Why Nominated: A proponent of truth in marketing, Flashpoint Chief Marketing Officer Jennifer Leggio has provided a model for how providers of cyber solutions can sell their wares without resorting to fear-mongering or hyperbole. She also encourages strong collaboration and communication between solution providers’ marketing teams and their security, intelligence and research departments.
Profile: Leggio’s turn as Flashpoint CMO is her latest significant stop in a two-decades-long career in cybersecurity that includes senior positions at Cisco Systems, Sourcefire and Fortinet. Throughout her journey, she has been passionate about working with startups and early-stage cybersecurity companies to help define their position, messaging and go-to-market strategy.
In August 2018 she spoke at Def Con’s ethics village, educating attendees on how common cybersecurity marketing practices can increase risk and cause harm. Her presentation included a look at how compromises can occur when marketing teams carelessly disclose vulnerabilities in a manner that leaves users and systems susceptible to attack.
Leggio is an outspoken critic of fear, uncertainty, and doubt (FUD) and its prevalence in how cybersecurity and threat intelligence offerings are frequently marketed. Taking a different tact, she has spearheaded a successful marketing strategy at Flashpoint that is centered on replacing FUD and exaggerated claims with facts based in research, educational use cases and thought leadership.
Having long recognized the crucial role marketers can play in a shaping security posture, Leggio has partnered with her company’s security, intelligence and research teams to develop and implement security awareness trainings, responsible disclosure frameworks and processes for identifying and reporting potential threats observed on social media. Her efforts have enabled members of her marketing team, most of whom do not have backgrounds in security, to become well-versed in their subject matter, which only further boosts her department’s influence.
Leggio’s dedication to the cyber industry extends beyond her day job. She co-manages the Security Bloggers Network and has been running the Security Bloggers Meet-Up at RSA Conference since 2007.
What colleagues say: “I’ve known Jennifer for several years, and had the pleasure of working closely with her at Sourcefire where she ran corporate marketing and my executive communications programs before our acquisition by Cisco. I’ve always respected Jen as a groundbreaking marketer for two reasons. One, she is a fierce advocate for ethical marketing programs that center on coordinated disclosure, protection of research and sources, and the reduction of scare tactics. Two, she has long been adept at recognizing market opportunity, and helping to build marketing programs and messaging that cuts through the noise and helps build new areas of the industry.”
– Marty Roesch, former chief architect of Cisco’s Security Business Group and founder of Sourcefire