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Josh Lefkowitz
Chief Executive Officer
Josh Lefkowitz executes the company’s strategic vision to empower organizations with Business Risk Intelligence (BRI). He has worked extensively with authorities to track and analyze terrorist groups. Mr. Lefkowitz also served as a consultant to the FBI’s senior management team and worked for a top tier, global investment bank. Mr. Lefkowitz holds an MBA from Harvard University and a BA from Williams College.
Evan Kohlmann
Chief Innovation Officer
Evan Kohlmann focuses on product innovation at Flashpoint where he leverages fifteen years’ experience tracking Al-Qaida, ISIS, and other terrorist groups. He has consulted for the US Department of Defense, the US Department of Justice, the Australian Federal Police, and Scotland Yard’s Counter Terrorism Command, among others. Mr. Kohlmann holds a JD from the Univ. of Pennsylvania Law School and a BSFS in International Politics from the Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown Univ.
Josh Devon
Chief Operating Officer / VP Product
Josh Devon focuses on product vision and strategy at Flashpoint while ensuring the company’s departments function synergistically during its rapid growth. He also works to ensure that customers receive best in class products, services, and support. Previously, Mr. Devon co-founded the SITE Intelligence Group where he served as Assistant Director. He holds an MA from SAIS at Johns Hopkins Univ. At the Univ. of Pennsylvania, he received a BS in Economics from the Wharton School and a BA in English from the College of Arts and Sciences.
Jennifer Leggio
Chief Marketing Officer / VP Operations
Jennifer Leggio is responsible for Flashpoint’s marketing, customer acquisition, and operations. Ms. Leggio has more than 20 years of experience driving marketing, communications and go-to-market strategies in the cybersecurity industry. She’s previously held senior leadership roles at Digital Shadows, Cisco, Sourcefire, and Fortinet. She’s been a contributor to Forbes and ZDNet, and has spoken on the importance of coordinated disclosure at DEF CON and Hack in the Box, and on threat actor “publicity” trends at RSA Conference, Gartner Security Summit, and SXSW Interactive.
Chris Camacho
Chief Strategy Officer
Chris Camacho partners with Flashpoint’s executive team to develop, communicate, and execute strategic initiatives pertaining to Business Risk Intelligence (BRI). With over 15 years of cybersecurity leadership experience, he has spearheaded initiatives across Operational Strategy, Incident Response, Threat Management, and Security Operations to ensure cyber risk postures align with business goals. Most recently as a Senior Vice President of Information Security at Bank of America, Mr. Camacho was responsible for overseeing the Threat Management Program. An entrepreneur, Mr. Camacho also serves as CEO for NinjaJobs: a career-matching community for elite cybersecurity talent. He has a BS in Decision Sciences & Management of Information Systems from George Mason University.
Lisa Iadanza
Chief People Officer
Lisa M. Iadanza leads all functional areas of People Operations at Flashpoint, including human resources, talent acquisition & management, employee engagement, and developing high performance teams. In addition to collaborating with the executive team to drive strategic growth, she plays an integral role in fostering Flashpoint’s culture and mission. Driven by her passions for mentorship, employee advocacy, and talent development, Ms. Iadanza has more than twenty years of experience in building, scaling, and leading human resources functions. Prior to Flashpoint, she held leadership roles at Conde Nast, Terra Technology, and FreeWheel. She is a member of the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) and holds a bachelor’s degree in management with concentrations in human resources and marketing from State University of New York at Binghamton.
Lance James
Chief Scientist / VP Engineering
Lance James is responsible for leading Flashpoint’s technology development. Prior to joining Flashpoint in 2015, he was the Head of Cyber Intelligence at Deloitte & Touche LLP. Mr. James has been an active member of the security community for over 20 years and enjoys working creatively together with technology teams to design and develop impactful solutions that disrupt online threats.
Brian Costello
SVP Global Sales and Solution Architecture
Brian Costello, a 20-year information technology and security solutions veteran, is responsible for leading the Global Sales, Solution Architecture, and Professional Services teams at Flashpoint. Throughout his career, Brian has successfully built security and cloud teams that have provided customers with innovative technology solutions, exceeded targets and consistently grown business year over year. Prior to Flashpoint, Brian led a global security and cloud vertical practice for Verizon. Brian also held senior leadership roles at Invincea, Risk Analytics and Cybertrust. Brian received his B.A. from George Mason University.
Tom Hofmann
VP Intelligence
Tom Hofmann leads the intelligence directorate that is responsible for the collection, analysis, production, and dissemination of Deep and Dark Web data. He works closely with clients to prioritize their intelligence requirements and ensures internal Flashpoint operations are aligned to those needs. Mr. Hofmann has been at the forefront of cyber intelligence operations in the commercial, government, and military sectors, and is renowned for his ability to drive effective intelligence operations to support offensive and defensive network operations.
Jake Wells
VP Customer Success
Jake Wells leads the company’s customer success team, serving as an internal advocate for our government and commercial clients to ensure Flashpoint’s intelligence solutions meet their evolving needs. He leverages a decade of experience running cyber and counterterrorism investigations, most recently with the NYPD Intelligence Bureau, to maximize the value customers generate from our products and services. Mr. Wells holds an MA from Columbia University and a BA from Emory University.
Brian Brown
VP Business Development
Brian Brown is responsible for the overall direction of strategic sales and development supporting Flashpoint’s largest clients. In his role, Mr. Brown focuses on designing and executing growth-oriented sales penetration strategies across multiple vertical markets, including both Government and Commercial, supporting Flashpoint’s Sales and Business Development Teams. An experienced entrepreneur, Mr. Brown also serves as CSO for NinjaJobs, a private community created to match elite cybersecurity talent with top tier global jobs and also advise growth-stage cybersecurity companies.
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From Planning and Direction to Collection: Laying the Foundation for Business Risk Intelligence

