Why It Matters: Security for Startups

How the CISO-in-Residence Role Ensures Resilient and Secure Solutions are Brought to Market

by David Fairman

SixThirty is continually looking to improve the value we bring to our portfolio companies and corporate partners. As part of this natural evolution, we have appointed David Fairman and Dustin Wilcox to serve as Partners and CISOs-in-Residence.

Fairman currently serves as Chief Security Officer (CSO) for Netskope APAC, the world’s fastest-growing private cybersecurity firm. He was previously CSO at National Australia Bank. Wilcox is Vice-President and CISO for Anthem, a Fortune 30 global leader in managed healthcare. He previously served as Vice-President and CISO for Centene Corporation.

Together, Fairman and Wilcox will offer seasoned cyber expertise and guidance to SixThirty’s portfolio of early stage fintech, insurtech, privacy and digital health companies. Read the full press release here.

Below, David Fairman shares his insight on the newly created roles:

Why is the CISO-in-Residence role important?

The CISO-in-Residence role has gained impetus and focus over the past few years among venture capital firms. This role is commonly held by experienced CISOs and other security executives who can serve as expert advisors to startups and entrepreneurs, helping them to understand the needs of operational security teams, how enterprises are managing cyber and digital risk, and the problems these innovative companies are trying to solve.

This instrumental role will provide significant insights and value to SixThirty portfolio companies and ultimately help deliver solutions that make a positive impact across the global cyber security industry.

What is the value to SixThirty’s portfolio companies and LPs?

This position recognizes the need for people who have run security organizations to share their experiences, knowledge, and perspective with other leaders. It is intended to strengthen SixThirty’s value to entrepreneurs and portfolio companies, as well as the due diligence and investment process itself.

Dustin and I will support SixThirty’s existing portfolio companies in their early go-to-market program and offer entrepreneurs unparalleled guidance on achieving product market fit and customer success. We will provide portfolio companies with a real world understanding of customer needs and share seasoned expertise on how to sell cybersecurity products to global enterprises.

We will work directly with entrepreneurs pre-and post-investment, supporting their ideation processes, highlighting greenfield market opportunities, validating their value propositions, refining go-to-market strategies and optimizing their early-stage success by establishing product market fit.

There is currently a deficiency in the mid-market around cyber risk management. Many VCs are now realizing that cyber risk across the portfolio is a topic that requires focus in order to protect their investments — if appropriate action is taken, this will increase the value of the portfolio.

How is this relevant to SixThirty’s thesis?

The worlds of finance, insurance, health and privacy are colliding — on the ground and in boardrooms. Driving the convergence is a perfect storm of pressures that challenges our sense of personal wellbeing including an aging demographic, shifts in accountability for retirement and health care from institutions to individuals, and relentless breaches of our private information. The scale, speed and pervasiveness of these changes gives room for big, bold ideas.

As the Financial Services, Health and Insurance industries look to exploit their data, further digitize their business and collaborate with partners and look to fintechs, insurtechs and digital health start-ups, it is imperative that cyber, privacy and fraud risk management practices and controls are integrated into the fabric of those solutions from the ground up. No longer can solutions afford to have security bolted on as an afterthought.

Organizations are looking, and rightfully expect, that new technologies have built security and privacy into the design. This is now the minimum price of entry and expectation of institutions and customers.

The creation of these roles gives rise to cross pollinating cyber risk and privacy capabilities and consideration across the entire portfolio, not just with the information security portfolio. We are creating a capability that enables more dynamic and impactful ways of bridging these areas, bringing expertise in cyber, privacy and fraud risk to create more resilient and secure solutions to market.

STL #venture firm investing in the most innovative ideas across globe. #fintech #insurtech #digitalhealth #cybersecurity