Kurtis Minder, CEO of GroupSense, was a guest on Episode #209 of Task Force 7 Radio's podcast. Kurtis talked to co-host Andy Bonillo about lessons from a ransomware negotiator, why small businesses need cybersecurity resources, as well as how cyber criminals may be shifting their focus during the Russia/Ukraine conflict. Below are a few highlights from the interview.
What did you do to get better at ransomware negotiation?
[Kurtis Minder] I will say that one of the things I brought to the table that I think is difficult to train is some extreme version of empathy. When I say empathy, I don’t mean sympathy. Empathy is different from sympathy. Empathy means that you understand their perspective. That part of my personality certainly played a pivotal role in being successful with the threat actors. I did study – I read Chris Voss’ book – Never Split the Difference, as well as other industry books and I watched Masterclasses. Everything helped sharpen my negotiation skills, however the empathy plays a big role in my negotiation tactics.
What’s the dynamic in the boardroom during a negotiation?
[Kurtis Minder] That is one of the hardest things for a company to do is to build and maintain public trust. Dealing with the threat actors is difficult but most of them have a playbook. Dealing with the victims and helping them with the process is the more difficult part. People’s jobs are at stake. It impacts behavior during the negotiation. It sometimes depends on the company culture and business size.
What are you seeing right now in terms of cyber-criminal behavior during the Russia/Ukraine Conflict?
[Kurtis Minder] It’s still playing out. Our team has done some research around it and has done advisories to clients. Tying it to the ransomware discussion, most of these ransomware actors are operating out of countries like Russia, Moldova, and even Ukraine and one of the things that we are informing clients of the operational impact of ransomware but also the fact that they’ve taken a copy of your files…tune in to hear the rest of Kurtis’ response.
About Kurtis Minder, CEO at GroupSense
Kurtis Minder is the CEO and co-founder of GroupSense, a leading provider in Digital Risk solutions. Kurtis built a robust cyber reconnaissance operation protecting some of the largest enterprises and government organizations.
Kurtis has been the lead negotiator at GroupSense for ransomware response cases. He has successfully navigated and negotiated some of the largest ransomware, breach, and data extortion cases world-wide.
With over 20 years in the information security industry, Kurtis brings a unique blend of technical, sales and executive acumen.
About the Episode
The Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of GroupSense, Mr. Kurtis Minder joins Co-Host Andy Bonillo on Episode #209 of Task Force 7 Radio to talk about how he became a Ransomware Negotiator, lessons learned from those negotiations, and how empathy has helped him in those negotiations. He talked about the importance of running a business that starts with focusing on customer desired outcomes and how small businesses need cyber security resources. We finished the show discussing how cyber criminals may be shifting their focus during the Russia/Ukraine conflict. All this and much more on Episode #209 of Task Force 7 Radio.