People of Prospect – Visual Threat

Visual Threat offers a one-stop solution for automotive OEMs and Tier-1 automotive suppliers requiring comprehensive Automotive Cyber Security Solutions. We spoke with CEO and Founder, Wei Yan, and Director of Business Development, Myles Kitchen.


ProspectSV:
What was your journey to founding Visual Threat?

Wei: Having worked for the top three security vendors — McAfee, Trend Micro and Symantec, I have a lot of experience with all kinds of security products from mobile phones to PC’s, cloud security to networking devices. As early as 2014, cars became like mobile phones on wheels, but a much more challenging security risk. After all, people can reboot their mobile phones if there is the risk of a virus, but cars cannot be rebooted while driving on the highway.

ProspectSV:  What excites you most about the technology your company has developed?

Myles: The technology in cars is moving very fast – both the connected technology built into the vehicles and the devices people bring into the car. Unfortunately, right now the designs inside the car are rather old. Car companies and drivers didn’t expect to need protection at this point but now we know they do. It’s creating a lot of opportunity in a short amount of time to do several things: 1) find the vulnerabilities and 2) implement solutions to protect people in their cars from hacking attacks or even just problems with the software that might reside in the car already. There’s a lot of excitement in this space. Cybersecurity for vehicles is going to be necessary moving forward for as long as we can imagine. Right now it’s just us and a few competitors.

ProspectSV:  What impact do you wish to have in this industry?

Myles: We would like to be recognized as a significant player in the cybersecurity space. At least at this stage, we’re probably one of the few addressing all of aspects of cybersecurity from the testing on the front end to providing firewall protection and mating that with a cloud-based portal that manages the security in an automated fashion, as well as a manual fashion. We also provide for the future updating of the vehicle software Over-The-Air in a secure way. Visual Threat provides end-to-end security for all the various ways software is used within a vehicle.

Wei: Our presentations at conferences have been generating a lot of excitement and recognition from automotive OEMs and their suppliers as well as traditional security vendors. They are recognizing the need and wanting to find out more about our cybersecurity solutions.

ProspectSV: What do you love most about Silicon Valley?

Wei: If you want to do something with a startup, Silicon Valley is the best place because everything is ready for you. You can quit your job and devote yourself completely to a startup. In the U.S, I have lived in Florida, New Jersey, New York and Oregon. I like it best here in Silicon Valley.

Myles: I came to Silicon Valley in the late 70s and I can’t imagine being anywhere else. Certainly the weather here is pleasant, but the business environment is also conducive to starting new technologies. I lived through the semi-conductor boom, the software boom, the biotech boom, and now the app and cybersecurity boom. It’s an exciting place to be.

ProspectSV: Why work with Prospect Silicon Valley?

Wei: ProspectSV is a good place for us to test vehicles because you can’t test multiple vehicles inside a house; you need the right environment. The space here is valuable as we are going to test more vehicles each day. Also, it’s a good place to showcase our services and products.

Myles: We have already found a number of synergies with other startups at Prospect Silicon Valley. Being here gives us an advantage in collaboration, furthers our personal and company networks and opens us to other opportunities we probably wouldn’t have found otherwise.

 

About Visual Threat

Visual Threat offers a one-stop solution for automotive OEMs and Tier 1 automotive suppliers requiring comprehensive Automotive Cyber Security Solutions. Visual Threat detects and circumvents cyber intrusions via its patent pending “FUSE” solution. FUSE incorporates a proprietary onboard software Firewall connected to its Cloud Portal. Umbrella security policies can be implemented manually and automatically via this Security instantly over-the-air. Event Intelligence monitors patterns of use, behavior, and detects hacking events in real time, taking appropriate actions. Visual Threat also offers Cyber Penetration Testing Services for complete vehicles, systems, modules, components, as well as an analysis of software apps used in vehicles, helping customers to assess their risk levels from a range of sources, both wired, and wireless. Visual Threat’s secure infrastructure can also secure and implement efficient over-the-air updates for onboard software and firmware updates for various vehicle ECUs. Cloud Portal services can monitor and report a wide range of information of interest to manufacturers, fleet users, individual users and others.  

Find additional information about Visual Threat at www.visualthreat.com.

Interview has been condensed and edited.

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