BRI
March 9, 2017

Regardless of which domain we operate within or what our security objectives are — whether technical indicators of compromise (IOCs) and insider threat activity, or supply chain integrity, physical security, and executive protection — intelligence is integral to accurate, risk-based decision making. Unfortunately, integrating intelligence properly and in a way that serves all business functions across the enterprise can be a challenging endeavor — particularly for organizations that may require additional support in developing a cross-functional, mature Business Risk Intelligence program.

Flashpoint’s Advisory Services team is dedicated to helping organizations address these challenges and enable security, intelligence, and risk teams to thwart or remediate attacks more effectively. By working closely with a diverse variety of organizations, we’ve come to recognize that the intelligence cycle — which serves as the foundation of all successful Business Risk Intelligence programs — is something that even the most capable, robust teams may struggle to implement effectively. Indeed, this observation is what inspired our Advisory Services team to address each of the critical yet oft-misunderstood components of the intelligence cycle in a series of blog posts. In this second installment of our four-part series, we will unpack the first two steps in the intelligence cycle: 1) Planning and Direction and 2) Collection.

1. Planning and Direction

“Where you should go depends on where you want to get to.”

While simplistic, this statement is the premise of planning and direction. In many ways, this step is the most critical because all other components of the intelligence cycle rely on it. Without planning and direction, we could potentially expend our time and resources gathering information that may not be able to reveal the intelligent answers we need. As such, having a focused plan to accurately identify and collect information is crucial. But before we can even begin gathering information, we first must determine the specific information we will need in order to support accurate decision-making. These needs are known as intelligence requirements.

Put simply, intelligence requirements are derived from questions that need to be answered. These questions are established and driven by intelligence consumers, who can range from CEOs, board members, and leaders within a security operations center (SOC), to stakeholders within marketing, legal, business development, or other teams across business functions.

Intelligence requirements are critical because they enable us to prioritize our needs effectively, determine where and what sources of information we need to collect, establish the type of analysis required to process that information, and identify which dissemination methods are most appropriate for the finished intelligence products.

Typically, the most effective intelligence requirements:

• Are highly specific

• Ask a single question

• Are timely and usable within the lifespan of the consumer’s need

• Are focused and tailored to that need — a fact, indicator or action

• Can provide the information required to support a decision

While establishing intelligence requirements that align with the above guidelines may seem natural or even obvious, the step is a common oversight among intelligence teams who may be blinded by vast amounts of data. These teams often lack direction and are driven by an approach that is far too broad to be effective. They may, for instance, try to capture the data of all existing threats to all organizations, only to determine later which threats pose a greater risk to their specific organization. Unfortunately, such an approach can leave any organization with a reactive and reduced security posture. Too much information can not only create a “fog of more,” it can be an impediment to intelligence teams tasked with supporting critical decisions and upholding the security of an organization.

Indeed, the age of information is over, and the age of intelligence is upon us. As we discussed in the beginning, identifying the questions we need to answer is the key.

