Interview with VP Marketing, Sixgill – Barry Spielman

Barry Spielman


“One of the keys to success in an increasingly competitive environment.”

1. Tell us a little bit about your role and how you got here?
I serve as VP Marketing for Sixgill. I have spent the past 23 years in various Israeli high tech companies. Most of the people in the company come with an intelligence background (government or military) before joining the civilian sector.

2. Given the massive proliferation of Information and software technology, how do you see the IT market evolving over the next few years?
The more the world develops, so does the amount of information out there and the more information is out there, the more points of vulnerability are out there for cybercriminals to target. Today, everyone is online, everyone has a smart phone and companies work with third parties so the vulnerability points are truly endless. Thus, there has been and will continue to be an explosion in the amount of cybersecurity solutions that cover a myriad of potential threats. Threat intelligence, where Sixgill operates, is only a part of the overall cybersecurity picture.

3. What do you see as the single most important technology trend or development that’s going to impact us?
Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning. These technologies allow for us to derive more insights from information, more rapidly and efficiently and in an automated way.

4. Why do you think Cybersecurity has evolved as one of the most focused part of IT?
This is similar to the previous question. But to expand: Because the development of new technologies is at such a rapid pace, many times the emphasis on security is neglected, at least at the beginning. Perhaps this is best illustrated in IOT. This area has truly taken off, but how much thought is given into security (in the ability to remotely turn on your air conditioner, or vacuum cleaner, etc.) Not much, and thus the potential points of vulnerability for a cyber attack have increased exponentially. The same is true on the corporate and organizational side where organizations are exposed to threats they have never faced in the past, where the damage can be very, very significant.

5. Can you explain how mapping dark web has helped in developing your cyber intelligence platform?
Mapping the dark web is at the core of Sixgill’s threat intelligence solution. The mapping and understanding of the dark web allows us to receive context from vast amounts of data that is collected and helps us prioritize threats. As an example, if we know the behavioral patterns of a threat actor, who he talks to, when he is active, where his located, on what forums he is active, his modus operendi and if he is the same person as a threat actor elsewhere (using nicknames of course), the threat intelligence picture as to the threat becomes clearer and allows for a better assessment of those threats. Or looked at this way: Like nations who have intelligence in order to better assess threats and then use their resources in the most efficient way, the same is true for a company. The better the threat intelligence assessment, the better and more efficiently the company can deploy its cybersecurity resources.

6. Can you list some of the reasons behind constant increase in the cases of cyber threats and cybercrimes?
Similar to the question earlier and again the IOT example is very much in order here. Because everything is online, there are many more points of vulnerability, presenting new opportunities to criminals. It needs to be said that operating on the dark web, criminals are anonymous, and it is very difficult to catch them, so the opportunity for gain is high while the risk is low. Law enforcement has had some major successes in closing down sites and catching the bad guys (Silk Road, Alpha Bay, Hansa to name a few) but these are few and far between. And when a site closes, another opens. As long as cybercriminals believe they can make money and get away with it, this phenomenon will only continue to expand.

7. What’s the biggest challenge that you in your organizational role need to tackle to make any strategic decisions work?
The criminals are smart. Most of these people could have had successful careers in legitimate cyber companies but chose to go to the dark side. But they continuously up their game and their tactics increase in terms of sophistication. In essence, when you put a bunch of smart people together in a greenhouse (which is what the dark web is) where there are no laws, then the combined sophistication of the cyber criminals who operate on the dark web by collaborating with each other increases exponentially. Thus, we always have to develop our technology to stay one step ahead of them.

8. How do you prepare for an AI-centric World?
For Sixgill, AI is at the core of our business. We process extremely large amounts of data so we need state of the art AI technology to provide the necessary context and insights from the data to present the relevant threat intelligence picture for our customers.

9. What’s your smartest work-related shortcut or productivity hack?
We want to focus on our core strengths and technologies so we reuse existing technologies where we can, that are beyond that core.

10. How do you prepare for a cognitive world as a leader?
We are always up to date in terms of innovation and research and in fact, we cooperate closely with research in top universities and other places, in order to always stay on the leading edge of technology.

11. What is the core software technology capability of your firm that you bring to people?
Sixgill brings automated threat intelligence by monitoring, collecting and analyzing exclusive deep, dark and surface web sources.

12. Where does your product fit in vis-a-vis the customer life cycle?
Threat intelligence is an emerging field. It is expected to grow significantly (see Gartner, Forrester for example) in the next few years.

13. Are there any new features or upcoming upgrades that you’re excited about and would like to give us a sneak peek into?
We are constantly expanding our features. We are currently releasing a one of its kind multi-tenancy dashboard for MSSPs. The MSSP can monitor imminent and emerging threats to multiple clients based on Sixgill’s deep and dark web threat intelligence capabilities. Below is a screenshot from the new dashboard.

We will also soon be releasing a capability to automatically scan a company’s assets to understand which CVEs relate to them and cross reference them against the threats on the deep and dark web in order to dynamically prioritize them. This is critical since there are thousands of new CVEs every year and companies have a problem prioritizing which are the most relevant for them. And just because a CVE is several years old, it doesn’t mean it still isn’t being exploited by the bad guys.

By the way, I would mention that Sixgill was named as a Gartner Cool Vendor in its
Gartner Cool Vendors in Security Operations and Threat Intelligence, Kelly Kavanagh, Ruggero Contu, Augusto Barros, Pete Shoard, 14 May 2019.

14. What is your take on the massive explosion of IT across so many categories? Do you see competition, opportunities to partner and/or integrate?
Partnership is a central part of our strategy and we believe one of the keys to success in an increasingly competitive environment. This allows us to focus on our core strengths while scaling up by partnering for other capabilities that expand our market and reach.

15. Could you share for our readers, an infographic or description depicting your technology stack?

16. Can you share a screenshot of the homepage of your smartphone? It would be interesting to see some of the apps you personally use on a daily basis to get things done and stay on top of your day?

This is a screen shot from our platform, showing the behavioral patterns of a threat actor.

If you wanted to see a screen shot of my personal apps from one of my screens on my mobile, unrelated to the company, here you go:

Barry Spielman serves as Vice President of Marketing for Sixgill, a Dark Web cyber intelligence company. He is a seasoned marketer with over 25 years' experience in B2B, product, corporate and digital marketing, much of it in Israel's defense and cyber industries. Barry holds a Masters in Science Management from Boston University, a Masters in National Security Affairs from George Washington University, and a BA in Political Science from Bar Ilan University.

Sixgill is a worldwide leading cyber intelligence vendor. Cyber intelligence is the critical missing link in today’s cybersecurity environment, providing organizations with a threat intelligence picture that allows them to focus their resources on preventing attacks, discover those already perpetrated and mitigating the damage caused by cybercrime.
Established in 2014, the Company already has a wide range of customers from leading Fortune 500 companies as well as Federal Agencies. Utilizing artificial intelligence and machine learning, Sixgill automates the production cycle of cyber intelligence from monitoring, to extraction to production, uniquely focusing on relevant threat actors by mapping the Dark Web as a Social network where significant amounts of cybercrime takes place. Providing prioritized and automated real time alerts when threats are detected and then providing a comprehensive threat intelligence picture through advanced data mining and behavioral analytics of the threat actors, the time from alert to receipt of automated actionable intelligence is the fastest on the market.

Link to "Sixgill"

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