#170 - How technology designed to stop hacker attacks can give us a position of advantage that drives remarkable growth

An interview with Karim Hijazi, Founder and CEO of Prevailion

Product InnovationThis podcast interview focuses on product innovation that has the power to give every business the intelligence to anticipate hacker attacks before they happen. My guest is Karim Hijazi, Founder and CEO of Prevailion

Karim is a cybersecurity veteran who has worked closely with the US intelligence community for many years. He’s been at the forefront of attacker counterintelligence and infiltration research for the last decade, developing new ways for security teams to clandestinely monitor hackers and anticipate attacks before they happen. 

His previous startup, Unveillance, was acquired by Mandiant (now FireEye) in 2012. Karim noticed a vulnerability in the way businesses have begun to rely on their third-party partners. The size of a business’ perimeter had increased along with the size of their third-party ecosystem, and there was no clear way to monitor that vast new space.  That inspired the start of Prevailion.

Prevailion envisions a world in which the adversary no longer has the benefit of stealth and surprise, but is instead openly tracked and monitored through a real-time intelligence platform that all companies and organizations have access to. Through clear visibility and real-time tracking, we can turn the tables on threat actors and give network defenders the upper hand.

And this inspired me, and hence I invited Karim to my podcast. We explore what’s broken in the market of cyber crime protection. Why the typical reactive approach of traditional solutions is more a hinder than a help – and why to really tackle this problem we have to approach it by taking an outside-in perspective. We discuss the challenges of solving this problem – not only technically, but most of all also commercially, since so much is in changing perspectives and behaviours. You’ll be inspired with some fresh thinking and true entrepreneurial mindset.

Here are some of his quotes:

What makes us uniquely different is that instead of looking at the victim organizations, and determining, by way of investigations and looking through their data to see if they have anything that can be considered malicious, we actually chase down the adversary back to your point about that we look for the infrastructure that these criminals setup.

Those servers are intended to be the equivalency of what would be like a dumping zone or drop zone for something. That dumpster is effectively the equivalency of what we’re looking for online to infiltrate and sit and wait to see what actually gets dumped there. And we do this without the adversaries understanding of that. 

So what’s really powerful about that is that because it’s digital, everyone that gets impacted by these adversaries all communicate to that digital dumpster, and we are able to see who’s victimized by it, just like the adversary can see. So our perspective is that of the adversary. And that does exactly highlights the fact that the security technologies in these organizations may or may not be working.

During this interview, you will learn four things:

  • How creative spirit combined with highly technical science skills can give you an advantage that’s hard to beat
  • Why instead of creating solutions that are about repairing something that’s broken, we should aim our efforts at taking out the root cause.
  • That we’re too focused on communicating how we help reduce cost, while we can easily flip the narrative around how our solutions accelerate growth
  • How to create critical mass by changing behaviour of people 

For more information about the guest from this week:

  • Karim Hijazi
  • Website Prevailion


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About the author

Sales Pitch

Ton Dobbe is a former B2B software product marketer who's on a mission to save mission-driven SaaS CEOs from the stress of 'not enough' traction. He's the author of The Remarkable Effect, the host of the Tech-Entrepreneur on a Mission podcast, and writes a daily newsletter on the secrets to mastering predictable traction.