Cyberwarfare / Nation-State Attacks , Events , Fraud Management & Cybercrime

The Best Cybersecurity Defense Is a Good Offense

AllegisCyber Capital's Bob Ackerman on the Need to Understand Offensive Playbooks
Bob Ackerman, founder and managing director, AllegisCyber Capital

Offense is what paces innovation in cybersecurity since threat actors wake up every morning looking for new ways to compromise systems, said AllegisCyber Capital's Bob Ackerman.

See Also: The Operationalization of Threat Intelligence Programs

Many offensive cyber capabilities developed by the U.S. national intelligence community make their way into the wild through an insider such as Edward Snowden or another mechanism and become exploitable by a broad spectrum of threat actors, Ackerman said. Relationships with ex-national intelligence officials are thus essential to anticipating which startups will most effectively address the threats of tomorrow.

"If you want to understand where defensive companies will need to be built, follow the offensive playbook," Ackerman said. "Experience tells us that four to six years after an offensive capability is developed, it ends up in the wild and becomes a new threat vector."

In this video interview with Information Security Media Group at RSA Conference 2023, Ackerman also discusses:

  • How AllegisCyber's focus on offensive threats prompted investment in OT security;
  • What the rise of artificial intelligence means from an offensive perspective;
  • How AllegisCyber assists portfolio companies such as Dragos in scaling and growing.

Ackerman has 20 years of experience in successful cybersecurity investing and serves on the board of directors of numerous cybersecurity companies. He was the president and CEO of UniSoft Systems and the founder and chairman of InfoGear Technology Corp.

About the Author

Michael Novinson

Michael Novinson

Managing Editor, Business, ISMG

Novinson is responsible for covering the vendor and technology landscape. Prior to joining ISMG, he spent four and a half years covering all the major cybersecurity vendors at CRN, with a focus on their programs and offerings for IT service providers. He was recognized for his breaking news coverage of the August 2019 coordinated ransomware attack against local governments in Texas as well as for his continued reporting around the SolarWinds hack in late 2020 and early 2021.

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