The Converging Paths to Siegescape

Siegescape, like many companies, was born of personal pain. In this case, we discovered that we were suffering from the same pain, a pain that had cost both of us and our respective teams hundreds of man-hours of unfruitful work. Ultimately, we realized this pain was unnecessary, and Siegescape was founded so that others could benefit from our realization.

Joseph and Mat

Mat Grove and I have been friends and coworkers for many years. For the past 6 years, we've both been working on unrelated anti-abuse platforms: Mat led the design, implementation, and operation of the Rackspace Email anti-abuse platform, and I had been building a User and Entity Behavioral Analytics platform at Mobile System 7 (ultimately acquired by CA Technologies). Like old friends do, we got together for beers every so often and talked about our work, comparing and contrasting what we were building and how we were building it. After a few of these boozy geek chats, we started to understand that we were walking on parallel paths. Though the domains were totally different and the specific rules and analytics were unrelated, we were both hitting the same bumps in the road. We found that our two products had followed a very similar evolution, from event storage, to indexing, to querying, to streaming, and beyond. The most remarkable thing was that the solutions themselves converged on a small set of techniques based on a (twice over!) hard-earned set of best practices.

When we began talking about starting a business, these conversations were staring us in the face. What if we could go back in time and teach ourselves those lessons? Better yet, what if those lessons could be built directly into a platform on which we could have based our solutions? The savings from development alone would be huge, and the expenses saved by having a more effective solution from day one would be even bigger. We could shield other people struggling with abuse (or building products around anti-abuse) from our pain.

We founded Siegescape because we truly believe we can make anti-abuse easier. By building the best practices in and focusing on an opinionated set of capabilities and features, we can lower the level of expertise required to design and maintain high-value anti-abuse systems. In the same way that you don't have to be a CFO to build an useful financial model in a spreadsheet, you shouldn't have to be a data scientist or platform engineer to effectively stop fraud and abuse quickly, cost effectively, and sustainably. By building feedback loops directly into the platform, solutions can improve over time rather than stagnating and needing constant development. Rather than having to learn these lessons over and over again, companies in every stage of the anti-abuse lifecycle can benefit from a unified platform.

And the platform is just a starting point. Even with a powerful set of tools to analyze data and identify bad behavior, there is still a lot of work that has to be done: building connectors to collect data from relevant systems, adding and managing common join data like geoip or threat intelligence, building analytics for specific domains, and integrating directly with points of control for automated mitigation. Beyond the platform, Siegescape is about building an ecosystem around solutions for fraud and abuse. These solutions are true turnkey products, ready to be deployed quickly and easily and to provide value from the moment they are turned on. And because these solutions are built on top of the powerful Siegescape platform, they grow and adapt as the problem changes and new threats arise. With a rich ecosystem of these solutions, organizations struggling with abuse no longer have to develop systems in-house, but the solutions will be just as adapted to the organization as if they had.

Beyond all that, Mat and I are optimists and dreamers. We are intrinsically motivated to make the Internet and the world a better place, and we honestly believe that we can have an impact in this space. Fraud and abuse are everywhere, and are insanely costly. Fake, bot-driven reviews result in untold numbers of bad purchases. Social media account abuse may have impacted American elections. Spam has an estimated worldwide yearly cost in the tens of billions of dollars. Prescription drug fraud, and the opiod crisis that has emerged from it, is a public health nightmare, steals lives away, and costs over fifty billion dollars per year in America alone. Payments fraud costs hundreds of billions of dollars a year, and most of that cost is borne by the merchants - small and large businesses alike.

There are hundreds of other examples like these. Each one of these problems makes the world a worse place to live in. Siegescape is here to help make it better.

Joseph Turner