​Exploring Cyber Solutions with Accelerator Finalist Adlumin

kevin-tweedle-150pxBy Kevin Tweddle

Naval Academy graduate. Director of U.S. Marine Corps’ “Red Team.” National Security Agency (NSA) cyber expert.

Are these the resume chops of the latest Tom Clancy protagonist? No, they are the credentials of Robert Johnston, the CEO and co-founder of ICBA ThinkTECH Accelerator Finalist Adlumin.

Established in 2016, Adlumin offers finance-specific security incident and event management (SIEM) solutions to community banks. From data retention, compliance, to malicious intruder detection, the company provides a range of offerings to help community banks meet cybersecurity compliance and manage evolving threats. AI and machine learning techniques fuel their solutions and analyze anomalies, funneling a billion monthly events down into the five or six each month that require the attention of the team.   

This more efficient and targeted assessment of transactions mimics the pitch of nearly every financial services cybersecurity organization. What makes Adlumin different? The answer lies in the root of the challenge. While increasing data and cyber security threats remain, so do increasing compliance and regulatory requirements, combined with decreasing budgets and capacity. The answer is Adlumin’s technology strategy, which reduces the costs for community banks across the board. 

  • Resides in the cloud – Because Adlumin’s solution is designed using serverless infrastructure, it unbinds an organization’s technology from traditional financial bottlenecks like data storage and processing. Cloud-native technology drastically reduces the cost of the solution, making log-management options a thing of the past. Now, advanced SIEM solutions that previously have been cost-prohibitive for the mid- and enterprise-light markets are a viable solution for community banks.
  • Integrates into a bank’s core – According to Johnston, most technologies that integrate with a community bank’s core do so at the application layer. Adlumin took a different approach and wrote software for the hardware itself. So, unless a bank changes its core completely, the integration runs consistently, with the standard SIEM patches or upgrades administered by Adlumin. 
  • Speaks to community banks – Adlumin understands what community banks need, because they worked to mimic bankers’ unique experiences before they built their technology. When they began designing their offerings, Adlumin went out and purchased core systems. They made this initial investment so they could create solutions based on the operational experience within financial institutions.

While much work has already been done, Adlumin continues to refine its products and services, making sure that it remains a bank’s partner in supporting compliance efforts and combatting ever-evolving cyber threats. That’s why participating in the ICBA ThinkTECH Accelerator made so much sense. The team plans to leverage the accelerator experiences to tailor offerings based on input from bankers.

Brian Otteman, director of customer experience at High Plains Bank, a $175-million-asset institution headquartered in Flager, Colo., was onsite at The Venture Center during the bootcamp’s second week. He witnessed the finalists’ efforts to scale emerging technologies to community bank infrastructure. 

I found the finalists as well as the cohort leadership to be really engaged in the problems we’re facing. I thought they were curious about how their products could fit with real issues that we have.”

A later-stage start-up, Adlumin’s services are already commercially available. In fact, the company has more than 20 financial institution customers and protects more than $40 billion in assets. They are processing about one billion events a month, and those numbers continue to increase.

“We’re constantly responding to market evolution, deploying updated data science algorithms, integrating new data and analytic sets, and making our cloud architecture and ecosystem better as the landscape evolves,” Johnston shared. “Our goal is to offer best-in-class SIEM services to community banks.”

Kevin Tweddle is chief operating officer of the ICBA Services Network.