Celebrating Women's History Month, with Cherie Griffith-Dunn
Published Mar 07 2024 11:19 AM 895 Views
Microsoft

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As part of the Microsoft #BuildFor2030 Initiative, in support of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, we’re continuing to highlight solutions that are enabling broader societal impact, and our partners’ journeys growing their business on the marketplace. To honor International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month this year, I sat down with Cherie Griffith-Dunn, Founder and President of CYPROTECK Inc., to hear her story and partner journey. 

 

About Cherie:  Cherie Griffith-Dunn, Founder/CEO/CISSP, and proud graduate of an HBCU, stands as a distinguished member of the AKA Sorority and the visionary force behind CYPROTECK Cybersecurity Solutions Inc.  Her relentless pursuit to revolutionize cybersecurity within the healthcare industry and with her unwavering dedication to reshaping the digital landscape, has uncovered a critical gap in the market and a pressing need for a new security model - one that effectively addresses the complexities of healthcare’s modern work, embraces mobile workforces, and protects staff, devices, applications, and data across all locations.  This is how CYPROTECK was born.

 

[JR]:  Tell us about CYPROTEK and your mission. What inspired the founding?

[CGD]:  CRYPTOTECK was born with the goal to provide a cutting-edge cybersecurity system engineered with the latest in technology, endpoint detection response using generative AI and machine large learning bots to educate, predict, prevent, and protect your data, networks, and critical infrastructure from cyber threats and cyber espionage.  CYPROTECK was founded to address these critical needs within the healthcare industry.  Our mission is to streamline and secure data across all points within the healthcare industry, empowering organizations to navigate the complex landscape of limited IT resources, integrate new technologies with confidence, and mitigate the evolving threat landscape—all while adhering to strict regulatory standards.

 

[JR]:  Can you tell us a bit about the application you have available on the marketplace?  How does it work?

[CGD]:  Our healthcare cybersecurity solution, available on the Azure marketplace, offers a comprehensive approach to safeguarding sensitive patient data and critical systems.  Leveraging Azure's secure cloud infrastructure, our application aggregates and analyzes data from various healthcare sources.  By integrating with existing systems, our solution collects and analyzes data, applying advanced algorithms to detect and prevent cyber threats in real-time.  Microsoft's security platform allows us to fortify endpoints, creating a robust security architecture.  Our predictive, preventive, and protective measures operate seamlessly, requiring no additional effort from healthcare organizations.  Our AI/ML technology creates a real-time dashboard that precisely identifies the source of risk, providing detailed insights into why it occurs.  Additionally, our behavioral component offers targeted training to employees to address and correct risky behaviors promptly.

 

[JR]:  AI is top of mind for all of us. How is CYPROTECK leveraging or planning to leverage AI in app development? 

[CGD]:  CYPROTECK is dedicated to leveraging cutting-edge technologies, particularly AI and machine learning, to enhance our app development processes.  We are focused on harnessing AI algorithms to predict, prevent, and protect against emerging cyber threats with unparalleled precision.  Specifically, we have integrated Microsoft Azure AI functionality into our solutions. Azure offers us comprehensive suite of AI tools and services, including Azure Machine Learning, Azure Cognitive Services, and Azure AI Platform, which empower us to continue to develop intelligent cybersecurity solutions.  Additionally, we begun the use of GitHub Copilot, an AI-powered coding assistant, to streamline our app development workflow.  Copilot allows us to quickly leverage machine learning models trained on vast amounts of code to provide intelligent code suggestions and automate repetitive tasks, allowing our development team to work more efficiently and effectively.

 

By leveraging these advanced AI tools and capabilities from Microsoft, CYPROTECK has the power to revolutionize cybersecurity app development.  Our solutions are more intelligent, proactive, and effective at detecting and mitigating cyber threats, ultimately ensuring the security and integrity of our clients' digital assets.

 

[JR]:  What Microsoft cloud products did you use in your app development? What value is this enabling with your customers?

