Circadence: Helping Cyber Professionals Prepare and Protect

Michael Moniz | CEO & Co-founder | Circadence
Michael Moniz | CEO & Co-founder | Circadence

In an interview with CIO Look, Circadence emphasizes its cyber learning journey for customers and how that focus has driven its impeccable contribution to the evolving and volatile technological sector. Its unique vision and approach helped the company flourish immensely in the growing cybersecurity sector.

CIO Look admires such organizations and takes pride in featuring Circadence in its special edition, “Disruptive Companies at the Forefront of Innovation.”

Below are the highlights of the interview:

Kindly take us through a brief overview of the company. 

Circadence is a market leader in next-generation cybersecurity readiness. We provide fully hyperscalable cloud-native cyber learning platforms to a beginner who is new to cyber or a seasoned security professional. Our capability to offer comprehensive cyber education in the cloud meets the demands of an evolving cyber landscape and addresses today’s escalating cyber threats. Our learning platforms run on Microsoft Azure, to address critical security challenges for enterprise, government and academic institutions.

How will you define the term ‘disruptive venture’ and how do you justify yours as one? 

A disruptive venture is an effort, mission or initiative that thoughtfully (and creatively) changes (and challenges) the trajectory of a known subject or practice. At Circadence, we are disrupting today’s cyber training by offering computationally elastic, cloudnative gamified learning solutions. Our cloud-based cyber range platforms are hyperscalable to meet the learning needs of today’s cyber professionals. They can be reset with the flip of a virtual switch so operational networks are not at risk and threat intelligence analysts can learn and practice skills in their own simulated, gamified environments. With these two distinctive modes of training, learning cyber capabilities becomes enjoyable, approachable, scalable, and an enduring practice for the next generation of professionals. Every day hackers develop new capabilities to penetrate digital environments. To keep pace with these evolving threats, the next iteration of cyber training must be more innovative and as disruptive as the hacker’s attacks. Gamified platforms provide the ability to deliver ground-breaking learning impact to the cyber workforce. Our gamified environments allow users to compete in different virtual world scenarios reflective of real cyber threats. The gamified battle rooms and missions teach offensive and defensive strategies using game-like elements to cognitively engage users. Components like leaderboards and badges, levels and compelling backstories to activities encourage users to level up in cyber competency and skill while team based problem-solving interactions ignite cyber curiosity. The outcome is a professional who can effectively and proactively anticipate, mitigate, and defeat cyber threats they face on the job.

How do you diversify Circadence offerings to appeal to the target audience?

Circadence diversifies the market with its computationally elastic, cloud-native hyperscalable cyber learning solutions to address today’s cyberattacks and security challenges. Unlike siloed, offsite cyber trainings, Circadence’s cyber readiness solutions offer a learning journey for everyone in the workforce to build a holistic knowledge base of cyber concepts and apply learnings in real-world environments. From professionals at the administrative desk to accounting, professionals can improve their cyber awareness while seasoned security professionals can “train as they fight” in immersive cyber exercises aligned to job roles and industries.

Circadence’s audiences are looking for a persistent and scalable cyber training option that makes learning accessible, approachable and enjoyable—all at the same ® time. Project Ares diversifies current training offerings by gamifying learning in hyperscalable cloud-based cyber range settings. Project Ares offers offensive and defensive cyber activities in three-tiered learning paths: via concept-driven Cyber Learning Games, individual skill building in Battle Rooms, and teambased collaboration in Missions. Further, the platform aligns to the NIST (The National Institute of Standards and Technology) NICE framework (The National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education) with role-based learning paths so users can be confident they are training to industry-leading calibers of cyber excellence.

Additionally, while there are many security awareness tools available today, there isn’t a solution that provides a truly approachable and engaging way for nontechnical professionals to learn cybersecurity concepts and best practices. Our new platform inCyt, meets that challenge. It is a browser-based strategy game that invites players with limited knowledge in cybersecurity to compete in cyber-themed battles. inCyt delivers awareness content and measures effectiveness using an integrated, two-pronged system that includes interactive lessons and multiplayer/bot battles. Players are introduced to attacks like Dumpster Diving and Searching Social Media to help guide them comfortably into understanding cyber issues. It gives players a foundation of the “how’s and why’s” of an attack, so they are able to spot a potential cyber threat in their own lives.

