Channel veteran Tracy Hickox has joined Cyberpion and built the partner program, which features a risk discovery program to show customers the extent of their potential vulnerabilities.
Cyberpion, a 2017 startup that came out of stealth in late 2020, is looking to build out its partner ecosystem. To facilitate this, today they are announcing a partner program designed to recruit and support a select number of regional solution providers. A key component of the program and partner strategy is Cyberpion’s Ecosystem Risk Discovery Program, which gives partners the capabilities to demonstrate weaknesses in customers’ deep online IT ecosystems. Cyberpion also announced the appointment of Tracy Hickox to head up the channel sales initiative, who will build an internal team to support the new channel.
“Unlike other solutions in this area, we analyze connections of enterprises to third party providers – to the 4th and 5th degree – and look at the whole downstream set of connections,” said Ran Nahmias, Cyberpion’s Co-Founder and CBO.
Nahmias cited an example as something as simple as a stock ticker on a bank home page.
“Those are usually implemented by marketing people who usually choose providers by cost efficiency,” he said. “It will have in it between 15 and 25 vendors, who are part of a supply chain all hooked up to enter the door to your enterprise. Any of them could have malicious code being injected into them, and none of this is being monitored by the classic existing products in the marketplace.”
Nahmias said that they effectively compete with a broad range of companies over different spaces.
“We compete with everyone, because companies don’t have multiple dollars for the same areas,” he stated. “Many competitors are products that aren’t even close to us technology-wise, but are part of the same funding bucket.”
The most common type of competitor provides scoring and risk assessment based on vendor input.
“They give a score, and scoring is nice, but you want to be able to check, monitor and block blind spots in the supply chain,” Nahmias said. “Our closest competitors look at immediate connections. They look at the perimeter and see what’s connected to you. This is not enough. The 3d or 4th degree is often where you start seeing problems you should be concerned about. You can have a misconfigured firewall at this level, and many breaches come from these connections.”
Cyberpion’s sweet spot is relatively large Global 5000 organizations, but those are only half of their customers today.
“The others are regulated industries that are cloud-native or were forced to be within the last year, with them having to build an ecosystem to replace Face-to-Face interactions,” Nahmias indicated. Fintech companies that provide services are one example.
Cyperpion is now beginning to build out their channel, which is why Hickox was brought on board. He is the one who actually designed the program. His channel background includes being Check Point’s Head of Channels in North America, as well as stints at HP Networking, Blade Networking, Juniper and Symbol.
Hickox said that Cyberpion’s technology is well suited to channel ‘land and expand’ strategies.
“One of the main attractions of this tech to partners is their ability to use it to expand their base within existing customers, with a new category of security,” he said. “It highlights that specific risk to their customer, and gives them an opportunity to extend that relationship, rather than just have a transaction-based one.”
The goal at this stage of growth is to get a select number of good partners. AccessIT Group, which has offices up and down the eastern seaboard, is Cyberpion’s first partner within the new program
“We need more than just a few,” Hickox said. “It’s the partner relationship with their customers that makes things fly. They introduce us to major customers in their market. We are looking for as many introductions as we can get, while being able to provide value for each partner. Our US target would be 10 to 15 over the next 12-18 months. Realistically, there are only a few partners, 50-75 in the US and 10-15 in Canada, who understand security well enough to position us well, in the sense of having the ability to position it without us having to carry the conversation.”
The focus at this stage is on regional solution providers, who Hickox described as being bigger than one office, and typically in three or four major cities. They will also have a very proactive technically-based security practice.
“Many of the national partners have very deep and robust practices, but they are targeted by everyone, so it can be hard to get traction with them out of the gate,” Hickox noted.
“I predict we will go to a majority of channel sales because there are services opportunities we cant scale up to,” Nahmias said. “The help that organizations want are also better served locally by someone who knows them.”
A highlight for partners is Cyberpion’s Ecosystem Risk Discovery Program, which provides a way to identify and attract potential customers, using a step-by-step process to create tailored remediation and ongoing continuous protection plans that includes technical and sales support.
“The program provides research on the partner target and their potential vulnerabilities so the partner can have a detailed sales call,” Hickox said. “It’s a very helpful tool.”
“The Risk Discovery Program tracks attack campaigns that target customers,” Nahmias said. “Once we see the tail, we can see customers that have been affected by these attacks. We do an ethical disclosure with this. The idea isn’t to make them panic, but to hope that they see the value that we provide.”