Network Security

Cyber investment exec talks COVID-19, Snowden and rise of threat intel automation

The cyber threat intelligence tech space has made significant leaps in the last few years, becoming far less manual, according to Hank Thomas, CEO and co-founder of Strategic Cyber Ventures and former principal/director, cyber intelligence and security, with Booz Allen Hamilton, in an interview with SC Media.

“It was seemingly like that particular sector was becoming a very manually driven sector. But there’s been some amazing automation brought into that space and that’s been a big surprise for me,” said Thomas, who is also CTO and a board member with the Washington, DC-based boutique venture capital firm SCVX, the cybersecurity industry’s first-ever special purpose acquisition company, or SPAC.

A SPAC is essentially a shell company that is formed with the intent of raising enough investor capital to acquire one or more already existing companies. SCVX raised roughly $230 million in an IPO last January for the expressed purpose of buying a cornerstone cybersecurity company that it could then supplement with additional acquired solutions. RSA was SCVX’s opportunity to go on the hunt, taking meetings with potential suitors.

Thomas also reflected on the novel coronavirus’s impact on the show, noting that attendance was mildly depressed. And he reflected on lessons learned from Edward Snowden, who as an employee of NSA contractor Booz Allen Hamilton employee stole U.S. government surveillance secrets. “A marginally capable, yet determined and persistent adversary – whether it be on the inside like an Edward Snowden or a foreign threat actor of some sort – in today’s world is going to figure out a way to get in, most likely, if persistent enough,” said Thomas. “The name of the game is finding them faster and eliminating their ability to move toward your crown jewels… It’s really about intrusion suppression. Think about it [as] putting a fire out before it spreads down the street.”

Bradley Barth

As director of multimedia content strategy at CyberRisk Alliance, Bradley Barth develops content for online conferences, webcasts, podcasts video/multimedia projects — often serving as moderator or host. For nearly six years, he wrote and reported for SC Media as deputy editor and, before that, senior reporter. He was previously a program executive with the tech-focused PR firm Voxus. Past journalistic experience includes stints as business editor at Executive Technology, a staff writer at New York Sportscene and a freelance journalist covering travel and entertainment. In his spare time, Bradley also writes screenplays.

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