'7 Minutes' with Flashpoint CEO Josh Lefkowitz

Customers in security-challenged verticals such as government and retail need a full view into their risk profiles.

Lorna Garey

March 5, 2018

8 Min Read

**Editor’s Note: “7 Minutes” is a feature where we ask channel executives from startups – or companies that may be new to the Channel Partners audience – a series of quick questions about their businesses and channel programs.**

Flashpoint’s partner program has been in place only since September, but CEO Josh Lefkowitz says it’s already attracted more than 60 resellers, many of them seeing the provider of business-risk intelligence as a window into the potential chaos that lurks in the deep and dark web (not the same thing). From ransomware as a service to human trafficking, a lot goes in the 90 percent or so of the internet that is inaccessible to Google, Bing and other conventional search engines.

The dark web isn’t the only source Flashpoint mines for threat data. It also covers physical security, potential fraud, and third-party supplier and insider threats.


Flashpoint’s Josh Lefkowitz

The company does have an internal Flashpoint Advisory Services arm, which might be a benefit for resellers lacking security expertise, but it’s unlikely to endear itself to MSPs and MSSPs. It has customers across more than 20 verticals, with a strong focus on financial services, government, retailers and telecommunications.

Channel Partners: Tell us what customers love about your product or service. What’s the secret selling sauce?

Josh Lefkowitz: Our customers love that we provide them with a decision advantage over threats and adversaries using what we call “business risk intelligence (BRI).” Unlike traditional threat intelligence offerings – most of which are generally only suitable for detecting cyberthreats and other tactical cybersecurity use cases – BRI provides strategic visibility into the broad spectrum of cyber and physical threats contributing to an organization’s overall risk. This versatility enables our customers not only to bolster cybersecurity but also to confront fraud, detect insider threats, enhance physical security, assess M&A opportunities, and address vendor risk and supply chain integrity, among many other use cases.

BRI is able to provide these benefits because of the people, data and technology behind it. Since most of the data from which BRI is gleaned originates from criminal communities, subject-matter expertise and human-driven analysis play a crucial role. Our multilingual intelligence analysts have an intimate familiarity with the deep and dark web that affords our customers exclusive visibility into communities that are otherwise largely impenetrable. Since it’s within these underground forums and marketplaces where cybercriminals, hacktivists, fraudsters and even terrorists congregate and develop malicious schemes, maintaining ongoing and comprehensive visibility into these areas of the internet is crucial.

Indeed, this is why our Flashpoint Intelligence Platform has proven to be such a valuable tool for our customers. Built on unique data collected by fusing our analysts’ subject matter expertise with our engineers’ sophisticated automatic tooling, our platform grants access to our expansive archive of intelligence reports and deep and dark web data in a user-friendly, finished intelligence experience. Delivering BRI, our platform helps users at enterprises of all ,,,

,,, sizes and maturities, and across all business functions and use cases, improve their decision-making abilities.

CP: Describe your channel program — metal levels, heavy on certifications, open or selective, unique features?

JL: We launched the Flashpoint Global Channel Program in 2017 to extend the benefit of BRI to even more organizations worldwide. We have over 60 reseller partners across all sectors globally and are committed to helping them accelerate revenue by empowering their customers with a decision advantage over threats and adversaries. Our Global Channel Program is built on three tenets:

  • Commitment: We dedicate all appropriate resources to ensure our partners’ success with technical, sales and customer support. Flashpoint also provides global reach with quick sales cycles, a dedicated partner portal and partner manager, as well as incentive plans with substantial upside and margin protection.

  • Collaboration: We collaborate with our partners to review sales, pipeline, successes, challenges and strategies for future growth. This includes account mapping and go-to-market support. This sales-support model allows our partners to define the level of support needed to foster a cooperative selling environment.

  • Excellence: Our Flashpoint Intelligence Platform grants partner customers access to our expansive archive of intelligence reports and additional data sets in a single, finished intelligence experience. We can also deliver BRI through the Flashpoint API, as well as Flashpoint Advisory Services, custom reports and RFIs.