[CGD]:  In our app development, we strategically leverage multiple Microsoft cloud products to deliver exceptional value to our customers in the healthcare sector.  Our primary foundation is Microsoft Azure, renowned for its scalability, reliability, and stringent security protocols. Azure provides us with the robust infrastructure needed to host and manage our cybersecurity solutions, ensuring seamless performance and data protection.  Additionally, we integrate Microsoft Defender for Endpoint into our applications to bolster endpoint security.  This powerful tool equips our customers with advanced threat detection capabilities, helping them identify and respond to potential security breaches in real-time.  By leveraging Defender for Endpoint, our customers can proactively safeguard their endpoints against a wide range of cyber threats, including malware, ransomware, and phishing attacks.  Furthermore, we harness the capabilities of Microsoft Sentinel to enhance our threat intelligence and security analytics. Sentinel allows us to aggregate and analyze vast amounts of security data from various sources, providing our customers with actionable insights into their cybersecurity posture.  With Sentinel, our customers can detect and investigate security incidents more effectively, enabling them to respond promptly and mitigate risks before they escalate.  By integrating these Microsoft cloud products into our cybersecurity solutions, we provide our customers with a comprehensive and proactive approach to cybersecurity.

 

[JR]:  Can you talk about your experience in building an app for the commercial marketplace through ISV Success? How has Microsoft supported you along your journey?

[CGD]:  Building our app for the commercial marketplace through the ISV Success team has been an incredible journey. Without their unwavering support and expertise, we wouldn't have been able to achieve what we have today.  From the outset, we encountered various challenges and complexities while navigating through the Azure ecosystem. However, thanks to the dedicated guidance and assistance provided by the ISV Success team, we were able to overcome these hurdles with ease.  Their invaluable insights and personalized support not only helped us to navigate through the intricacies of Azure but also empowered us to become proficient in leveraging its capabilities effectively.

 

The best part about the ISV Success program is the personalized support we receive from a dedicated team at Microsoft.  We have been working with one team over the past 6 months.  and they truly understand our product and how to best support us in bringing it to market.  This personalized approach has been invaluable, as it ensures that we receive tailored guidance and resources every step of the way.  Microsoft has been instrumental in providing technical expertise, market insights, and strategic advice, empowering us to navigate the complexities of the marketplace with confidence.

 

[JR]:  Can you talk about your experience publishing a transactable app on the marketplace? What benefits did publishing transactable provide for you?

[CGD]:  First and foremost, embracing transactable features significantly enhanced the accessibility of my app.  By allowing users to seamlessly make transactions within the app itself, I removed barriers to entry and streamlined our user experience.  This streamlining help attract new users and also allows us to bring existing customers to the platform and provide them with premium features.  Furthermore, publishing a transactable app empowered me to monetize more effectively.  By offering in-app purchases or subscriptions, I created multiple revenue streams that supplemented traditional one-time purchases. This diversified revenue model not only increased my app's profitability but also ensured a more stable income over time.

 

Beyond financial gains, the transactable model also fostered deeper engagement and loyalty among users. The ability to unlock premium content or features through in-app transactions incentivized users to invest more time and resources into the app. This heightened engagement improved user satisfaction and boosted retention rates.

 

Publishing a transactable app also provided invaluable insights into user behavior and preferences. Through analytics and data gathered from in-app transactions, I gained a deeper understanding of my user base, allowing me to better tailor future updates and offerings. This data-driven approach improved the overall user experience and optimized monetization strategies for maximum impact.

In essence, publishing a transactable app not only enhanced accessibility, monetization, and user engagement, but also provided valuable insights that continue to shape the evolution of my product.

 

[JR]:  Prioritizing cybersecurity helps protect critical infrastructure all communities rely on. How does CYPROTECK align its business to enabling positive impact for your customers and communities? 

[CGD]:  At CYPROTECK, we understand that cybersecurity isn't just about protecting data; it's about safeguarding the very foundation of our communities.  Our commitment to positive impact extends beyond our client relationships to collaborations with community organizations, public sectors, nonprofits, and educational institutions.

 

One impactful example of our work lies in our partnership with a healthcare-focused nonprofit in the Florida area.  Through comprehensive risk assessments, tailored security solutions, and robust training programs, we fortified their systems against cyber threats, ensuring the integrity and confidentiality of patient data.  As a result, our partner experienced a significant reduction in security incidents, bolstering trust among patients and stakeholders while allowing them to focus more resources on their core mission of delivering quality care.  Additionally, our engagement with a public sector agency exemplifies our dedication to enabling positive impact.  By leveraging cutting-edge technology and best practices, we helped modernize their cybersecurity infrastructure, enhancing resilience against evolving threats. This not only safeguarded critical government services but also bolstered public trust in the integrity of their operations.

