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InfoSec Group


In The Boardroom With...

Mr. Barry Silber
Chief Executive Officer
The InfoSec Group Thank you for joining us today, Barry. Please give us an overview of your background and your role with The InfoSec Group.

Barry Silber: Thank you, Martin. I had experience with security in the Air Force and the Pentagon and I have been recruiting in IT security since 2000, and have run my own firm specializing in security recruitment since 2004. I am currently the CEO of The InfoSec Group, which specializes in IT security recruiting, with a focus on the needs of manufacturers and service providers. Do these companies have other needs besides recruitment?

Barry Silber: I have discovered that my prospective clients many times are also interested in partnering with the right kind of investor. So we also help match niche technology, network and computer security companies with organizations that may want to fund or acquire these companies. With either recruitment or investment it's the same skill set: matching the right resources together. How can you help an investor find the right company to invest in?

Barry Silber: We track hundreds of technology companies, especially computer and network security companies. Many of these companies are not widely known. Since we know and interface with these companies, we are in an ideal position to act as a liaison for each side finding hidden opportunities. What are the advantages of working with The InfoSec Group?

Barry Silber: We have superior recruiting capability in all of the major metropolitan areas in North America, and even internationally, yet we are still able to conduct customized searches with extremely competitive pricing. In addition, we offer the strongest guarantee on our work, unparalleled in the industry. Rather than use the major search boards, we rely on our connections in the industry. The end result is we offer the best value, since we can bring the highest caliber talent to a company more quickly and affordably than most of our competition. Is there a success story or two you'd like to share?

Barry Silber: There are many stories where our clients benefited in an extraordinary manner from our introducing them to one key person. We had a client security software and appliance company with excellent technology. However, one region was performing very poorly in sales revenue, in fact it was dead last. We introduced the company to an outstanding Regional VP of Sales who brought this region from dead-last to the number one performing region, exceeding target revenue objectives times three. This kind of performance benefit isn't an uncommon success story, and we hope there are other companies who will consider what we can do for them.

On the investment side, an investor was considering the purchase a small security software company and they wanted to engage The InfoSec Group so we could staff their new security division after acquisition or funding. We took a broader approach. We helped them gain the right intelligence to rethink the purchase and this eventually allowed them decide not to purchase this company since we helped them uncover it had average technology in an overcrowded market. We were then able to connect the investor with a different innovative security company that stood alone in its function, and it was already successful with an extraordinary list of existing customers. We can bring these kind of innovative companies to the attention of interested investors and venture capitalists. Are you better at finding top security technical people, or performers within a security vendor organization.

Barry Silber: Many search firms with security focus specialize on technical people with certifications or security leadership like Chief Information Security Officer. We are well qualified for these kinds of searches. What sets us apart from other search firms is our ability to service every recruitment need of the security vendor: the software or hardware manufacturer or service provider. Do you work with smaller companies or just larger companies?

Barry Silber: We work with both. Both large and small companies get the benefit of a customized search for each search they contract with us. Every company has its own culture and this is just as important as finding the key people who are highly qualified. Smaller and start-up companies have the additional concern of needing performers who are capable of working in the environments that might not have every resource at their disposal. We know this so we are able to work with both sizes of company. I have read you provide free resources to the security industry. What do you provide?

Barry Silber: Companies that want to have the 'best-of-the-best' sales performers should look at our white paper on attracting the right IT Security sales force. We also have a white paper on shifting recruiting mindset within a security company from administrative to entrepreneurial, resulting in better achievement of company objectives and an increased bottom line. We recently produced a checklist for companies wanting to sell to the financial vertical, and we even provide a confidential and complimentary sales checkup to interested companies. These weren't just academic exercises; all published works were distillations of years of observation in this security industry. For our free resources please see this link: Tell me more about the paper on attracting and retaining the best sales force. What were your key findings?

Barry Silber: I learned that despite security companies being extremely interested in having the best sales force, very few do it right. In fact, more often than not, they have institutionalized the characteristics that push outstanding salespeople away. My white paper not only looks at over 20 key causes, but it also outlines a number of actionable solutions. I understand you have personally placed CEOs down to front line technical and sales people. Is there a difference in the process?

Barry Silber: Top-level executives are easier to find, but harder to approach than your average hire. Even so, one must be aware of who the key players are, and most companies looking for top management do not know who they should be approaching. There are some cultural issues in dealing with senior management, and these must be respected. Harder to find, yet just as difficult to approach, are the in-demand technical or sales performers. More research will be involved in finding a mid-level or frontline performer. Beyond this, the process is essentially the same. Thanks again for joining us today, Barry. Are there any other subjects you'd like to discuss?

Barry Silber: In most security companies, or any company for that matter, recruiting is an administrative function, not entrepreneurial. Here's an open position, here's a person to fill it. But there are key positions in any company that need an entrepreneurial mindset when it comes to acquiring talent. This isn't something that can be simply outsourced to a search firm. It's something that needs to build and spread within the spirit of the organization, and it needs a proponent from both top leadership and human resources. Without an entrepreneurial mindset in talent acquisition, companies will miss out on opportunities. With this mindset, they are likely to find people that may truly transform their organization.