Following the launch of the CounterCraft Business Partner Program, we spoke to VP of Enterprise Sales, Raúl Perez to understand more about becoming a CounterCraft partner, and why deception is a such a strong differentiator in the cybersecurity services market. Raul joined the company in spring 2018, and brings significant commercial business experience and expertise in implementing secure digital environments. Raúl now plays an integral role in the global expansion strategy, leading on the partner program.

After 20 years in the industry, he comments that he’s never before seen such rapid adoption of an emerging technology, and tells us why deception is a lucrative opportunity for MSSPs and service providers who must innovate in response to increasingly difficult to detect cyber threats.

Interview with Raúl Pérez

What Does a Typical CounterCraft Business Partner Look Like?

Our typical business partners are large, mature organizations who are well established in the cyber security market. They’re well informed about the latest cyber security solutions. Partners look to us for revenue generating services — they’re always searching for the most innovative, advanced solution that few others have, and that is something CounterCraft provides. Deception technology is a particularly strong differentiator in today’s market, and CounterCraft stands out for its unique platform capabilities and power to deliver advanced intelligence about threats and adversaries. Deception is an opportunity for service providers to offer a whole new portfolio of services; it’s not simply a case of adding deception under the existing umbrella.

What do MSSPs and consulting firms value the most?

Customization is one of our biggest differentiators. There are lots of deception providers out there that can create hundreds of deception endpoints very rapidly using automation, but these endpoints lack credibility. They are not aligned with the individual customer environment and it can be very obvious to an attacker that they’re in a honeypot. Fake environments with low credibility don’t work in the long term.

Partners can greatly enhance the level of personalization we provide with tailored consultancy based on experience and existing customer insights. It is absolutely critical that deception is executed in a way that’s bespoke to the end-customer’s needs and environment; purely automated solutions lose effectiveness just as quickly as they’re deployed.

Where does deception sit in the cybersecurity service layers provided by CounterCraft partners?

Deception is considered very cool, a hot topic, and it’s certainly a market differentiator. Deception works in several areas; you can hunt new threats, and you can also create a brand new threat hunting capability that generates highly-personalized threat intelligence. Some partners adopt CounterCraft for threat intelligence, others for counterintelligence. Our solution is very flexible, so we can easily adapt to suit newly defined deception portfolios.

We focus on deploying deception technology as a solution to improve the efficiency of threat hunting and threat detection teams. CounterCraft is a perfect fit with our existing and prospective partners’ needs, which are to be able to generate unique intelligence data from within end-customers’ own environments.

What is Involved in Becoming a Partner?

Becoming a partner is a simple, painless process. CounterCraft offers the option of taking an MSSP license to create immediate revenue opportunities without a huge initial investment. Service Providers can benefit from the product as soon as the end-client purchases the solution. I would describe it as ‘pay as you grow’.

Training takes one week to complete, and includes consultancy, technical and sales training which equips new partners to integrate our offering in their wider portfolio and do business independently. Consultancy partners undertake training in the Deception Asset Studio environment — and this is the one tool that no one else is currently offering. Now, partner onboarding takes place online; we’re planning to launch intensive onsite training programs in the next few months.

“Everyone is interested in this emerging field. I’ve been in the cybersecurity industry for 20 years, and I’ve never before seen anything grow so quickly or succeeded in closing partnerships so fast”.

How can an MSSP Integrate the Solution into its Portfolio?

It’s very easy, actually. We provide APIs that enable MSSP partners to connect the CounterCraft console with their SIEM, EDR, threat intel platform or orchestration system. CounterCraft interacts seamlessly with existing security architecture in partners’ or end-customers’ environments. And, our development is driven by customer feedback and requirements. We can develop new integration capabilities within just a few weeks.

What is the Appetite for Deception Among Service Providers and MSSPs?

It’s still emerging. The deception market, including CounterCraft, is growing in a good way. More and more, MSSPs are expected to respond to gaps in the market and customers are increasingly asking for deception solutions. So, MSSPs and service providers will have to introduce deception into their portfolio in response to market demand, which is also confirmed by the likes of Gartner.

Traditional reactive solutions don’t deliver the accuracy needed to combat today’s cyber threats. We can detect threats that are invisible on other platforms, and it’s important to remember that even a 0.1% reduction is significant when organizations are facing 10 million attacks every year. Deception is notably effective in response to what are known as black swan threats—in other words, emerging and targeted threats that are very difficult to detect.

Gartner recently commented on the rate of growth in this field and anticipates that 10% of enterprises will need to have deception technology in place within the next year. Currently, the demand for deception is coming from large, global corporations, but we might see this trend evolve over the next few years.

Are you Looking for New Partners?

We’re looking for new partners in South America, having made a lot of good progress in Europe, the UK and Central America since the launch of the Business Partner Program. We have had fantastic success so far, closing 10 partnerships with some of the biggest players in the market.

To Conclude, What are Your Personal Highlights Since Launching the Partner Program?

I joined the CounterCraft team earlier in 2018, and those six months have gone very fast! It’s been an intense journey implementing a lot of new strategic plans, but the feeling and the feedback has been amazing. Everyone is interested in this emerging field. I’ve been in the cybersecurity industry for 20 years, and I’ve never before seen anything grow so quickly or succeeded in closing partnerships so fast.