Flashpoint, shining a light on threat intelligence from the dark web

New York-based Flashpoint was founded in 2010, and has evolved its mission to comb the dark web to provide business risk intelligence to help organizations mitigate risk across the enterprise.

The company is headed up by CEO Josh Lefkowitz, with Evan Kohlmann and Josh Devon serving as chief innovation officer, and chief operating officer respectively.

Over the course of two rounds, Flashpoint has raised a total of $15m in funding. The most recent Series B closed in July 2016 and was led by Greycroft Partners.

The company has 75 employees and over 80 customers in private and public sector across multiple verticals. The majority of customers are in North America, with plans to expand across South America and Europe over 2017.

Product

The Flashpoint offering is a combination of people, data, and technology leveraged to generate business risk intelligence for its customers, from traditional intelligence to intelligence that aids all departments across a company’s enterprise. All aspects of Flashpoint’s offering are tailored to specifically drill into, and find relevant information in the dark web. This includes having multi-lingual analysts that are experienced in embedding themselves within dark web communities and possessing an understanding of the culture and digital-customs.

The Flashpoint technology assists the analysts in working around technical issues such as captcha solving, evading bot detection, collecting timely data, and assisting in maintaining a positive reputation.

According to Flashpoint, this combination of analysts with technology allows analysts to be far more effective and provide the ability to serve a multitude of customers.

The product is sold via a subscription model. Flashpoint customers receive anywhere between three to eight reports a day. Depending on the package, they also get a set number of hours every month which they can use to engage directly with analysts. Customers can also sign onto the online Flashpoint portal and run custom queries, or use the API to import and query data in a local tool.

Breaking the Fourth Wall

Obtaining meaningful threat intelligence from the dark web, and from the internet that is relevant and usable by businesses is a large task. But with its specific focus on the deep and dark web, and mix of technology and specialist staff gives Flashpoint a good foundation upon they can build on.

Perhaps the biggest challenge Flashpoint will have is differentiating itself in an already noisy threat intelligence market. The offering differs from vendors such as FireEye (Mandiant) or Crowdstrike that focus on nation-state or APT’s, or vendors that focus on indicator feeds, or even primarily on the open web. An element of customer education will likely be needed to gain mainstream understanding of how Flashpoint differs, or complements others in this space such as Digital Shadows, InsightPartners, Recorded Future, Cyveillance, and others

In that regard, pursuing technology partnerships, as the company already does, will be key in generating more awareness of its offering as well as getting its intel in front of more customers.

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