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Richard Melick: What’s the Value of a Story?

VIDEOS / 03.31.19 / Cylance Videos

Road Shows and Lunch & Learns and Meet & Greets – oh my! For the past three years, Richard Melick has traveled the world bringing BlackBerry Cylance’s prevention-based endpoint protection to the masses.

From the Unbelievable Tour to the UNDRWRLD Tour and beyond, Richard has created zero-day malware and ransomware in front of thousands of people, then challenged CylancePROTECT® to prevent those zero-days from executing - all in front of a live audience. There is no safety net. Watch this video, and learn why in security, there is no chance to make a second first impression.

These events are more than just marketing. Richard is there to inform and educate his guests on the perils of Ransomware-as-a-Service (RaaS), or even headline-grabbing global news events like WannaCry, Petya, and NotPetya.

About Richard Melick

Richard Melick is a Product Marketing Manager at BlackBerry Cylance. Richard has spent over a decade progressing through the security industry with his considerable experience and considerable focus on the stories surrounding ransomware, hacking, and cyberattacks. He has been a security speaker on five continents and has even advised royalty on how to make and distribute ransomware…. all in the name of security, of course.


“Hi everybody, my name is Richard Melick. I'm the senior security technician here at (BlackBerry) Cylance, and for the past three years I've been telling the Cylance story. And not just one story, but a lot of stories. That's because the story, the foundation of what it has been, has evolved.

Three years ago when I started here at Cylance,  this story was focused on artificial intelligence and how it, as a technology, was different than everything else. And the story that we had to go out with was explaining this differentiation to the people, to the masses. Not just to the security guru's and the technologists, but the people who were making the purchasing decisions. The people who were running the organization, sometimes the people that had nothing to do with security at all, but we had to explain this new technology to them to show them the differentiator.

From there, after that story started to fade away, ransomware came out as the biggest threat on the market. And ransomware being something that was written about in Newsweek and The Wall Street Journal, talked about on the news, common place nomenclatures were being used to describe this newest threat but people didn't understand it.

So our story evolved, and we took this story and we starting bringing in history to explain where it started, how did it get here, that evolution. Malware has evolved, so the story had to.

Ransomware was a great big story for about two years and that started to peter out because threats evolve, and so did our story. So as that has faded away, out came fileless attacks, crypto mining, advanced persistent threats. These kinds of attacks that are considered the ‘one percent’ of the more advanced threats out there. So we wanted to start talking about that.

Well, this is even more advanced than ransomware, than artificial intelligence (AI). But how do we take that and make it an even grander story? And that's what we're doing now. We're continuing to look at our client base, we're continuing to look at what's around us, what we're going up against, and we're trying to explain to everybody what's going on in a way that they're walking away with common knowledge and an understanding of our story.

And it all comes down to this relatable point. We're trying to relate with our customer, we're trying to relate with their situation and what they're running through on a day-to-day basis. And that's what driven our story forward, that's what's helped us evolve. So all the threats evolve and that's pushed us. It's also making sure that our story doesn't become stagnant because in the end, if we say the same thing over and over and over again, we'll start to lose the audience.

The next big thing is definitely the Ales and AI show. It's a whole new concept that's bringing beer and artificial intelligence together in a way that we haven't seen done before. We're going to start breaking down the nuances of what makes beer, beer. It's not just yeast and hops all together with some sugar in a liquid form, it's other elements. So, where's that yeast from? Where are the hops from? What other ingredients are involved and what makes up that flavor profile?

We're bringing that physical action of beer tasting and using that to explain what artificial intelligence is doing, and then showing advanced threats. And not just showing them, but actually teaching the audience how to build them.

Is prevention possible? Absolutely. It's not the one all be all, but prevention is the foundation that security should be built upon.

If you're able to prevent 99 point whatever percent of the threats out there, it allows you as a security professional, as an IT manager, to focus in on that one percent on advanced threats. Giving you time and energy back to have hyper-focus in on that area. If you build your idea of a security platform, security approach off prevention, you are a step ahead.”

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