⚠️ Issue #74: Cybersecurity & Vulnerability Management
Claremont alumnus Timothy Morgan shares how he first started in cybersecurity and why he co-founded DeepSurface Security to help companies prioritize vulnerability management
💬 Welcome to issue #74 of Between the Lines
Good morning & happy Thursday. I don’t know how, but somehow we’re halfway through December already!
This week, cybersecurity expert and Claremont founder Timothy Morgan discusses how technological advances in vulnerability management have not kept up with the growing software vulnerabilities and why he founded DeepSurface Security. It’s a Claremont world out there. 👇
~ Josh & Miles
👤 Community Spotlight: Timothy Morgan & DeepSurface Security
Tim is the CTO and co-founder at DeepSurface Security and leads the company’s research and development. He has 24 years of experience as a software developer, penetration tester, digital forensics researcher, and application security expert. After earning CS degrees (B.S., Harvey Mudd College, and M.S., Northeastern University), Tim spent eight years helping build a Boston-based security consulting practice before founding Blindspot Security, which specialized in network, application, and comprehensive security assessments.
You co-founded DeepSurface Security after working for 12 years as a cybersecurity consultant. What opportunity did you see in the market to pursue this idea, and can you share DeepSurface’s founding story?
When I started working as an independent consultant, I was able to better manage my schedule, and it left me with more time to think about the issues my clients were facing. I realized that there were some serious gaps in how security teams prioritize their work, particularly when deciding what vulnerabilities were most likely to result in a breach. There had been no significant technological advances in vulnerability management in over a decade, yet the volume of software vulnerabilities that needed to be assessed had been growing at over 12% per year.
The state of the market was such that many different vulnerability management tools would provide customers with mountains of raw data about their environments, and some of those tools would let you bring various data feeds together to one place, but none of these tools were good at helping you analyze the information in a way that made it useful or practical.
The idea that sparked the line of thinking that ultimately led to the creation of our company was that customers also needed much better visibility about what all the data meant and how to communicate those risks to their executives and board members. A picture really is worth 1000 words, and by thinking about how we could communicate this information through detailed diagrams and breach scenarios, we realized that the process of creating these communications tools could also allow us to automate the analysis of what security risks are actually important in a customer’s infrastructure.
You’ve spent almost your entire career working in cyber. Were you one of those teenage hacker types? What drew you to the industry originally?
From a young age, I wanted to learn everything there was to know about computers. I started out on my Commodore 64, which my brother and I convinced my parents to buy, with the intention of playing lots of video games. However, with lots of time on our hands in rural Oregon, we started to explore the computer’s manual. Did you know that back then, computer manuals came with a full description of how to use the BASIC programming language? Isn’t that funny? As we got bored with some of our video games, we wanted to start building our own. We spent endless hours punching out complex programs with hunt-and-peck typing skills. The games we tried to build never turned out very well, but the skills we learned at that young age stuck with us throughout our lives.👇
🚨Claremonster Call-Out: Joe Beda
Claremont alumnus Joe Beda is widely known as the co-creator of Kubernetes, the popular open-source container orchestration system used to automate manual processes in deploying, managing, and scaling apps. Joe began his tech career right after graduating from Claremont when he worked at Microsoft and later joined Google as a Senior Software Engineer. He was also instrumental in developing the Google Compute Engine and making Google’s cloud computing services more accessible to developers. In 2016, Joe founded Heptio with his Kubernetes co-creator, Craig McLuckie. Heptio provides products and services to help businesses adopt and maintain cloud-native technologies such as Kubernetes. VMWare eventually acquired the company in 2018 for a hefty tag.
Joe recently joined Rich Burroughs on the Kube Cuddle podcast to discuss how cloud-native technologies are changing the way companies manage their applications and the impact of open-source software on the industry. He also shares Heptio’s origin story and how he and his team at Google started the Kubernetes Project.
💼 Who’s Hiring?: Yoodli & Recast
Yoodli is an AI-enabled platform that helps people improve their communication skills without the pressure of an audience. They use AI-powered technology to give users real-time and personalized feedback on their filler words, eye contact, pacing, and more. Yoodli was co-founded by Pacific Northwest's Entrepreneur of the Year, Forbes 30 Under 30 Entrepreneur, and Claremont alumnus Varun Puri. The company raised a $6M seed round co-led by Madrona Venture Group and Cercano Management last August and recently partnered with Toastmasters International. They’re hiring for a Chief of Staff position. If you’re interested or know anyone who is, email Varun.
Chief of Staff - Responsible for Yoodli's social accounts, customer success, SEO blog writing, and one-off firefighting (first non-technical hire, full-time role). Ideally, 1-2 years out of college, based in Seattle, a super communicator (written and oral), and eager to jump into startup life head first.
Claremont alumnus Thomas Vladeck is the co-founder and CEO of Recast – a next-generation media measurement platform developer. Recast provides an independent and unbiased assessment of marketing performance and gives marketers a central source of truth they can trust. Before co-founding Recast, Thomas also built a quantitative market research firm consulting for Amazon, McKinsey, and Nike. He’s looking for a Senior Software Engineer and a Marketing Data Analyst to join their rapidly growing company:
Check out the other ~5,000 open jobs at 400+ Claremont-affiliated companies here on our Storyboard. Plus, create a profile and enter your preferences to get alerted to new job postings relevant to you, be they the 1,000+ remote jobs, 100+ internships, or 40+ part-time positions available. We’ve published research that shows that Claremont-founded companies that disproportionately hire Claremont talent outperform — so pay attention, Claremonsters!
If any of these roles catch your eye 👀 , apply and mention Between the Lines. Or, if you are an employer looking to hire tip-top Claremont talent, fill out this form to have your jobs featured.
🗣️ Conversations on the Interwebz:
This week’s must-watch 📺
At the recent CAPA Airline Summit, Claremont graduate and FlyCoin President Tom Hsieh shared details on what the company is building and how they plan to disrupt the aviation industry. FlyCoin is a cryptocurrency-based travel rewards company aiming to have customers be the loyalty program owners.
This week’s Claremont financing 💸
Digital health accelerator Pharmstars announced Biostrap as one of their new graduates for their second class of 2022. Co-founded by Claremont alumnus and CEO Sameer Sontakey, Biostrap provides personalized health-tracking solutions leveraging hardware and software.
Congratulations to Claremont alumnus Adam Schoenfeld and Keyplay on their recent $3M Seed round. Adam Schoenfeld is the co-founder and CEO of Keyplay — a SaaS company that focuses on account research to help B2B teams cut waste and improve sales confidence.
Claremont alumnus David Arfin is the co-founder and CEO of NineDot Energy – a leading developer of community-scale clean energy projects backed by global investment firm Carlyle. They just announced an $85M construction-to-term debt facility to support the buildout of eleven battery storage sites in NYC.
Everything else you need to know💡
Claremont alumnus and co-founder Daniel Zakowski shared on Shark Tank updates from his allergy prevention company, Ready, Set, Food! The company has hit $6M+ in sales and has been steadily growing since Mark Cuban partnered with them in 2020.
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🍽️ BTL Snacks:
⚒️ Building Two Companies From Scratch….. With buyer rigor returning and a higher bar set for GTM leaders, Claremont graduate Adam Schoenfeld shares how he's building both a media and SaaS company from scratch. He shares why he’s betting on a community-first approach as the crucial pillar of the modern GTM. Adam is the co-founder of media company PeerSignal and software development firm Keyplay, which recently came out of stealth with a $3M Seed round.
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