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Thought Leaders in Cyber Security: BitSight CEO Tom Turner (Part 4)

Posted on Thursday, Jul 26th 2018

Sramana Mitra: Let me see if I understood that. How do you work with board members? Is it a Board that has a dashboard about that company’s risk that you’re providing?

Tom Turner: What we often see from our customers is they will use BitSight’s rating in the following form. A company will use its own rating and compare it to a competitive set or peer organizations. That’s a way to be able to set up any security or risk discussion that they’re having with the Board.

Sramana Mitra: I see. It’s a peer group rating comparison that helps the security and governance committee of the Board to assess where the company stands with respect to security risk.

Tom Turner: Yes. My Board member asks me to benchmark our performance in all kinds of areas. We pioneer the ability for that same conversation to happen with security.

Sramana Mitra: The cyber security conversation is happening at all the Board levels. The fact that you’re giving a tool with which Boards can have that conversation with a benchmarking capability is very helpful. Tell me about one open problem in the universe that you have on your radar that you would recommend a new entrepreneur to go research on and look for a potential open problem in.

Tom Turner: I’ll tell you a funny story. I’ve been in this market space for a long time. I’m not a technologist by training or even by practice. I would always struggle thinking about how do you make this all consumable to people so they can digest it and demystify it a bit. Four years ago, I found BitSight. I thought this was amazing. I understand ratings. I can consume that.

An area for an entrepreneur to focus on is in cyber security. It’s somewhat adjacent to where BitSight spends its time with its customers. There’s an opportunity to demystify cyber security inside where it’s not completely aligned. We take a great view of a company from the outside and that allows for a conversation about performance over time based on outcomes. The same problem needs to be solved inside a company with internal capabilities that are being put in place.

I think there’s a lot of room for innovation there and entrepreneurship. I think we’ve done a great job of enabling a language, a framework, and a metric that can become universal. The same problem statement exists inside of an organization. We’d love to partner with a bright young entrepreneur who could solve that problem and marry that with what we’re doing from the outside.

Sramana Mitra: How big a company are you running?

Tom Turner: Today, we are just over 350 people. I’m in our headquarters here in Cambridge, Massachusetts. We have about 150 people here. We have an office in Lisbon with about a hundred employees.

Sramana Mitra: Why that? How did that happen?

Tom Turner: I like to go to nice places with good fish. Very early in BitSight’s history, we launched our product offering in 2014. Late in 2014, we acquired an organization called Anubis Network that was headquartered in Lisbon. They were a data provider to us. They were a company of about 30 to 35 people. We now have a hundred people there. It’s a sneaky tech hub scene over at Lisbon. It’s a great culture artifact for our company to have a fully functioning office in Lisbon in the same way we have it here.

Sramana Mitra: What revenue level have you reached so far?

Tom Turner: We don’t discuss revenue publicly.

Sramana Mitra: Just a range.

Tom Turner: This year, we’ll be in the $80 million to $100 million.

Sramana Mitra: Excellent. Congratulations! Thank you for your time.

This segment is part 4 in the series : Thought Leaders in Cyber Security: BitSight CEO Tom Turner
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