i2Coalition Member Spotlight Q&A: Recorded Future
Recorded Future provides actionable intelligence to its growing roster of clients, serving as a force multiplier for those battling online adversaries. Gathering data from the open web, dark web, and technical sources, Recorded Future provides front-line cybersecurity teams with the intelligence they need to fight the good fight, while empowering the C-suite with the insights to tackle tomorrow’s security challenges.
Recorded Future is also a member of the i2Coalition and the Public Policy Working Group, which is responsible for determining the specific responses from the i2Coalition to global policy issues that are important to the Internet’s infrastructure.
We caught up with Jon Morgan, Director of Threat Data Enablement at Recorded Future, to discuss big-picture threats, the power of contextualized information, and why public policy-makers need to be goal-oriented.
i2Coalition: Can you give us the elevator pitch for Recorded Future?
Jon Morgan, Director Threat Data Enablement at Recorded Future: We empower countries and organizations with actionable intelligence to keep critical businesses and infrastructure safe. Companies need to be able to see what the bad guys can see to stay a step ahead.
i2Coalition: The cyber threat landscape can seem really scary at first—and then the more you explore it, the scarier it actually seems!
JM: Yes, but demystifying those threats can make them feel less scary. A lot of what Recorded Future does is based upon collecting as much open-source info and dark-web info as possible, structuring it in a way that’s understandable and actionable by their clients. Our proprietary Intelligence Graph has collected, structured, and analyzed threat data from every corner of the internet for over a decade, turning large sums of data into actionable insights. Our Intelligence Cloud Platform then enables our clients to quickly identify the most prominent threats and come up with a plan to counteract those threats.
i2Coalition: Since your under-the-radar launch in 2007, you’ve reached over $200 million in annual recurring revenue, with a roster of more than 1,500 clients. Not bad.
JM: We’re seeing extraordinary sales numbers and are currently working with organizations and governments in over 60 countries, which speaks to the importance of understanding the evolution of the threat landscape. Companies are recognizing the value of human-comprehensible threat intelligence. It’s a force multiplier for their security professionals.
i2Coalition: What impact do you think recent geopolitical events have had on your more recent growth?
I think that there’s tremendous reputational and supply chain risk that’s been injected into the global system. That impacts everything from enterprise to the public sector. The geopolitical instability we’re seeing—from the war in Ukraine and the China/Taiwan tension and beyond into climate change—increases the numbers and magnitude of Internet-based threats. When it comes to intelligence, it’s important to digest and act upon the trends that emerge, and security professionals are recognizing that more and more.
i2Coalition: Besides cybersecurity and threat monitoring, you also seem to be building a media empire. In fact, Recorded Future’s publication The Record made it into Fast Company’s Most Innovative Media Companies list. Can you tell us about those efforts, and where you see them going?
The Record produces some fascinating and relevant information for everyone—not just our clients. This is another avenue to empower the public. Having Dina Temple-Raston from NPR become the executive producer for our Click Here podcast has been really exciting. It’s phenomenal to see how The Record and Click Here have grown, not just in terms of audience size but also credibility. The stories they’re telling are necessary, relevant, and most importantly digestible by everyone from security professionals to my grandparents. Knowledge really is power!
i2Coalition: Why did your team find it important to join i2Coalition?
The i2Coalition is, from our perspective, a consortium of like-minded companies that really seeks to make the global Internet a better-functioning and protected, privacy-oriented space. That’s something that we have to follow very closely in line with our objectives. We also have a large number of infrastructure-specific clients, and we ourselves spent a lot of time working in the infrastructure space. It just seemed like a very natural fit for us to participate in these efforts and share our perspective and our voice from a security standpoint.
i2Coalition: Which i2Coalition initiatives connect most deeply with the ethos behind Recorded Futures?
I joined the Public Policy Working Group this week, which was eye-opening. There are initiatives underway here in the US and also in Europe that will have long-term, broad-reaching impacts on the Internet community. It’s helpful for us to understand that, but also to lend our voice in how these initiatives can be shaped. Our biggest concern is for well-meaning policymakers to not have access to informed advice—or to only get disingenuous advice. The bad guys aren’t dealing with lobbyists, pressure groups, and yes-men: they’re totally goal-oriented, and states should be on that wavelength as well if they want to stay ahead of increasingly-sophisticated threats. Those protecting the Internet, and the rights of its users, have to be similarly goal-oriented—and we’re proud to contribute to that.