Belgium’s Spotit Sets Up Shop In Triangle To Tackle Global Cybersecurity Threats

Spotit has established its U.S. headquarters on NC State's Centennial Campus. This photo from March marked the opening with, from left: NCSU Vice Chancellor for External Affairs, Partnerships and Economic Development Kevin Howell; NCSU Chancellor Randy Woodson; Spotit Founder Steven Vynckier; Spotit Chief Operating Officer Sander Vasbinder; Raleigh Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Adrienne Cole; NCSU Vice Chancellor for Research and Innovation Mladen Vouk; NCSU Associate Vice Chancellor for Partnerships Mark Schmidt.

Forget harrowing macroeconomic trends, labor shortages and supply chain issues: cyberattacks are the single biggest threat global companies face in an increasingly digitized world, says Colin Kiser, the head of Spotit North America. Raleigh newcomer Spotit looks to help companies defend against existential cybersecurity threats.

On average, a single security breach can cost a company around $3.5 million, and that’s just the baseline cost, Kiser said, not accounting for “soft” losses like consumer or supplier confidence. Most companies don’t know where to start when it comes to cybersecurity. That’s why Spotit provides companies big and small with the security expertise they need. 

“One breach could destroy your business within a week,” Kiser said. 

Kiser is a relative newcomer to cybersecurity, but working within Spotit’s long-time expertise has sold him on the importance of cybersecurity. When Belgium-based Spotit sought a headquarters last year for its new North America operation, it was Kiser, then in charge of European business development for the Economic Development Partnership of N.C., who introduced Spotit to the area. 

Touting everything from stellar talent to a natural target market to the serendipity of N.C. being in the ideal time zone, Kiser convinced the firm that Raleigh would be its perfect new stateside home. He also unintentionally sold Spotit on something unexpected—convincing the company that Kiser should be Spotit’s leading stateside executive. 

For Kiser, joining Spotit was an easy yes. While many companies he spoke to about moving to the area seemed to be in it just for the Delaware LLC and were fairly indifferent about one spot in the States relative to others, Spotit made clear that they were interested in genuine investment in the Triangle. That was what Kiser wanted to hear about the area the has grown to love over a decade of calling it home. 

“One of the reasons I joined the company was, I worked with European companies all the time, and what they would say is, ‘Well, we want to get into this market, but we don’t want to commit, we don’t wanna spend too much money,’ ” Kiser said. “So they’d put like marketing or BD [business developmet] office, but then all the work would be sent back to headquarters. That’s not what we’re doing.” 

Colin Kiser leads Spotit’s Raleigh office

With more than 3,000 different cybersecurity product providers and many companies not having the capacity to hire a large, specialized cyber security team, companies may be overwhelmed with the data that they are receiving and miss crucial threats. Spotit provides security consulting from experts—managed services, Kiser said, is the company’s biggest value add—and takes the confusion out of cybersecurity that can result from not handing it off to experts.

“You need a comprehensive vision and strategy and framework, and we provide that for global companies,” Kiser said. “That’s who SpotIt is. Our approach to the market is building trust and using network and security architectures to actually create business value and help companies be ahead of the threats, but also be ahead of the competition.”

Spotit provides a vendor-agnostic security management service. This means it can take a look at any parts of a client’s existing cybersecurity tech stack regardless of brand, log those technologies’ data and turn that data into a monitorable network. 

Often, Spotit’s work is providing intelligence to data that is received through software security systems provided by other vendors—think of Spotit like a security guard that watches over the “cameras” of your company’s digital headquarters. 

“The network is like the cameras and the wires making sure that that picture is coming to the TV that you’re looking at,” Kiser said. “Cybersecurity is analyzing what’s happening in those images. It is one thing to have a network, but you need someone to say, ‘There’s someone with a hammer banging on the door trying to get in. That’s a threat, isolate it, lock down that door.’ We provide consulting and weave together different products to monitor them and make a consistent framework.”

“Follow the sun” approach

Another advantage Spotit has over other cybersecurity providers, Kiser said, is its global mobility. Spotit Belgium establishing an organizationally distinct North America sister company in Raleigh is the first expansion towards a “follow the sun” approach to global cybersecurity. 

Let’s say, for example, a client of Spotit based in Charlotte had a cybersecurity breach at 3 a.m. eastern time. For Belgium, that’s 9 a.m. That means Spotit’s Belgian team could immediately address the breach, even if the Charlotte company was a client of Spotit North America, and could send a note to the Raleigh Spotit team to follow up on the breach in the morning. 

Due to its service-oriented business model, talent is key to Spotit’s business needs. Luckily for Spotit, the Triangle has no shortage of experienced engineers ready to attack cybersecurity issues, which made the area attractive over Austin and Atlanta. The company hopes to expand by the end of the year, and is building connections with local schools like NC State and Wake Tech to keep the cybersecurity talent pipeline coming. 

Regardless of if Spotit is the right service manager for your company, Kiser said, cybersecurity should be high on your list of business priorities. Kiser is hoping local business leaders will take him up on his offer for a meeting over coffee in Spotit’s Raleigh Founded office on NC State’s Centennial Campus to learn more about why security should matter to them. 

“We’re looking for companies that understand the seriousness of it, they want a specialist, they want someone that’s really bringing the best cybersecurity practices and talent into their company,” Kiser said. “That’s our client, and that’s why we’re in the Triangle. That’s what we do.”