Cover for Tines

Martians nailed the task to make a complex interface with many visualized actions, focused on security professionals, easy and satisfying to use even for newcomers.

Tines and Martians to make security teams happier

Tines is a SaaS product for advanced security orchestration and automation. The co-founders Eoin Hinchy and Thomas Kinsella spent 15 years working for “the most attacked companies on the planet”—like eBay, Deloitte, PayPal, and DocuSign—doing the same security tasks over and over again. They looked for a platform to reduce these manual workloads and automate repetitive tasks, didn’t find anything good enough, and founded Tines.

Back then, Tines was solving a task to improve the user interface and make the entire arrangement of security activities apparent and easy-to-understand even for an inexperienced user: all the chain of actions and the results of each step should be visualized. And Evil Martians joined the team to solve this thrilling challenge. Since Tines is primarily a Ruby on Rails project, we were pleased to help our customers with our favorite framework for building web startups.

Tines, with its new interface and smart features, won the customers’ attention and secured some significant clients, including Box.com, Auth0, McKesson, Fortune 10’s, global banks, and SaaS companies.

Tines has partnered with investors who believed in their mission. The startup raised $4.1 million in Series A funding from Blossom Capital and then added a further $11 million from Accel and Index Ventures.

Here are some juicy technical details on how we had it done.

Product design: new User Experience

Security engineers have many technologies and tools—firewalls, intrusion detection systems, antivirus systems, and others—that can detect security anomalies and create an alert (actually, thousands of these alerts per day). Tines’ main advantage is in the combination of visualization and automation of these activities.

The core of their approach relies on software “agents”—multipurpose building blocks that replicate a particular workflow. Within one of these agents, there are many steps for dealing with the attack or any security problem—like cross-checking the email address with trusted contacts or a blacklist, scanning attachments for viruses or examining URLs. Tines calls these visual scripts of all the actions within agents the “stories.”

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