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Cybersecurity Q&A with FBI’s Mitchell Thompson + Dashlane CMO Dhiraj Kumar

  |  Dashlane

We recently spoke with Supervisory Special Agent Mitchell Thompson from the FBI Cyber Division and Dashlane’s Chief Marketing Officer Dhiraj Kumar about cybersecurity trends and their work in the industry.

Read the highlights of the conversation below. If you’d like more of their insights into the evolving cybersecurity landscape, check out their upcoming webinar “The Cybercriminal Mind: Fireside Chat with the FBI’s Mitchell Thompson,” on May 21st, 2024.

Q: How did you get your start in cybersecurity/tech?

MT: In college, I double-majored in accounting and management information systems. Joining the FBI, where I work with cybercrimes, expanded that foundation with additional training and experience.

DK: I have always worked in tech at companies such as Facebook and PayPal. Over the past 10 years, I have seen both the tremendous digitization and the serious rise in cyber threats. That is what attracted me to Dashlane and its mission of delivering credential security that every business and person needs to thrive.

MT: You don’t need a technical background or to know everything about cyber to investigate cybercrime. Having the willingness to learn, along with the drive, focus, and ability to ask questions, goes a long way. 

DK: A few years ago, a friend of mine told me their identity was stolen and described the excruciating pain and the time it took to recover from it. It hit me hard to know that this is real. At PayPal, I saw firsthand what it takes to protect consumers from those looking to take over their accounts for money laundering and other nefarious activities. This is serious business.

MT: Why is cybercrime so prevalent? It’s easy to learn with minimal risk.

DK: How is a third-party password manager better than using your password manager in your browser? Dashlane has enterprise-grade security, complete privacy, universal access across all browsers and devices, and tremendous ease of use. It is far more secure to use a third-party password manager like Dashlane.

Q: What is the most alarming statistic you have seen that should make people care more about the future of cybersecurity?

MT: The FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) Report. The numbers themselves are astonishing, but we know they are a significant understatement of the actual losses.

DK: Stolen credentials are the leading cause of breaches. This fact hasn’t changed for many years, which is why protecting your employee’s credentials is an essential part of the overall security solution.

Q: How are you contributing to “demystifying” cybersecurity in your field?

MT: Mostly through education and outreach. That comes in many forms, such as the FBI’s work with college students, private sector organizations, public service announcements, and private industry notifications, to name a few. 

DK: Our focus at Dashlane is to provide a great product, and to educate both our business and personal customers about the importance of credential security and how to deploy Dashlane in their environment. We also partner with like-minded professionals and organizations such as the FBI to educate the market about the risk of cyber threats. We are greatly thankful to Mitchell for helping us in this effort.

Q: Any big shifts you have seen this year that show people are taking cybersecurity/SaaS more seriously?

MT: In addition to the increase in cybercrime threats, companies are motivated to take cybercrime more seriously because of new regulations, increased cyber insurance costs, and increased threats in third-party risks.

DK: For one, cyberattacks are now front-page stories and are showing up in quarterly earnings calls. Vendr, a SaaS procurement platform,  just reported that password managers and cyber tools in general were among the top purchased SaaS products for two quarters in a row. We are at a pivotal moment, and CEOs and boards recognize that cybersecurity is essential to the operations of a business.

Q: What inspires you most about working at your organization today?

MT: Innovation and teamwork. We are constantly looking for new ways to shrink the investigative timeline to identify and apprehend the bad guys faster. That includes progressive investigative techniques as well as partnering with the private sector, other government agencies, and foreign law enforcement partners.

DK: The potential to impact millions of employees and their ability to work safely and for businesses to operate safely in this modern world.

Want to hear more of Mitchell’s and Dhiraj’s insights? You can sign up for their May 21st webinar, “The Cybercriminal Mind: Fireside Chat with the FBI’s Mitchell Thompson,” today.
To learn more about cyber threats, check out the list of other webinars from the FBI.

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