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Four Questions With Black Kite

Pictured: Chuck Schauber, VP of Product and Strategy at Black Kite


RSA is officially less than a month away, and we are looking forward to seeing everyone out in San Francisco. We wanted to kick-off our excitement for the event by sharing a quick conversation we had with Chuck Schauber, VP of Product and Strategy at Black Kite. Black Kite is a third-party cyber risk management platform and is also a Volition Capital portfolio company.  

Schauber is a seasoned IT/Cyber professional who was most recently a Director at IBM before joining Black Kite around two years ago. In our conversation with Chuck, we discussed the current cyber security landscape, how Black Kite has carved out an important niche, and in which ways Volition has been an asset to Black Kite.



Volition Press: What are some of the biggest challenges that cyber executives face today?

Chuck Schauber: If you were to talk to CISOs, they would likely tell you that they feel like they have no control. There was a recent survey that came out that said they feel ineffective from actually preventing threats. There is an expectation from key executives that a CISO’s job is to make sure zero attacks are successful. However, this is like telling a fire chief that they essentially have to prevent all fires in their town, and if they don’t, their job is in trouble. CISOs need more support not only in preventing attacks, but also in ways to quantify threats and effectively explain to other key executives what the true lay of the land looks like. 

VP: How does Black Kite help empower CISOs to do their jobs effectively?

CS: We at Black Kite, are helping CISOs translate a technical problem to an understandable, quantifiable monetary problem – a language that other executives speak. We are taking a look at specific, third-party vendors and using our risk quantification technology to identify how much of a cyber threat working with that vendor is.

This is also a really exciting time for us as third-party risk is becoming more and more top of mind. The largest enterprises use the smallest of vendors and these vendors aren’t the most cyber aware. Actors have realized that they can see great success getting into systems through the smaller vendors who have significantly weaker cyber posture, but still have access to enterprises’ key information.

VP: What would you say the state of standardization and automated processes looks like when it comes to conversations about cyber between vendors and companies?

CS: The standardization and automated processes in cyber are almost non-existent. The fact is that the problem of managing and monitoring your own cyber practices is so large in its own right that creating industry wide standards and norms is not on peoples’ radar. As I like to say, it is one thing to keep your house clean and another to keep your entire neighborhood clean.

But what Black Kite has really done is start to create the standardization and automation that many need. First, we are showing you your technical risk in a standardized format and how it would be impacted by adding another vendor. Second, we are also standardizing the reading of all compliance documentation and providing scoring to see if a company says they are doing and what they are actively doing.

Our products are providing serious value to not only our clients, but the industry as a whole.

VP: How has Volition been an asset to Black Kite on their journey?

CS: So I actually started at Black Kite right when Volition invested in the company. One of my first meetings was actually at the Volition office.

They often say it takes a village to raise a child, and I think the same way about when it comes to growing a startup effectively. It takes a really strong investor to grow a company and Volition is that investor who has helped us with so many problems we didn’t know how to solve. 

Whether it is Chris Fahey helping us with onboarding, recruitment, and hiring or Sean Cantwell giving us real perspective on the competitive landscape, what the marketplace looks like, or what he sees being on other boards, Volition has been a critical component to our success. 

-The Volition Press

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