SOMERWILE, MA (AP) – Cybersecurity firm Recorded Future has about 1,400 customers and enjoys considerable respect. But intelligence threats …
SOMERWILE, MA (AP) – Cybersecurity firm Recorded Future has about 1,400 customers and enjoys considerable respect. But for CEO Christopher Alberg, the intelligence business threat was not enough. Two years ago, he created an online cybersecurity news service called The Record.
The Associated Press spoke to the 53-year-old Swede about its genesis and plans. The interview was edited for clarity and brevity.
Q: What made you run The Record?
A: Michael Bloomberg’s book Bloomberg by Bloomberg. Probably read five times. We want to build a Bloomberg terminal for cybersecurity. We want all the data, all the analytics, all the research, all the news to be in one place. This way, a threat investigator, a government analyst specializing in security, can have better information at hand.
(Bloomberg News Agency grew out of what was originally a provider of financial data delivered to proprietary terminals).
Q: What information gap did you consider necessary to fill?
A: Most publications that write about cyber are very IT-oriented. We would like to bring it closer to where decisions are made, where policies are made. The scourge of ransomware and now the war in Ukraine has increased demand. We publish directly on our website – without advertising and paid screen. We also publish in our own service for solvent customers, where stories are cross-linked to our research and raw security data.
Q: Your journalists have worked in newsrooms including The Wall Street Journal and National Public Radio. You’ve grown thanks to funding from In-Q-Tel, the CIA’s venture capital division, and Google, and you’re working with the national security community. Can readers trust that The Record will be editorially independent?
A: The record is a separate block. Editor Adam Janofsky never asked me about the story, and I never told him what to write. He would have left if I had. I think we hired people honestly. They write about our competitors as our competitors usually write about Recorded Future research – sometimes getting exclusives. I don’t think anyone can take the story we made and say, “This is in the interest of the US” or “This is in the interest of the UK”.
Q: I’ve seen complaints on social media about a verbal interview that The Record did with cybercriminals – who can make outrageous statements – without warning or context.
A: I think you can argue that we get intelligence with such interviews, and if you are a beginner, you should try to do things a little differently. Journalists also interview terrorists. I understand that there may be risks. But getting to these people is not easy. And we know that these interviews are read by the right people.
Q: How many journalists work at The Record and do you plan to grow? Will there be a video component?
A: There are six or seven, depending on how you count. Adam and I agree that we would like better international coverage. (Former NPR journalist) Dean Temple-Ruston hosts a podcast. As for the video, do not rush here. You don’t want to do too many things at once.
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