 

Whether working with nonprofits, public sectors, or educational institutions, our focus remains on equipping organizations with the tools and knowledge they need to navigate the digital landscape securely. By focusing on enabling positive impact, we strive to build stronger, more resilient communities where cybersecurity is not just a priority but a shared responsibility.

 

[JR]:  What advice do you have for women founders and leaders who are considering or want to grow their skills and careers in cybersecurity? 

[CGD]:  As a black woman-owned cybersecurity firm, I am deeply passionate about fostering diversity and inclusion in the tech industry.

 

To women founders and leaders considering a career in cybersecurity, I offer the following advice:

 

  • Firstly, embrace your unique perspective and experiences. Diversity in cybersecurity is crucial for tackling complex challenges from different angles and developing innovative solutions.  Your voice and insights can bring valuable contributions to the field.
  • Secondly, never stop learning.  Cybersecurity is a rapidly evolving field, so staying updated on the latest technologies, trends, and best practices is essential.  Take advantage of resources such as online courses, workshops, and industry certifications to continuously enhance your skills and knowledge.
  • Thirdly, seek out mentorship and networking opportunities.  Connect with other women in cybersecurity who can provide guidance, support, and inspiration as you navigate your career path.  Mentorship programs, professional associations, and networking events are valuable platforms for building relationships and expanding your professional network.
  • Finally, don't be afraid to take risks and advocate for yourself.  Women are often underrepresented in tech leadership roles, but by seizing opportunities, demonstrating your capabilities, and advocating for your worth, you can break barriers and pave the way for future generations of women in cybersecurity.

 

[JR]:  Have you collaborated with other partners in the Microsoft ecosystem? How has this collaboration been beneficial?

[CGD]:  Collaborating with other partners in the Microsoft ecosystem has been instrumental in enhancing the value and depth of offerings to our customers.  These partnerships have not only expanded our reach but have also enriched the solutions and services we provide.  By joining forces with fellow Microsoft partners, we've been able to leverage complementary expertise, technologies, and resources to deliver more comprehensive and innovative solutions to our customers.  Whether it's integrating our products seamlessly with Microsoft's suite of tools or tapping into the expertise of other partners to address specific customer needs, these collaborations have allowed us to offer tailored solutions that meet and exceed our customers' expectations.  Moreover, partnering within the Microsoft ecosystem has provided access to a vast network of resources, including training, support, and marketing opportunities.  This has enabled us to stay at the forefront of technological advancements, expand our capabilities, and better serve our customers in an ever-evolving digital landscape.  

Furthermore, these collaborations have fostered a culture of knowledge-sharing and mutual growth. By engaging with other partners, we've had the opportunity to learn from their experiences, exchange best practices, and collectively innovate to drive positive outcomes for our customers.

 

[JR]:  What are you most proud of in your journey building/leading CYPROTECK? What’s next?

[CGD]:  What I'm most proud of in my journey of building and leading CYPROTECK is the transformative impact we've had in the realm of cybersecurity.  What sets CYPROTECK apart is our relentless pursuit of innovation and our focus on empowering our clients with cutting-edge cybersecurity strategies.  We've built a team of passionate experts who continuously push the boundaries of what's possible, staying ahead of emerging threats and evolving technologies to safeguard our clients' digital assets effectively.

 

But our journey doesn't end here. What's next for CYPROTECK is to continue leading the charge in shaping the future of cybersecurity. We're poised to further expand our offerings, leveraging emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence and machine learning to deliver even more sophisticated and proactive security solutions.  Additionally, we remain committed to investing in cybersecurity certification programs, ensuring that our team is equipped with the latest skills and expertise to address the evolving challenges of cybersecurity effectively.

 

We'll also continue to prioritize diversity, equity, and inclusion within our organization, ensuring that we have a team that reflects the diverse perspectives and experiences of the communities we serve.

 

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