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Cybersecurity / International

Following international expansion, Alexandria cyber firm Nisos is doubling down on managed intelligence

After "every company became an e-commerce company" during the pandemic, Nisos CEO David Etue says a holistic, actionable approach to cyber is more important than ever.

More digital functions bring more digital risk. Photo by Sigmund on Unsplash

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Leaders of cyber firm Nisos think intelligence needs to be more streamlined than ever. But that doesn’t mean tech firms should ignore the big picture.

Nisos, headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia, has moved around varying aspects of the cyber industry since it started as a consulting company in 2015. Nowadays, the 50-employee firm focuses on managed intelligence in areas like cyber, fraud, platforms, protective reputation and third parties, and it’s boomed over the past year as companies move more and more online.

In January, Nisos raised $6 million in a round led by Paladin Capital Group to expand its operations and international footprint, and it opened up an office in Belfast, Ireland, in October.

Nisos CEO David Etue, who joined the team in 2020, said that while many cybersecurity organizations start with financial institutions, Nisos noticed a much greater need in the tech sector. Many tech companies, he said, deal with cybersecurity issues much earlier on because security is baked into the trust of tech companies’ platforms and products.

And, he said, it’s a need that has only grown during the pandemic. According to Etue, “every company became an ecommerce company” in April of last year.

David Etue. 

“Organizations, while they may be dealing with the same cybersecurity risks, that’s [been] amplified,” Etue told Technical.ly. “Bringing those other risks into the picture from a broader cyber or internet perspective really has an impact on their business.”

The digital expansion also means more pain points for social media and SaaS companies, Etue said. The threat of reputation damage and disinformation bring a need for more and more data to look at every possible risk.

“These are more complex problems to solve than, where is this malware coming from?” Etue said.

For Nisos, this meant doubling down on its managed intelligence, meaning a focus on threat data that is actionable after being found. Etue said that this often involves connecting internal teams to find the biggest risks — especially since the person who takes care of fraud at a company is not the same person who takes care of the security of camera systems, and that’s still not the same person who manages security of the people and building.

This more holistic approach is crucial with new threats, and new people capable of creating them, every day. If a gamer decides to attack the CEO of a video game company, for example, which Etue said is a frequent problem for Nisos’ clients, it’s an issue for many different parts of a company and opens up vulnerability for a variety of different departments.

“That’s a problem set that, all of a sudden, touches a number of different risks…” Etue said. “For organizations, the more and more of an ecommerce company they become, the more these risks need to be looked at holistically.”

The focus on managed intelligence, Etue said, has been so strong that Nisos also exited a few parts of its business to focus on the subset earlier this year. Since its founding, he added, Nisos has almost doubled its managed intelligence business annually.

Going forward, he hopes that the company can continue bringing on specialists in the subject as the need continues to grow for companies looking to ramp up cybersecurity.

“We need to bring experts to people in process and technology, and if we can combine those we can solve a lot of problems in an incredibly scalable way,” Etue said.

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