The Disruption Agenda is a Nedbank CIB and Plug and Play Tech Centre initiative that brought 10 visionary startups from across the globe to South Africa to meet with top business leaders.

Introducing: Dispelone of the Top 10 innovators that attended The Disruption Agenda

Brothers Ethan and Ian Schmertzler, and their team founded Dispel with the aim of disrupting a world of static defence-in-depth that is ruled by checklists and assumes that if a network is built in a specific way, it will be safe.

Dispel’s response is an industry-leading security program that ensures customers can have a high degree of confidence and trust in their stewardship of customer data and operations.

Predictable checklists build worlds that are slow-moving and vulnerable to study for weaknesses. In 2014, the Dispel team set out to change all that and, in the process, make network flexibility fast and affordable for everyone.

Dispel’s inspiration comes from the rich history of the Navy and draws from submarine tactics. Submersibles protect their payloads far better than hardened silos by remaining undetectable undersea. Would be attackers must therefore constantly expend effort on tracking and intercepting targets. In the same way, Dispel protects networks by cloaking them within the ‘ocean’ of public IP space effectively delivering Moving Target Defense.

According to Ethan Schmertzler, CEO of Dispel, while any system connected to the Internet stands to benefit from Dispel’s product, the solutions are of particular benefit to customers seeking to expand their capabilities and who have not yet made significant investment into earlier security and mass virtualisation technologies.

“Moving Target Defense allows organisations to leapfrog older, and more costly, static network security architectures,” Schmertzler states.

Dispel’s technological security practice helps stop unauthorized access of user data and minimises the potential for third-party observation of metadata-based user intent. They regularly undergo audits by penetration testers and customers to make sure they’re on the top of the game.

Headquartered in New York City, Dispel released the first commercially available implementation of Moving Target Defense in 2014 and began delivering the solution to institutional buyers in 2015. Currently, the platform has logged more than one million virtual machine hours and tens of thousands of users have licensed access to the system effectively relying on Dispel to protect their data, collaborate securely, and actively defend their entire business infrastructure.

Further validating the success achieved to date, in 2017, Gartner recognised Dispel as a Cool Vendor in Unified Communications and, in 2018, Dispel won the inaugural Plug and Play Cybersecurity award.

With good tools and the right technology, people and organisations can use the full power of the Internet,” Schmertzler says, “and at Dispel, security is about allowing anyone to connect servers and people to the Internet, without risk.

Today, Dispel is one of the fastest-growing cybersecurity startups in New York. Funded with $3 million in seed and Series A financings from American venture capital firms specialising in cyberdefense, Dispel has grown to a multi-million dollar revenue business with employees in New York and the Washington DC-metro area.

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