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The Heartwarming Story of a Match Made in Malware

VIDEOS / 03.24.17 / Matt Stephenson

Sometimes cybersecurity can seem like a cold, impersonal industry. At other times… a heartwarming story unfolds. The story of Cylance VP of Testing & Industry Relations Chad Skipper and Cylance Ambassador At Large John McClurg is just one of those tales.

As Senior Executives at Dell, both were originally involved in bringing in new technologies to OEM within the Dell security ecosystem. Chad’s job was to find the best tech out there. John’s job was to protect the Dell ecosystem.

Fast forward a few years. At Black Hat 2016, the former colleagues both approached the Cylance booth and recognized each other. Each noticed that the other was wearing a green Cylance pin on his lapel.

So, what was that magic moment that brought these two out of the C-Suite at Dell and together at Cylance?

Watch the full video interview of their story here:

VIDEO: John McClurg and Chad Skipper at RSA 2017

We don’t want to spoil the heartwarming bits… but let’s just say that after the most vigorous testing Chad had done in his 20+ years in the security industry, he was so convinced as to the efficacy of Cylance’s products, he left Dell to join Cylance.

Says Skipper in his blog about that memorable day:

“We came up with over 3,700 pieces of malware (yes, that is the correct number) to test against each AV vendor. Of that total, 460 of them had never been seen by commodity antivirus (AV). When we unleashed the malware, Cylance instantly stopped (wait for it) all but 12 of over 3,700 pieces of malware. Let me state that again: Cylance stopped all but a paltry 12 out of 3,700 pieces of malware. And four of those twelve were zero-days. That’s 99.7% efficacy!

That’s why I still remember that day. That’s why my former employer chose Cylance as a partner. And that’s why I am at Cylance today.”

As for John, he didn’t believe the numbers Chad’s team were showing, so he tasked his own analyst team to thoroughly investigate Cylance’s endpoint protection product CylancePROTECT®. When they came back stating they had never seen anything like it, John made his own decision to make the move to Cylance. 

Says McClurg of that life-changing decision:

“What really sold me on Cylance, was an independent test we ran at my former employer after a particularly painful and costly advanced persistent threat (APT) attack. Replicating the attack sequence after the fact in our lab, we determined that if we’d had CylancePROTECT up and running at the time of the attack, the adversary would not have gained entrance."

Adds an enthusiastic McClurg in a blog post about his own move to Cylance:

“The proactively predictive capabilities of Cylance’s mathematical modeling and continuous machine learning have infused new life into my professional aspirations. This transition for me is less of a move away from Dell, where I’ve served these last five years as its CSO, as it is a logical next step, moving further along Dell’s “kill chain” to what I consider to be the pointed end of the spear, where (true to my philosophical roots) I believe I can now bring what will be the “greatest good - to the greatest number - in the shortest period of time.”

Join in the conversation with Cylance at the 2017 RSA Conference in San Francisco by following @cylanceinc and #RSAC2017 on Twitter. Stay tuned for more great videos, filmed on the floors of RSA! 

Matt Stephenson

About Matt Stephenson

InSecurity host Matt Stephenson (@packmatt73) leads the  broadcast media at BlackBerry, which puts him in front of crowds, cameras, and microphones all over the world. He is the regular host of the award-winning InSecurity Podcast and video series at events around the globe.

Twenty years of work with the world’s largest security, storage, and recovery companies has introduced Stephenson to some of the most fascinating people in the industry. He wants to get those stories told so that others can learn from what has come before.