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GuardSight and Iron Bow

TomCast LX

Hello, and welcome back to this next TomCast from GuardSight, an IronBow Technologies company; we are a tactical cybersecurity-as-a-service organization dedicated to helping businesses protect their data, their assets, and their endpoints.

Today we are collaborating with the sales strategy manager from Iron Bow Technologies, Kristi Hudgins. Welcome Kristi! We’re discussing the relationship between GuardSight and Iron Bow for this TomCast, and I have a few questions to ask you.

Tom Wootton: How long have you been with Iron Bow?

Kristi Hudgins: I have been at Iron Bow for five years. I came to the company as a project manager, been moved into a sales role, and now I’m a strategic director.

Tom Wootton: Awesome. How have things changed for you since GuardSight came into the picture?

Kristi Hudgins: It’s really been a phenomenal journey so far. I really want to start by saying that we spent the better part of three years seeking out a company that we wanted to acquire and begin working with, and that research led us to GuardSight and when we found the GuardSight family, we knew that this was the right fit. The things that have changed as GuardSight and Iron Bow have come together is that we now have the ability to go after new opportunities that were never part of our purview beforehand. We’re able to look at security opportunities in a new way and also at Iron Bow native opportunities in a new way and bring those together from both a security and a digital transformation standpoint.

Tom Wootton: Okay. So I mean, that kind of answers the next question, but I’ll ask it anyway. What does Iron Bow do differently now that GuardSight is part of the family?

Kristi Hudgins: So there were a lot of things that we would look at in request for proposals and in requests for information that we really just had to stand down from that we didn’t have the capability to go after and we didn’t necessarily have subcontractor services that we felt comfortable leveraging. A key example of that is penetration testing. We have kind of classically avoided that for the last five years, ever since I’ve been with the company, even though we knew there were key opportunities across federal civilian and DOD and in the commercial marketplace, and now we can go after penetration testing in a new way. In addition to that, before GuardSight came into the picture for us, I didn’t know what a tabletop exercise even was. And now it’s so funny because I see them in request for proposals all the time, and so the light bulb has come on and I realized, wow, this isn’t just something that GuardSight offers.

It’s some cool new thing. It’s something that customers and clients really see a need for, and now we’re able to answer that call. In addition to that vulnerability testing, we have done a lot of cybersecurity practice work in the past. A lot of it was very perimeter based, and then as Zero Trust came into the picture, we started taking a new tactic and really focusing on the data and how to protect networks in a completely different way. Now that we’re able to leverage GuardSight from a vulnerability testing standpoint, it really opens up the aperture for us to go comfortably in front of customers who may not even know that they need to do these types of things and tell them why they need to do them, and then help them along their journey.

Tom Wootton: Wow, okay. That’s amazing. How has GuardSight changed the strategic outlook of Iron Bow?

Kristi Hudgins: Oh gosh, that’s a really, really big one. There are opportunities that we now have in our pipeline and that we are inserting into our pipeline that we never have before. One of them is actually a four to $500 million opportunity within the DOD that really aligns with GuardSight’s capabilities, and we are looking at a path on how to make sure that we have the facilities clearances that we need, the cleared resources that we need on the GuardSight side because the capabilities from a technical standpoint are already there so that we can tackle this opportunity. There’s a very large prime contractor that’s already the incumbent for this opportunity that we have a really strong relationship with. The relationship alone in the past, would not have been enough for us to go after this particular opportunity with them. Now they are opening up the door for us to talk with them and alleviate some of the burden of some of these services and implement GuardSight instead of trying to do it on their own.

That is a key example of something that we wouldn’t have been able to tackle in the past. In addition to that, there are opportunities in the federal space. They’re related to large organizations like the FCC and we would not have gone after those opportunities either, and we are now. They clearly stated in their request for proposals that they were looking for tabletop exercises twice a year. They were looking for vulnerability testing and they were looking for SecOps support services, and those are things that Iron Bow would’ve said, wow, that’s great, but we don’t, we don’t really do that. Now we do. So it’s a really exciting opportunity for us to go after these unique opportunities that are such a perfect fit for GuardSight. In addition to that, one of the other strategic growth opportunities that has occurred is there are so many things that Iron Bow does natively that complement GuardSight’s offerings very, very well.

For example, with everything that GuardSight does from the vulnerability assessment standpoint and SecOps as a service standpoint, and what your team offers with opportunities for improvement, that gives a great bridge into Iron Bow services to come in and bring in our engineering resources to help reduce the attack surface across the board for especially large portfolio clients and help them really improve their cybersecurity posture from the network standpoint. Where normally that would’ve been something that GuardSight would’ve said, ”Hey, here’s what you need to do.” But it’s not really something that we do. But Iron Bow actually compliments that piece very well. There are key tools that we utilize on a regular basis that now we can utilize them in a completely different way for network visibility, et cetera, in order to help clients improve their cybersecurity along with the SecOps services that GurdSight offers.

Tom Wootton: That’s a lot to digest, but I mean, it sounds like it really helping progress. Which kind of leads into the next question, even though it was partially answered as well, but how do you see the offerings that GuardSight has brought to the table impacting strategic growth overall?

Kristi Hudgins: So you’re right. Some of the things that I’ve said are a little bit repetitive, but I’ll try to answer it in a slightly different way. So whenever I look at, for example, the DOD opportunity that I mentioned that has a 400 to $500 million price tag on it, and that being something that historically we would’ve said, man, that’s great, but we just don’t know how we’re going to do that, are opportunities across the board like that that we see in commercial healthcare in DOD, Fed, and CIV. One of the examples that I’ll use that’s not DOD relevant is actually a large portfolio veterinarian clinic. I believe they have 101 sites right now and they have two more sites that they’re adding this year. They reached out to Iron Bow saying, ”Hey, here’s this long list of things that we want to cover from digital transformation managed services from both a network standpoint and a security standpoint.”

There would’ve been four things on that list that we would’ve been able to lean into pretty heavily, but the cybersecurity portion, especially from a managed services standpoint, we would’ve had to stand down to that. That’s now a key thing that we’re going to be talking to this large veterinary portfolio about and bringing GuardSight services onto the table along with Iron Bow’s offerings. So that’s a really good example of how we’re looking at things. In addition to that, we have a really strong healthcare practice at Iron Bow. We do a lot with Connected Care. We have devices that we send all across the country to veterans through a VA healthcare practice that we’ve developed over the last five years. Now we’re able to look at the VA in a whole new way and help them leverage not just the connected care piece of our portfolio, but also how do we protect those devices? How do we protect those assets and improve their cybersecurity posture across the board, not just the connected care piece. So those are some pretty big examples of how we are able to grow strategically together and continue and really just be a force multiplier collectively.

Tom Wootton: Sounds like it was a pretty big puzzle piece that was missing that seems to be putting the whole picture together now. Any other comments you’d like to make regarding the GuardSight Iron Bow relationship?

Kristi Hudgins: So I think the puzzle piece thing is a really good way to caveat that it truly was a missing piece. We have had a very strong engineering practice for many, many years. That’s really where our bread and butter has been. We built ourselves out in a DOD practice now because we have acquired GuardSight, and GuardSight has been specifically more commercially focused. It’s helping us build out our commercial practice in a brand new way, and then in the long term, it’s going to help us build out GuardSight’s DOD practice in a brand new way. So there’s a lot of synchronicity in symbiosis that’s going to continue to evolve over the next one, three, five years.

Tom Wootton: Man, that’s awesome. It just sounds like lift under the wings and upward trajectory.

Kristi Hudgins: Absolutely.