, I wrote code for a cybersecurity company.
There came the point where I disagreed with the direction being taken by the product development and decided that my direction would produce a better product. I left and developed and launched our current user authentication system. The whole point was to offer a product that would be proof against the biggest vulnerabilities currently being exploited by cybercriminals.
Specifically, the exploitation of user id/password authentication by direct observation of the login, by credential scraping via embedded malware, network snooping, and phishing via fake cloned sites, requiring a login.
We also addressed the most common result of ransomware attacks, where company credentials data is exfiltrated and either published or used to access the accounts of individuals.
How does Design Simulation Systems innovate?
Mark Sitkowski: Much the same as most people, I imagine. We keep a close watch on the cybersecurity scene, particularly the data breaches, and ask ourselves: How can we either stop or nullify the effect of this kind of attack?
How does the coronavirus pandemic affect your business finances?
Mark Sitkowski: We have no immediate problem with the finances; however, we are at the stage of seeking a product partner with a view to jointly market a composite product, embodying our authentication system. This process has come to an abrupt halt due to the pandemic.
Did you have to make difficult choices regarding human resources, and what are the lessons learned?
Mark Sitkowski: We’re lucky to have completed our product development cycle and would have recruited marketing talent for the next phase of the project. This has obviously not happened, so we’re looking forward to a return to normality when we can start a marketing effort.
How did your customer relationship management evolve? Do you use any specific tools to be efficient?
Mark Sitkowski: The only tool we use is our website. It has undergone some hurried changes to try and pack as much information into it as possible – possibly to the detriment of the aesthetic value.
Did you benefit from any government grants, and did that help keep your business afloat?
Mark Sitkowski: No, we haven’t applied for any government assistance.
Your final thoughts?
Mark Sitkowski: The only positive result of the pandemic is that it forced a halt of action and a return to thinking.
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