On Memorial Day, 2021, three organizations had their automated network defenses breached. Blackpoint Cyber’s 24×7 Threat Operations Center saved them from being mass-ransomed and having their data stolen.
For CEO and founder of Blackpoint Jon Murchison, an ex-NSA computer network operations expert, and his Threat Operations Team, it’s a typical day. The fact that Blackpoint could save them means his mission to protect his customers with the fastest and most effective technology is working.
“We take our mission extremely seriously,” Jon said. “It’s common for customers of most security companies to get breached on a fairly regular basis. Our active response arm knocks the bad guys out of the network, isolates boxes, and stops lateral spread in the network.”
Jon’s foundation in network engineering gave him the IT fundamentals for an extraordinarily successful career in the intelligence community and computer network operations. While in college, he developed an interest in IT and computer networking when his brother, Rod, who was working in the Silicon Valley tech scene, gave him three Cisco books. Playing on the Division 1 tennis team at the University of Maryland and studying marketing, he was unclear about his professional future. “I was focused on my sport, training six days a week, and didn’t know what I wanted to do for the rest of my life,” Jon recalled. “I always liked computers. My dad worked for IBM for 27 years, so we had laptops back in the early ’90s and were dialing up the bulletin board systems before the web existed. But it was networking that intrigued me because you could build something.”
Self-taught from the Cisco books, Jon became certified as a Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) while still in college. Changing his focus to network engineering opened doors to internships and living in Maryland gave him government opportunities which led to cybersecurity work. Jon worked for the National Security Agency and later became a government contractor building technology and developing software.
By 2014, Jon could hardly keep up with the growing demand of his government contracting company when he was injured in an unfortunate skiing accident that left him recovering for many months. He’d successfully completed a diverse set of high-profile government missions over 12 years, which he jokingly describes as being the bad guy for the right team. “I was so hyper-engaged that I couldn’t grow my company more, but I couldn’t pull myself away,” Jon said. “But when I got injured, I had no choice. I thought maybe it was time I take a crack at doing defense for the commercial world. I felt that was where the real battleground was in the cyber game, since in many ways offensive cyber missions is an economic weapon the bad guys use against the commercial world.”
Jon sold his company and left government work to start Blackpoint Cyber. He and the team he put together spent three years and millions of dollars building the Blackpoint Cyber platform from the ground up. With a reputation for successfully executing the most challenging and high-priority missions, Jon also assembled a world-class board of directors with heavy hitters such as Chris Inglis, former deputy director of the NSA and the first national cyber director nominated by President Joe Biden; Ron Clark, former DHS and NSC; and Hamid Akhavan, former CEO of T-Mobile.
He became focused on helping MSPs after the MSP community convinced him to build a multi-tenant cloud platform and run it as a service. “Companies weren’t running what I’d call a real security operation center,” Jon said. “It was alert-driven, but there wasn’t an action side to it. Breaches have an extremely short time window to stop them, especially if they’re from a criminal group, and I didn’t see any tech on the market doing that.”
Today, Blackpoint Cyber’s track record is one of the best in the business. Blackpoint prides itself as having some of the fastest and most effective response in the game, offering a 24/7 Managed Detection and Response (MDR) service using their own software platform, SNAP-Defense. The threat operation center is the action arm for detecting and stopping breaches at the earliest stages and providing real-time response when needed using its patented live network map and lateral spread detection techniques.
How Jon Fueled Over 100% Growth
Blackpoint’s growth is off the charts, growing well past 100% in less than a year with renewal rates at 94%. Technology Marketing Toolkit (TMT) has helped drive Blackpoint’s fast growth. Blackpoint has partnered closely with Robin and TMT, sponsoring events like the annual Boot Camp (both live and virtual) Producers Club meetings, the Fall Roadshow, the Cyber LiveCast, and author book signings. Here are a few of Jon’s insights.
Understand the MSP community: “When we got into the MSP space, we knew very few MSPs,” Jon said. “It is such an ecosystem. Robin Robins and TMT is well-run, and it opened our eyes to how this community operates.”
Align with like-minded partners: “Partnering with TMT gives us great exposure to Robin’s wonderful customer base. Robin really cares about the performance of her MSPs, and we care deeply about protecting our customers, which I feel makes us naturally aligned.”
Help MSPs be more profitable: Blackpoint does joint webinars with TMT to help enable MSPs to successfully build a profitable security offering so that security becomes a profit center for MSP businesses.
Blackpoint also invested heavily in sales enablement. “Robin does an extremely good job at helping MSPs think about the business physics — what is my cost, what’s an efficient tech stack, and so on. We’ve tried to draft off that good message to enable our MSPs by providing them with prebuilt marketing materials.”
Look for synergy: Jon’s found huge synergy working with TMT. “A lot of shows take anyone that writes a check,” Jon said. “Robin vets vendors and cares about and wants to understand their business goals as well. She’s the first and only trade show enterprise that chatted with me to understand where we’re trying to go as a business and what our mission is.” Jon also appreciates the way Robin is teaching MSPs how to professionalize their operation. “As channel partners, having an integrated marketing campaign and how to position your brand is important because it’s a partnership where they’re representing our brand as well as entrusting us to represent their brand,” Jon said. “Robin’s events are designed to better the business model for her MSPs while introducing them to quality vendors. We have a lot of sources for leads, but consistently, Robin’s events are the most productive for us. As a vendor, it’s been worth partnering with TMT all day long.”
Blackpoint has a huge amount of success at the TMT events, and has developed relationships with the community unparalleled for its business.
“Twelve years of being on the other side of the coin has enabled us to be extremely good at cyber defense,” Jon said.
“We operate like a pro sports operation. Everything is results-based. Our team of pros have deep, deep experience matched with world-class technology, and like Robin, we are extremely committed to our mission.”