This is part of a series of posts about startups building on Azure that looks at different companies within Microsoft for Startups Founders Hub and how they are using their credits to access a wide array of Azure services to help level up their startup.
Unexpected events can force a company to scale up and expand their services—like transforming from on-premises to a SaaS solution—with little preparation or warning. The ability to take on this challenge is essential to meeting the needs of customers. This case study shows how three Azure tools allowed GYTPOL to turn its security configuration platform into a fast, secure, and scalable SaaS solution:
When product development needs to happen sooner than planned
The COVID-19 pandemic forced many workers out of the office and into working from home. This change in location led to a change in how employees conducted business. GYTPOL’s engineering team observed a new phenomenon: Most employees at GYTPOL’s customers didn’t connect to their organization’s VPN to work. They thought they didn’t need to; everything they needed was there in the cloud.
This created a problem for both GYTPOL and its customers. There was a lack of visibility into remote endpoints, opening up customers to malicious actors. At the time, GYTPOL’s product was installed on-premises. While there was a full SaaS cloud solution in the works, it was still at early stages of product development.
The urgency of the situation and uncertainty about how long the public health crisis would last meant GYTPOL and its customers couldn’t stick to the traditional product development cycle. They needed a solution, and it needed to be fast, secure, and ready to scale.
Founded by Tal Kollender in 2017, GYTPOL’s products and services help companies prevent cyberattacks targeted at system misconfigurations. Its security configuration management platform continuously monitors devices, detects misconfigurations, and then resolves these issues automatically with zero impact to existing IT and business operations.
Kollender conceived of the idea of GYTPOL after working for several companies in IT admin and IT security roles following her military service. She realized that there were no commercially available tools to address security gaps that were the result of misconfigurations. Whenever she began a new role, she needed to develop a new set of tools.
Incorrectly configured operating systems are an easy avenue for hackers to exploit, but they are difficult to notice and often go overlooked. Kollender’s goal for GYTPOL was to provide a reliable enterprise-level tool that would allow organizations to think like the hackers they were trying to avoid. The tool provides visibility into misconfigurations, allowing companies to remediate security gaps before malicious actors are able to exploit them.
You can read more about Tal’s journey as an entrepreneur here.
About Azure’s Cosmos DB, Azure Functions, and API Management
Azure Cosmos DB is a serverless NoSQL database that delivers:
- Speed: Guaranteed single-digit millisecond performance and 99.999% availability at any scale
- Flexibility: Support for application development with SDKs for popular languages
- Cost effectiveness: Fully managed serverless database that instantly and automatically scales up or down based on consumption
Azure Functions is a serverless compute platform that offers:
- Freedom from infrastructure management with automatic scaling
- Flexibility with a variety of programming languages and hosting options
- End-to-end developer experience from building to deployment
API Management is a hybrid, multi-cloud management platform for APIs across all environments. API Management allows you to:
- Meet compliance requirements while having a unified experience and observability across all APIs
- Control how data is exposed to all stakeholders with authentication and usage limits
- Accelerate application development with API-first approaches
How GYTPOL leverages Azure tools
Since both the client and the server were hiding behind network address translation (NAT), GYTPOL could only solve the scalability issue by employing a third component that resides in the cloud. A variety of Azure tools helped the team approach the problem.
GYTPOL’s cloud bridge solution is simple, consisting of Cosmos DB, Functions, and API Management. Along with end-to-end encryption, endpoints and the on-prem server could now safely exchange scan reports and remediation tasks. Millions of endpoints around the world were now able to reach their home organizations again. Data started to appear at organizations’ GYTPOL dashboards once again.
Azure’s strong and easy-to-use tools accelerated GYTPOL’s time to production. Using Azure CosmosDB, Azure Functions and API Management, GYTPOL was able to scale up from thousands of on-premise endpoints to millions of endpoints. Azure delivered the most cost effective solution for GYTPOL so that every component of their cloud bridge solution could be scaled up or down according to daily fluctuations.
Tal Kollender said, “We knew that the classical cloud solution with virtual machines and self-managed databases couldn’t work here. We needed a managed platform we could trust. Azure was the platform we were looking for. Two years later, and with a lot of new customers, this solution still works, and is still the solution we believe in.”
To get access to the whole range of Azure products and services, sign up to Microsoft for Startups Founders Hub today.