50 Best Workplaces of the Year 2021
The Silicon Review
In today’s digital world, companies are finding it immensely difficult to deal with security challenges. With the vast amount of data that already exists and is newly created, companies must have proper threat hunting and intelligence programs in place to address sophisticated adversaries. Conventional tools are not sufficient, and companies are always on the lookout for services and solutions that can help them deter risks and threats. Apart from identifying the threats, companies must also be equipped with the knowledge and expertise necessary to counter them. In many cases, companies do not have the required resources to address risks, and in some cases, they don’t even realize that risks exist.
Globally, there are many companies delivering excellent solutions to counter threats and risks, but Nisos stands out from the rest. Managed Intelligence™ is how Nisos combines core intelligence capabilities (threat intelligence, cyber threat intelligence, and external threat intelligence) to deliver a more meaningful and robust set of timely, relevant, and actionable intelligence for clients. The company’s services cover a range of intelligence domains, including cyber intelligence, fraud intelligence, platform intelligence, protective intelligence, reputation intelligence, and third-party intelligence, and are researched by its analysts and curated for clients to specifically meet their needs.
In conversation with Jennifer DeTrani, General Counsel, Corporate Secretary, and Head of Culture of Nisos
Q. What inspired the establishment of the company?
Nisos’s co-founders had spent decades in the intelligence community working for the US Government and witnessing the uptick in commercial attacks targeting the private sector. They observed that the increasing gap in capabilities and skillsets often limited a company’s ability to meaningfully and lawfully respond to threat actor attacks. At Nisos, we believe that actionable intelligence can transform a client’s ability to protect themselves from digital threats.
Q. What role do your employees play in the innovations that underline your solutions and services?
The very nature of our industry shows us that if you don’t innovate, you won’t be in business for very long. Threat actors innovate more than anybody, and we must match that innovation. That’s why innovation is at the top of our priority list. Similarly, we know that innovation and change can come from any person in any position on any team. We believe in fostering a culture of innovation by having a cash incentive program for employees who have inventions that lead to filed and issued patents. We also try to hire equally between the private and public sectors so that we can merge two sets of backgrounds and not become attached to a certain approach. We all learn from each other in a startup - that’s part of the fun.
Q. What steps do you take to create and promote a healthy culture?
At Nisos, we believe that a healthy culture is a reflection of a healthy leadership team. Collectively, we think about the well-being of our employees in a very holistic way. We start with the premise of allowing people to work in the way they will be able to turn over the best work product while still maintaining our level of professionalism. Add a liberal dose of time management and flexibility around time off so that people can pick their kids up in the middle of the day or attend games, or themselves, play a sport, take a class, and learn a language. We expect people to work well together, play nice, be kind and supportive. And from there, we really lean into the diversity of our group and have fun working together.
Q. How did your team at Nisos cope as the COVID-19 pandemic set in? What did Nisos do to help its employees and clients in such difficult times?
COVID-19 has had profound effects on so many people, families, and businesses like Nisos. For one, many of us have never met in person - and that goes for our CEO as well, who joined us during the pandemic. Like so many other businesses, we are constantly navigating the pathways that the pandemic has carved out for us - there are no dull or easy moments. We strive to keep our employee stakeholders informed and to treat everyone fairly - first and foremost. And being that we pride ourselves on being an agile startup, we strive for innovation in how we think through helping our employees. In addition to plenty of resources that are managed through our co-employer, including an employee assistance program that we encourage everyone to use for some added support; we are always thinking of novel ways to keep our employees feeling valued. We don’t have a coffee cart and can’t go to the gym together, but what about a self-care/lifestyle bonus?
Q. What does the future hold for your company and its customers? Are exciting things on the way?
The future of Nisos is limited only by the limitations we put on it. We’ve got so many talented individuals working together on topics you’ll literally see on the front page of newspapers tomorrow, so there is no shortage of work for us. With constant client acquisition and an increasingly strong go-to-market approach, we’re always looking for top-tier talent to address our increasing demand to work remotely in the US or in Northern Ireland (where we recently spun up a research and development hub to tap into the talent pool there). Along the way, we’ll keep calibrating to ensure that we’ve got the right work-life balance as we continue to navigate through and out of the pandemic and hopefully back into some long-awaited and much-missed in-person meetings.
Meet one of the leaders behind the success of Nisos
Jennifer DeTrani is General Counsel, Corporate Secretary, and Head of Culture of Nisos. Jennifer is a visiting fellow at the National Security Institute at George Mason University’s Law School and serves on the executive leadership team of SunLaw, a non-profit that focuses on the education and advancement of in-house leaders. Jennifer has a demonstrated history of creating mission-driven results in the cybersecurity, information technology, secure communications, and software industries. In addition to building in-house teams, she focuses on compliance, innovation, outreach, and education within the legal community, with a focus on technology, security, and privacy. Prior to Nisos, she co-founded a secure messaging company, Wickr, ran a solo law practice, practiced corporate law in BigLaw, and served as a federal prosecutor at the Department of Justice.