Category Start-up Stories
01 February 2024

Cloud Guardian: CyberDesk's Solution to Secure Data Management

Tag Innovation
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Cloud Guardian: CyberDesk's Solution to Secure Data Management

In an increasingly digital world, where vast amounts of data are stored in the cloud, the security of sensitive information is a key challenge. It is easy to lose track of where confidential information is stored, who has access to it, and what risks are involved. The team at CyberDesk, a start-up established at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), wants to change that. They have developed software that helps companies securely manage data in cloud solutions and makes it easier for users to keep track of it.


When Prabhakar Mishra and Dr. Tobias Lieberum met for the first time, they quickly realized they had something in common: they were both interested in starting a company to solve the problem of data security in the cloud. It was a problem that each of them had faced time and time again. Prabhakar Mishra studied computer science in India and then spent several years working for large banks. After studying business administration, Tobias Lieberum worked as a consultant before earning his doctorate at the TUM School of Management.

"The analytical methods I developed for my doctorate at the Chair of Operations Management also work very well in data security. After all, it's all about analyzing large data sets in terms of human behavior," says Tobias Lieberum.


From the idea to the start-up
The two founders contacted the Start-up Advisory Office at TUM. To turn their idea into a business, they actually received support from two different TUM Venture Labs: the Legal Tech Colab and the Venture Lab Software & AI. The TUM Venture Labs offer start-up teams direct access to cutting-edge research, experts with a deep understanding of the specific market, technical infrastructure and access to global networks of companies and investors. The founders also participated in offerings such as XPRENEURS, an incubation program offered by UnternehmerTUM that supports high-tech start-ups in their early stages as they prepare to enter the market.


Artificial Intelligence Privacy
The team offers its software to companies under a software-as-a-service model. As a first step, the software creates a map showing the location of all sensitive data currently stored by the company in cloud solutions. It also performs ongoing monitoring to check who has access to the data and assess the resulting risks at the data level. "A lot of sensitive information, such as email addresses, health data or account details, exists in every company and is identified by the standard features of our software. The big challenge is that sensitive information can also vary greatly from one company to another. So with our software, companies need to be able to identify specific data that needs protection and contextual access rights and secure it accordingly," says Prabhakar Mishra.


With the help of the many start-up support opportunities available at TUM in the past weeks and months, the founders were able to get a stable beta version of their software up and running. Since then, they have been serving their first pilot customers and collecting feedback and suggestions. With this phase completed, CyberDesk was recently launched on the market. Big changes have also taken place in the highly international and interdisciplinary team, which now has 10 members.

Both founders are clear about their long-term goal: "We want to become the European champion in cloud-based data security. The market is currently dominated by US providers. But we have seen that many of our customers prefer European providers due to legal standards and internal requirements. We're trying to fill a gap in the market," says Lieberum.