When I first met Irish monitoring vendor Corvil a few months ago, I was immediately struck they were the antithesis of a Silicon Valley startup—they demonstrated a deeper reverence for the history of the industry and their founders than is the norm and seemed somehow friendlier than what I’m used to. The fact that their new product has been named “Cara,” meaning “friend” in Irish, is yet another proof-point that my initial assessment about these folks was correct.
Cara is a virtual analyst that, at least in this iteration, is designed for trading platforms. Trading platforms are a great test case for these sort of monitoring/security products, since security is often seen as a barrier to their singular priority—speed and agility. As Corvil put it to me, it’s like expecting a safety-focused Volvo to compete in Formula 1. Culturally absurd. This market opportunity, that of applying security fabrics to trading platforms is very timely—the pressure is on from the SEC and other regulatory authorities for banks to quickly and reliably delivery robust security. Indeed, last year, Mary Jo White, chair of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, highlighted Cybersecurity as the biggest risk facing the financial system. The Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (OCIE) has also placed cybersecurity on its high priority list for 2017. Corvil tells me they have a significant proof point of this fact—some seven proof of concept or production customers have come on board in the handful of months since they started talking about it with customers.