HomeEditor's PickExclusive Interview With Russell Rothstein, CEO of IT Central Station

Exclusive Interview With Russell Rothstein, CEO of IT Central Station

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Here's an exclusive interview with Russell Rothstein, the CEO of IT Central Station.

In this uncertain climate, one company stands out: IT Central Station.

The Israeli-based company is the leading review site for enterprise technology due to the quality of its one million genuine user reviews. The user data is sourced directly from users in the trenches and is far more reliable than data from an analytics team (think Gartner). Each reviewer is meticulously vetted, guaranteeing authenticity and no fake reviews.

When COVID made the industry panic, some VC-backed companies had to lay off their employees or reduce salaries. Still, IT Central Station continued its employee-first approach, resulting in record-breaking revenue and sales, and increased its market share, all without VC funding.

Russell Rothstein

Here Are Russell Rothstein's Responses To Our Questions:

1. Question: Recently, IT Central Station has become a household name in Cybersecurity Tech Review. How has the journey been so far?

Russell Rothstein:

When we started IT Central Station, we were struck by the fact that in the age of social networking, enterprises were still buying technology the same way—with limited access to the opinions of other real users.

Enterprise buyers aren’t interested in being fed information biased towards a particular vendor – they want to hear from actual users to help inform their decision. This is particularly true of cybersecurity professionals, who are generally skeptical of analysts and other sources that seem to be vendor-biased.

What began with a few diagrams and PowerPoint slides is now the fastest-growing online platform designed for enterprise technology buyers. IT Central Station has grown into a dynamic, real-time platform that offers user information that is current, objective, and relevant.

It protects privacy so that users can post anonymously to freely express their views or use their real names to promote their expertise. It enables experts, including real users and independent consultants, to share their expertise in a high-quality community of decision-makers.

With COVID-19 and all major conferences canceled in the last year – including RSA and Black Hat in the cybersecurity space – the role of user reviews in the buying process has become even more pronounced.

Users have become more reliant on the information they can access online. IT Central Station has played a significant role in enabling cybersecurity and other technology professionals to get access to honest opinions in a nonbiased way.

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2. Question: How successful has the fight against fake reviews been with IT Central Station?

Russell Rothstein:

From the start, we knew that we needed to find a way to fight against fake reviews. We wanted members to know that everything they saw on our site would be 100% trustworthy. So, we set ourselves an ambitious goal – zero fake reviews. To achieve this goal, we put in place a rigorous authentication system that every reviewer undergoes before publishing on IT Central Station.

Our QA team reviews every review submission to ensure that the reviews are genuine. We verify every user's LinkedIn profile or company email address. All review authors must disclose their relationship to the product, the service, or the solution they are reviewing.

In addition, reviewers must have used the product/service or have evaluated it to use it for their company in the past 12 months. If we suspect that a review is fake in any way, we won’t publish it.

Overall, the system we’ve got in place has proven to be very successful in ensuring that reviews on our site are authentic.

3. Question: What are the threats associated with using ‘bogus’ cybersecurity tools?

Russell Rothstein:

With a community of over 460,000 members, many of whom are experts in tech-related fields, we asked our members what they thought. A common theme in the responses was that the tools often have vulnerabilities. One user commented, “They are tools for someone else to access you” and “might bring about the data exfiltration, trojan horse.”

Other users noted that having a ‘bogus’ cybersecurity tool can give you a false sense of security. Another member stated, “The biggest threat is risks you think you have managed are not managed at all, so you and your executive team have a false sense of security. This is even worse than not having any tools in place.

With no tool in place, you at least know you have a vulnerability.” This was echoed by another member who pointed out that, in his experience, “many people who use open source don't bother to patch them, and attackers then utilize such loopholes.”

The potential threats associated with unverified cybersecurity tools underscore the importance of researching your tools before using them.

4. Question: How effective have public product reviews been in protecting digital citizens?

Russell Rothstein:

Product reviews have played a significant role in helping digital citizens make smarter decisions. The majority of people read online reviews before making a purchasing decision.

More importantly, more and more people in the B2B space rely on reviews rather than speaking directly to sellers, consultants, and analysts. We’ve seen this first-hand: decision-makers from 95% of the Fortune 500 companies visit IT Central Station to consult reviews during their buying process.

5. Question: Looking forward, what is the future of IT Central Station?

Russell Rothstein:

The future of IT Central Station is bright. We want to provide more reviews in more categories. The actual value of IT Central Station lies in the willingness of all our members to share their knowledge and experience so that others can make better decisions. So, we encourage people to join our community, use our reviews, and contribute with their reviews.

Suppose you’re knowledgeable in cybersecurity. In that case, being a part of the IT Central Station community is a great way to demonstrate your expertise and promote your knowledge and experience. We look forward to seeing new members join us!

Note: This was initially published in January 2021 but has been updated for freshness and accuracy.


About the Author:

Owner at TechSegun LLC. | Website | + posts

Daniel Segun is the Founder and CEO of SecureBlitz Cybersecurity Media, with a background in Computer Science and Digital Marketing. When not writing, he's probably busy designing graphics or developing websites.

Managing Editor at SecureBlitz | Website | + posts

Meet Angela Daniel, an esteemed cybersecurity expert and the Associate Editor at SecureBlitz. With a profound understanding of the digital security landscape, Angela is dedicated to sharing her wealth of knowledge with readers. Her insightful articles delve into the intricacies of cybersecurity, offering a beacon of understanding in the ever-evolving realm of online safety.

Angela's expertise is grounded in a passion for staying at the forefront of emerging threats and protective measures. Her commitment to empowering individuals and organizations with the tools and insights to safeguard their digital presence is unwavering.


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