What lead you to join Security Compass?
I graduated in 2004 with a computer science degree – it was in the heyday of the dot com bust and there weren’t any jobs to be had. So, in hopes of employment, I started going to the Toronto (TO) chapter OWASP meetings hoping to network in the software space.
Now, unfortunately – but fortunately for me – accounting scandals were starting to appear across the US and Canada – think of Enron, Fannie Mae, etc. As a result, job openings were beginning to open in Risk and Security space. I was fortunate enough to be offered a position with a global, top 5 professional services firm – and so began my first security career.
While at this organization I met another employee who had put together a group focused on software and security – we were a fledgling but interesting collection of individuals! We started looking for someone outside of our organization who was also working in this space – and we reached out to the local TO OWASP chapter. The chapter lead at the time was Nish Bhalla, Security Compass’s founder, who was looking for a place to meet – coincidentally our firm had lots of space, so they began to meet at my firm.
A couple of years later Nish reached out to me wondering if I knew anyone with serious security and software expertise. The challenge of the role he was describing sounded incredible, but to put this in perspective, I only had 2 years of experience – I think he was looking for someone with 10. I spent some time trying to decide if I wanted to climb the corporate ladder or follow my passion for software. Well, I followed my heart and convinced Nish to take a risk on me. This looked like a dream job – it was going to be fun – and I knew we’d make a great team!
Like every start-up, things were a little crazy at first. Contracts that we expected to close went sideways, so to generate income I built security training courses and hands-on labs. A few months later we closed our first client, a very large Canadian bank – and then in spectacular fashion, it all took off.
Here we are 16 years later with over 200 employees and considered one of Canada’s Best Places to Work!
How do you see the future?
I feel like we are on the cusp of something extremely transformative and cool. We know that cybersecurity gets in the way of what any company really wants to do – innovate fast, stay ahead of the competition, and wow their customers! Cybersecurity isn’t just a technology issue, it’s a competitive issue. Therein lies the current dilemma – software development being a choice of two bad options: fast and risky, or slow and safe.
Imagine a third option where we take away the drag of cybersecurity – allowing companies to stay competitive in an ever-changing tech landscape. At Security Compass, we’ve built the world’s first automated platform for balancing speed-to-market and security.
Ten years from now companies will wonder how they ever functioned without us. We have this unique opportunity to positively affect the world as we help customers with problems no one else is solving – its never been so exciting!