First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Rich Seiersen: We are doing well. Our kids are home from college, and we’re sheltering in a place like champions.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded Soluble.
Rich Seiersen: I started in security about 20 years ago as a developer building vulnerability management solutions. First at nCircle (now Tripwire) and then at Qualys. After that, I went into security operations at Kaiser Permanente. While there, I ran a gamut of services all the way from product security to data science. From there, I went on to become the General Manager of Cybersecurity and Privacy for GE Healthcare. Afterward, I moved to Twilio as their CISO/VP Trust, and then on to LendingClub as their CISO. Along the way, I co-authored a book called, “How to Measure Anything in Cybersecurity Risk,” and I have a second book on the way.
It was at LendingClub that I met my Soluble Cofounder Rob Schoening, who was VP of Operations. Developers were rapidly delivering products, but security was outnumbered. We realized there had to be a better way to secure cloud-native environments – with speed and velocity, the DevOps way. So we started Soluble to deliver solutions that drop security into development.
How does Soluble innovate?
Rich Seiersen: We operationalize open source and third-party services with our SaaS platform, Soluble Fusion. We do this using Kubernetes’ native approaches within customer clusters via our SaaS platform. It’s the most efficient way to deliver accepted and expected security services in an affordable and comprehensive manner. As we build new solutions to solve customer challenges, we can offer them via our website at a reasonable price. It takes minutes to connect to our platform, and then they can benefit from our services.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Rich Seiersen: We’ve actually done well during the pandemic. As a seed-stage company, we have been heads-down in developing our solutions. We hire for talent, not for geography, so our team was already spread out and mostly working remotely. Also, our business is going well. Organizations are using digital transformation and the move to the cloud to lower costs and increase productivity. As they do this, there is a need to ensure that they can do this securely and meet their compliance requirements. We offer a program – Soluble Engage – where they can connect to our platform to assess their environments. We can identify their security issues and ways for them to optimize their security programs.
At the same time, we miss our face to face meetings with customers, investors, and our community with events.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Rich Seiersen: a small team and limited resources, it’s important to be scrappy and stay focused. In particular, we’re focused on producing solutions and digital content that matters to our audience. We also have many ideas on solutions to build, but we have to focus on and prioritize our engineering efforts to what we can do with our small team. We are early in this adventure – it can be challenging but exciting – we like the fight!
How do you deal with stress and anxiety? How do you project yourself and Soluble in the future?
Rich Seiersen: I fight stress with exercise, sleep, family, and friends. The best way to protect our company for the future is to build a solid company and deliver products that deliver value for customers who need solutions now.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Rich Seiersen: There are several first-generation cloud-native security companies that started as on-premise container companies. They theoretically compete with us on our posture management solution, but not with privilege access nor policy solutions. We were also born Kubernetes native with a SaaS delivery model from the start and will be offering our solutions straight from our website. With our solution, the time to value is fast. We can offer our solutions at a fair price; simply visit our website, select the solution, connect to the platform in minutes, and immediately try our solutions, with purchase via credit card. So taking our multi-service and platforming approach into consideration, we represent the next generation of cloud-native security.
Your final thoughts?
Rich Seiersen: It is very exciting to have a security startup solving the issues I faced as a CISO. It’s rewarding to build solutions that can help organizations meet their security and compliance objectives.
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