Above all else, we strive to support our partners by equipping their customers with the sophisticated technology and human-powered analysis needed to address a diverse array of use cases and mitigate a broad spectrum of cyber and physical risks.

CP: Quick-hit answers: Percentage of sales through the channel, number of partners, average margin. Go.

JL: We have over 60 channel partners worldwide and support customers in 22 verticals across the public and private sectors.

CP: Who are your main competitors, and what makes your offering better?

JL: Flashpoint is currently the only company to offer BRI, but there are other companies that provide different types of intelligence-related offerings, some of which include cyberthreat intelligence (CTI) and digital risk monitoring. While these offerings can and do provide tangible value, such value tends to be tactical in nature and limited to cybersecurity-specific use cases. So although the right intelligence derived from the right data sources can provide immense support not just to cybersecurity teams but all lines of business across an enterprise, this type of intelligence wasn’t readily available or utilized until BRI.

In fact, this gap in the intelligence market is what motivated our expansion into BRI several years ago. Since the Flashpoint team comprises numerous industry veterans and former or current intelligence analysts – myself included – many of us had experienced the limitations of CTI, digital risk monitoring and similar offerings firsthand. We knew that these offerings alone didn’t provide enough insight into the complex cyber and physical threats and resulting business risks our customers were facing. Fast-forward to today, and you’ll see that BRI has since enabled our customers to address a broad spectrum of diverse use cases and gain an increased understanding of the impact, relevance and corresponding business risks posed by …

… fraudsters, malicious insiders, hacktivist groups, nation state and cyberthreat actors, and radical jihadists, among others.

Flashpoint’s biggest differentiator in the market, however, is our people. As I mentioned, our multilingual intelligence analysts have been mapping uncharted regions of the internet for over a decade. Many members of our team have unmatched experience building and leading intelligence teams throughout the Fortune 500 and government, supporting critical law-enforcement missions, and honing their physical security trade craft during years spent serving the U.S. military. I’m truly humbled to be able to work with some of the most accomplished and respected experts in the industry, all of whom are truly integral to Flashpoint.

CP: How do you think your technology portfolio will change in the next three years?

JL: We continually strive to align our technology portfolio with the needs of our diverse and ever-growing customer base. Industry, geography, organizational composition, existing intelligence capabilities, risk posture, use-case priorities and technological requirements are just some of the factors we consider when developing and further tailoring our offerings for our customers. Given the multifaceted and often unpredictable nature of the threat landscape, we’re committed to ensuring our customers maintain ongoing access to the most relevant, timely and actionable intelligence and tools they need to gain a decision advantage over threats and adversaries.

For instance, just in the last year, we’ve augmented our Flashpoint Intelligence Platform with new features and customizations to make BRI even more usable and accessible for end users from across all sectors and lines of business. We’ve also enriched our Flashpoint API, which now provides direct access to all of our data sets, including finished intelligence, deep and dark web (DDW) data, and risk intelligence observables (RIOs), thereby enabling immediate benefit to customers as well as custom integrations into third-party platforms.

CP: How do you expect your channel strategy to evolve over that time frame?

JL: Over the next few years, we will continue to invest in developing more robust tools for partners, strive to automate and streamline partner-training programs and other processes, and further expand our network of partners globally. We also plan to roll out a more comprehensive MDF program to help our partners go to market and sell as efficiently and effectively as possible. As I touched on previously, this strategy will evolve based on customer and partner needs.

CP: What didn’t we ask that partners should know?

JL: Partners should know that Flashpoint isn’t simply selling data, tools or intelligence. We are equipping end users with a decision advantage over the threats and adversaries that matter to them the most. And while BRI can and does provide immense value to business functions rooted in IT and cybersecurity, we support all business functions across an entire enterprise — from insider threat, physical security, executive travel, third-party risk, fraud, anti-money laundering and many other programs.

Given the mounting difficulties today’s organizations continue to face in navigating what has become a truly volatile threat landscape, BRI’s cross-functional, comprehensive approach to intelligence has become a requirement. Whether an organization has an entire department of seasoned intelligence analysts or a smaller team that needs more daily support, our team and BRI offerings can help inform their decisions and mitigate a broad spectrum of cyber and physical risks.

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