For example, let’s examine a question commonly posed by many stakeholders: “Are there hackers we should be concerned about?” Typically, intelligence teams may respond to such a question by leveraging operational resources to build profiles for any and all active hackers or threat actor groups. Without pre-established intelligence requirements, these teams would face the daunting and resource-intensive task of sifting through endless amounts of data to produce profile(s) of a large number of actors who may not even be the least bit relevant to the organization.

Instead, stakeholders and intelligence teams should first work to map threats to the organization in a manner that reveals the impact and relevancy of such a question. From there, teams could tailor the intelligence requirements from a vulnerability perspective, such as:

• What unpatched vulnerabilities does my organization currently have?

• Are any of these unpatched vulnerabilities tied to critical information and/or processes?

• If exploited, would the vulnerability provide access to critical information and/or processes?

• What business impact could result from malicious access by exploiting the vulnerability?

The following questions would provide relevant attack surface information to guide the development of intelligence requirements and help identify which threat actors could be a concern to the organization:

• What vulnerabilities are being discussed in the Deep & Dark Web?

• Have these vulnerabilities ever been exploited successfully?

• Which threat actors in the Deep & Dark are discussing these vulnerabilities?

• Do these actors intend on targeting these vulnerabilities?

• Are these actors capable of exploiting the vulnerabilities?

Specific, tailored questions such as those above would enable us to establish effective intelligence requirements. These intelligence requirements could then allow us to not only prioritize the production of threat actor profiles based on the specific actors considered most relevant and/or threatening to the organization, they would help us identify which specific vulnerabilities — if any — these threat actors could potentially exploit as a means of targeting the organization.

For instance, you might be concerned to hear that thieves were stealing jewels from brick homes in the east side of the neighborhood by exploiting vulnerable wireless garage door openers. However, you would be much less concerned if you resided in a home with no garage in the west side of the neighborhood.

It’s important to remember that we seek intelligence — whether tactical, operational or strategic in nature — to support decisions and take action. While each organization may have a different blend of intelligence requirements, all of these requirements are ultimately developed in support of one outcome: resiliency and operational continuity. In other words, if we were to peel back the layers and expose the root of any decision or action executed within an organization, we would see that the primary intention is to ensure the organization survives, remains profitable, and grows. This intent is ultimately what helps drive the development of accurate, effective intelligence requirements.

2. Collection

We can begin collecting information only once we have determined our intelligence requirements. For this step to be effective, it’s crucial to establish and implement a collection plan. Collection plans should align with pre-established intelligence requirements and, at minimum, address the following:

• Identify and prioritize the sources from which to collect the information

• Determine the resources and tools needed to collect the information from these sources

• Reveal any gaps that may prevent the collection of relevant information

• Determine when the information needs to be collected

An often overlooked aspect within the collection step is validation. If an intelligence team does not properly plan, they could end up wasting time and resources collecting the wrong information from the wrong sources at the wrong time, which could then lead to erroneous decisions and create unnecessary risks for stakeholders. As such, the collection phase must include validation steps that align with intelligence requirements and resources, such as:

• Are the sources timely, reliable, and credible, or will corroboration be required?

• Are dependent resources and tools consistently available? For example:
              • Has a Deep & Dark Web forum been taken down?
              • Has a cultural expert moved positions?
              • Will a vendor be inaccessible during the weekend?

• Does the intelligence team have the capabilities required for collecting the information?Capabilities can include languages, reverse-engineering skills, access to threat actor communities, etc.

• Does information collection create vulnerabilities for the intelligence team or result in an increased risk to the organization? 

• Can these collection vulnerabilities impact information veracity — such as false flags or misinformation?

It’s crucial to remember that the right information can come from a wide variety of different sources. Depending on the type of information needed, sources can range from accessible and open source — such as social and mass media reporting, periodicals, and public records — to much less accessible trust groups, third-party vendors, government liaisons, or established personal contacts. A unique and single-source of threat information is the Deep & Dark Web. It’s important to recognize that while difficult and even dangerous for those without the proper expertise and technologies to access, the Deep & Dark Web is a critical, abundant source of sensitive and detailed information that can serve to fill intelligence requirements and support decisions across the enterprise.

For more information about Flashpoint Advisory Services, Business Risk Intelligence, or to request a consultation, please visit: http://go.flashpoint-intel.com/AS-info

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