Editorial

Constella Intelligence joins the Cybersecurity Directory

TDP meets with Lindsay Whyte, the UK Regional Director at Constella Intelligence to hear more about their business and why they are looking to work with public sector organisations.

Posted 16 February 2021 by

Hello Lindsay. Can you begin by giving us the lowdown and some background on Constella Intelligence.

Constella Intelligence recently brought together 4iQ’s world-renowned breach and leaked data technology with the social media and misinformation experts Alto Analytics. 

4iQ was founded by Julio Casal (who also founded AlienVault, later AT&T Cybersecurity). The intention was to build scalable and intelligent solutions in the face of global data breaches and the flood of open source data created by social media and content creation. Thankfully the world caught up with us in 2016-17, when a sequence of enormous data breaches suddenly turned digital risk protection into a board-level agenda item.

This culminated with our launch of the ‘Hunter’ product: This not only surfaces compromised identities from across the deep, dark and surface web but it enables investigators to unmask perpetrators of fraud and crime, not just victims of fraud and crime. 

Now let’s dig a bit deeper: can you tell us a bit about your value proposition?

Increasingly our services are leveraged in fighting fraud and misinformation. Over 20 million consumers worldwide rely on us to alert them when their sensitive information is breached, stolen or associated with nefarious online activity. Because our data lakes contain such vast amounts of public information, breach and leaked data from over the last 10 years, our clients are confident. Confident they find out about missing information and stolen identities of customers, staff or suppliers before anyone else. And confident that by plugging into Constella via an API, for example, they’ll get a live feed of company-related compromises from the widest reach. 

What’s more, we’ve developed investigations and insights tools for marketing, StratComms, FinCrime, AML, Threat Intelligence and Law Enforcement analysts to surface identities and trends from the internet in seconds. Banks, telcos, NGOs and energy companies value being on top of what the outside world is saying about them, whether malicious or not.

By helping clients to actually identify the people and groups behind negative sentiments, attacks and data loss, we preempt bad PR and enable security teams to find the true root cause. For example, say you want to know what hashtags are constantly getting associated with your organisation. Who’s responsible? What’s the reach? Are the Instagram or Twitter accounts responsible linked to dark web activity? Are they related to any staff or suppliers or yours? We answer these questions on a daily basis for our clients. 

Can you tell a little bit about the types of companies that you work with?

Our client base compromises FTSE 100, UK government, Fortune500, EU institutions and global tier one banks. For businesses and governments alike, human trafficking is a very challenging area of intelligence. 

One partner – the Anti-Human Trafficking Intelligence Intiative (ATII) – uses Constella to accelerate investigations and identify victims and perpetuators of crime. Because we provide link analysis and advanced visualisation tools for huge data sets, we make it easy to associate online identities by drawing on breach, dark web, passive DNS, WhoIS, pastebin, crypto wallet, social media, news media and much more.

What is your Cybersecurity story, in a sentence… why would a buyer need to work with you now?

In a world of noisy social media, fake news and misinformation – with only so many expert digital investigators – Constella bridges the gap and provides digital risk protection for brands, people and places with truly actionable intelligence. 

Do you have a particular public sector angle you also want to highlight for us?

Our technology is very popular in the public sector. Increasingly the challenge of addressing misinformation and disinformation from state actors and others is a question of national security. Our tools enable public servants to penetrate the noise and access the widest possible reach of the media landscape to inform national security decisions.

Our Hunter and Tracker solutions aid law enforcement agencies with the attribution and monitoring of online identities. With innovations in object/photo recognition, social media geolocation algorithms, IP address deduplication, open APIs and advanced visualisation features, we’re very much built by investigators for investigators. 

In early 2021, the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) demanded that fraud is treated as a matter of national security. All the while, threat actors are moving to encrypted messengers and prosecution is becoming more difficult. The good news is that Constella can remove this blindfold. Not only that, it can be done with today’s limited resources. 

Finally, if we come back in 12 months from now to refresh your profile in the Directory, what would you like to be able to say you’d achieved or progressed in the intervening time?

It is critical for Constella’s ongoing success (and retaining our position as the #1 digital risk platform) that we develop close ties with the UK public sector and law enforcement communities. From child exploitation to NHS fraud to forensic accounting, championing internet investigations is no longer a ‘nice to have’. What’s more, financial services – especially where fraud and financial crime is concerned – is riding a wave of regulatory change, organised and complex crime and borderless threats. We want to continue working closely with the private sector to accelerate their investigators and innovate to suit their needs. We hope to have developed some more great relationships with UK government units, NGOs and missing persons charities to ensure we are at the heart of technical innovation surrounding online identities and new sources of data. 

You can view the Constella Intelligence Cybersecurity Directory listing here.