Ross, author of the Amazon best-seller "Cyber for Builders" and Head of Product at LimaCharlie, brings a unique blend of expertise and insight to our discussion of the challenges faced by cybersecurity startups.
Watch the full Cybersecurity Standup episode with Ross Haleliuk:
Ross Haleliuk Cybersecurity Startup Podcast Highlights
In this episode, Ross tackles the seldom-addressed gaps in cybersecurity literature, particularly the challenges faced by startups in this sector.
His book "Cyber for Builders" is a unique resource, offering valuable advice to those involved with founding cybersecurity startups, and others navigating this complex industry. Instead of another ‘guide to acronyms,’ the book focuses on the business side of cybersecurity, answering questions like “Who are the different players in this space?” and “What are the differences between selling to the government and SMBs?” and even “How do you keep up with everything in cyber?”
(Spoiler alert for the last one: you don’t.)
In the Standup, Ross explained his impetus in answering these questions. His intention was for the book to be a guide for anyone eager to grasp the diverse cyber ecosystem and what it involves, including channel partners, analyst firms, investors, and various other stakeholders. For those interested in wrangling structure out of a fast-moving industry, “Cyber for Builders” takes the reader through how these different entities interact, coexist, and influence–making it an invaluable resource for anyone looking to demystify the complex network of relationships and incentives that drive the cybersecurity sector as a whole.
In our conversation, Ross emphasized the unique positioning of cybersecurity in the broader spectrum of industries. Unlike many fields that operate within a narrowly defined scope, cybersecurity has a far-reaching impact across various sectors. This universal relevance is crucial in understanding the diverse challenges and opportunities that cybersecurity startups face. Ross encapsulated this idea succinctly:
"Cybersecurity is not a vertical. It is a horizontal. Security touches every industry, every type of customer, every type of technology."
Thanks to his years of blog writing and his involvement in a healthy LinkedIn-based community discourse, Ross also incorporates insights from different perspectives into “Cyber for Builders.” By tapping into the open-source mentality that thrives in the technology sector, he is able to successfully zoom out from the vendor POV.
Ross reminds listeners (and readers) it’s not only analysts and channel partners who are driving the industry; there are threat actors galvanizing innovation and investors propelling entrepreneurial efforts. This inclusion of players in the cybersecurity industry has clearly allowed Ross to see beyond conventional delineations in cyber, and explain how vast and interconnected the industry really is.
Though a humble speaker–he downplayed the “best seller” title several times–Ross is very clearly a lifelong learner. In a field that evolves seemingly overnight, staying updated and adaptable is key to success, and Ross has certainly demonstrated such. His approach to content creation mirrors this ethos, focusing on producing thoughtful, well-researched content that genuinely contributes to the cybersecurity discourse (and he presents a well-balanced opinion on the utility of generative AI tools, too!).
Another highlight of our discussion was Ross's perspective on the role of product management in cybersecurity. He sheds light on how this role is central to developing effective cybersecurity solutions, intertwining technical know-how with strategic thinking.
That said, Ross protested that he ‘keeps up’ with the industry, instead emphasizing that he’s someone who needs downtime to develop his thoughts–something that’s admirable to hear among the increasingly depressing statistics around burnout in cyber.
Join the discussion with Ross Haleliuk
Join me on LinkedIn as I explore these topics and more with Ross.
The intricacies and challenges of the cybersecurity market are sure to expand, including those specific to cybersecurity startups, and I’ll be doing my best to keep up on Cybersecurity Standup.