Give a detailed description of the Founder/CEO/Management’s contribution to the company and the industry. 

Michael Moniz is the President, CEO, and Co-founder of Circadence, a market leader in cybersecurity readiness. Moniz transformed Circadence’s early history in multiplayer gaming and core network optimization into the world’s preeminent AI-powered cybersecurity learning and assessment provider running on Microsoft Azure. Under his guidance, Circadence has secured more than 42 patents in emerging technology segments. Moniz has contributed to the industry by introducing a new learning method for cyber training for professionals—an approach that is scalable, computationally elastic, accessible 24/7, and immersive, unlike current cyber training programs offered today.

What are the challenges or roadblocks faced by your organization? And how did you overcome them? 

The current challenges in the organization are the same ones that the industry faces: understanding how to stay ahead of evolving cyber threats and how to prepare the cyber workforce to mitigate these threats. We’re meeting this challenge head-on by revitalizing static and intermittent training to deliver continuous learning opportunities to professionals who need to upskill competencies to better protect their organizations. We focus on capturing the latest cyber threats and emulating them in gamified learning environments for users to test their skills. With browser-based access and cloud scalability to customize training to fit a company’s specific security needs, professionals are equipped with the best and most current offensive and defensive strategy solutions in their cyber learning toolbox.

What, according to you, could be the potential future of Circadence and how does envision sustaining its competency? 

Circadence will sustain and lead in the market by providing premier gamified cybersecurity learning experiences in hyperscalable platforms that offer users holistic cyber learning to address cyber kill chain phases. Our customer-first focus has enabled us to listen and understand their security education needs and rapidly develop solutions that they can test and use. For example, if we have enough demand from the organizations we work with to create certain type of content, we have the ability to do that. Another example is, Orion our battle room builder allows users to customize cyber learning content that are critical for professionals to keep pace with current and evolving threats. If we continue to adapt and evolve as persistently as we have, our growth will be sustainable.

How is Circadence upgrading itself with the volatile technological advancement in order to offer disruptive products? 

Circadence continues to evolve our gamified virtual cyber learning environments by adding new industries and job roles to our training platform. We also continue to update the missions and battle room lessons based on the latest cyber attacks, so the user is up-to-date on current types of cyber attacks threatening government, enterprises and critical infrastructure today. We’re excited to layer in an advanced business intelligence capability that provides a single pane view of a cyber skills readiness profile across their organization. It is innovations like this that advances cyber learning in a disruptive and calculated approach to the benefit the organizations we work with.

Describe the experiences, achievements or lessons learned that has shaped the journey of the Circadence.

Our roots in government service and work with evolving cyber command organizations shed light on the need for persistent and scalable cyber training solutions for today’s cyber defenders in all industries. We continue to build strong partnerships with leadingedge companies such as Microsoft, to create and provide tools to the market that are built on proven, and viable commercially available software, to create intelligent applications. Our history in application and network optimization and our expertise in online gaming has created a strong foundation to build solutions that serve the next generation of cyber warriors. To that end, we’ve built a complete cyber learning journey to provide comprehensive cybersecurity education that will impact the security of enterprises, our government and citizen’s daily lives. Our cyber learning platforms help make the digital frontier safer and more approachable for everyone.

Kindly highlight Circadence future endeavors and how it is planning to expand globally? 

To improve global cybersecurity risks, Circadence is working with FVEY nation states to deploy training enclaves running on Microsoft Azure. Our goal is to make cyber learning products such as inCyt the “new cyber awareness training norm” for companies worldwide, to help educate the masses about current cyber threats and teach defensive, best practice behavior. We plan to continue to scale, adapt and build to an increasingly pervasive cloud/hybrid-cloud model that will drive the evolution of cybersecurity learning.