What Cybersecurity Can Learn From Marketo

In a room of marketers, “Interset is like Marketo for security" perfectly conveys cybersecurity's goal. Just as we pursue sales leads, security teams must pursue threat leads.

Is Interset the Marketo of Information Security_

Last week,  I was kindly invited to CMOInflect, a day of thoughtful discussions with marketing leaders in Silicon Valley. It was a great way to share ideas and best practices, and I’m grateful I had the opportunity to meet and hear from them. I thought I’d share some of the tips I gleaned from the marketing leaders at the event.


10 Tips From Silicon Valley CMOs

  1. Build your marketing team based on business needs, not general-purpose people. The best players are super collaborative, ambitious goal setters, and analytical.
  2. MQL/SQLs are gameable. Leads, clicks, etc. are meaningless. Pipeline is all that matters.
  3. Consider data-mining techniques in email to make sure SFDC is populated.
  4. Marketing thinks their relationship with sales is better than sales thinks of their relationship with marketing. One way to verify if marketing and sales have a good relationship is the “hug test.” Hug each other when you see each other. If you can’t hug, it means something is wrong with the relationship.
  5. Velocity matters. How fast are leads going through the pipeline and converting into sales? Look to see where they are getting stuck, and work together with sales to find ways to make it flow better/faster.
  6. Work together with sales: Meet often; use the same reports; agree on the need for, and the meaning of, data in those reports.
  7. Accurate data (in SFDC!) is critical for good decisions.
  8. The most important time for customer success is the first 90 days. Determine who else in the account is important. Who is responsible for adoption, usage, and growth? These are not the same contacts for selection and purchasing.
  9. Just because you can measure it, doesn’t mean it’s worth measuring.
  10. When you get a win report, review it holistically. For example Marketo Opportunity Analyzer will tell you what happened each step of the way, which campaign it was part of, which LDR passed it on, how it may have gotten recycled, and how the whole opportunity progressed.

Credits to #CMOInflect, Sept. 21, 2017: “Panel: Go-To-Market/Lifecycle Marketing” with Christina Ellwood (moderator), Rene Bonvanie, David Hsieh, Richard Heitmann and “Panel: Marketing as a Revenue Driver” with Heidi Bullock (moderator), Sydney Sloan, Rick Shultz, Steven Wastie


How Marketo and Interset Are Alike

These last two pieces of advice really reminded me of what Interset does, since what we do is essentially the same. Marketo helps you measure all the right indicators to optimize marketing and sales resources. Interset helps you measure all the right indicators to help you optimize information-security resources.

In fact, this analogy is exactly what I had to say to explain what Interset does. In a room of marketing leaders, when people asked me which company I was with and what we did, the words “security analytics” or “unsupervised machine learning for cybersecurity” didn’t resonate well. What did click with everyone was the statement, “It’s like Marketo for security.”

You see, all modern marketers rely on a system such as Marketo to provide a lead score, an indicator of whether a prospect is worth further investigation from sales. Similarly, Interset provides a score, but it’s called a risk score. It’s an indicator of whether or not a user (or system) is a good target for an information-security team to spend time investigating.

Marketo connects all the pieces that you need about the prospect: which web pages they looked at, which subject got their attention, which documents they downloaded, who they connected with. Meanwhile, Interset connects all the pieces that you need about the suspect: which  IP address they looked at, which system got their attention, which confidential files they printed or downloaded.

Of course, this is not possible to do manually. That’s why Marketo is a marketing automation system. In fact, did you know Marketo uses Hortonworks’ big-data platform? They process 1 billion activities per customer per day, and use Hadoop to improve cost efficiency of operations while scaling up.

Information security has the same problem. There is too much data to do this manually. That’s why Interset also leverages big data (Hortonworks or Cloudera) to distill billions of events into a handful of prioritized threat leads for security-operations efficiency. (There are actually more parallels—such as how big data provides the underpinnings for the scoring outcomes for both—but more on that another time.)

From an outcome perspective, Interset is the Marketo of information security. And considering Marketo released its first product in 2008 and was sold for $1.79 billion in 2016, just imagine what that means for Interset which released its first product in 2015.

10 Marketing Tips from Silicon Valley CMOs