Marcus Carey, founder and CEO of Threatcare, aims to remove some of the menial work from cyber security with Violet. Threatcare calls Violet the world’s first Artificial Intelligence-based virtual cyber security professional that allows two-way communication for security analysts.
Essentially, you can think of Violet a skilled cyber security team member to augment IT staff.
Violet is like a Siri or Alexa for cyber security. In addition to being able to communicate directly with people, Violet can run attack simulations, penetration testing and gap analysis and continuous network reconnaissance and security assessments. Violet features security features including malware beaconing, data exfiltration, antivirus assessment and more, according to the Threatcare website.
“There are repetitive, menial tasks that cyber security professionals do everyday,” Carey said. “If I were a senior analyst, I would probably have a junior professional in a role to take care of some of this. With Violet, we created this junior who deals with all these tasks alongside the senior level-type person.”
On top of her neuro-linguistic programming, Violet is set apart by her ‘red team’ and ‘blue team’ activities, meaning she also gives an attacker’s view of an organization. Threatcare is calling this the purple team, which is where the name Violet comes from.
Violet can answer questions and take commands through voice, text message and Slack. But unlike Alexa, Violet is not always on.
“A lot of security people don’t like Alexa because she’s always on,” Carey said. “Violet is ‘press to talk.’ We will add an always-on feature in the future, but we don’t want to creep people out.”
A native Texas, Carey’s background includes doing signal intelligence and cryptography for the Navy and NSA. Through these experiences, he fostered an interest in technology, eventually launching Threatcare in 2014. This week, he was named Bunker Labs Austin Veteran Entrepreneur of the Year.
“Our approach from an AI perspective is limiting the scope. Violet can make a little small talk, but she’s really all AI,” he said. “By narrowing the scope to only focus on cyber security, you can make a better produce as far as AI is concerned.”
With cyber security at the forefront of many people’s minds as the Equinox hack continues to unfold, Carey noted that Violet could help prevent hacks by running simulations on home and business networks and identifying vulnerabilities.
“It can take months for businesses to realize they have been hacked,” Carey said. “Violet can help identify weaknesses in your network, which will help protect enterprises that use our product.”
Violet is intended to be used by companies, rather than personal use by individuals in their homes. However, Carey said Violet can email simulations to test home networks for security.
“Austin is an exciting place to be headquartered and developing technology like this,” he said. “We are excited to build out as a great Austin organization.”