Why Cloud Security Expert Christopher Steffen Joined Cryptzone

November 3, 2016 |
Chris Steffen joins Cryptzone as Technical Director

Over the weekend, I shared how excited I was to join the Cryptzone team as a Technical Director. I wanted to share a few insights into my move, and why I chose Cryptzone as my new home away from home.

Technology: There are literally thousands of technology companies out there, and many of them have a focus (or at least pay attention to) the issues that I particularly like to advocate: information security and compliance.

Cryptzone is a company dedicated to these issues, and takes a unique approach to all of them. AppGate is the industry leader in the emerging Software-Defined Perimeter (SDP) space, providing security solutions with identity centric security controls to the enterprise while protecting resources from internal and external threats. Security Sheriff is a product that helps enforce compliance and data security policies for many of your compliance controls. Compliance Sheriff provides users with a means to monitor online content for potential compliance issues across digital environments – keeping information safe, appropriate and within regulatory guidelines. These products are leaders in their respective spaces, used by private and public sector customers to address security and compliance needs.

Innovation: If you follow the information security industry at all, you know that there are dozens of security products to address every potential security concern an enterprise may have. Cryptzone may have been dismissed before as just another vendor in the already crowded security software space.

Until you actually look at what they do.

The Software-Defined Perimeter paradigm is a radically different approach to network and identity centric security. The entire AppGate concept is different enough – authenticating the user before they have access to ANY resources at all – that it often takes a couple of explanations to get it, even to the most seasoned security or network professional. Once they *DO* understand the concept, the first question usually is “Where has this been all my life?”

I can happily share examples of the technical overview with you, but it blew my mind the first time I saw it. Enough so that I knew then that I was EXTREMELY interested in the revolution that was SDP and Cryptzone.

Message: Cryptzone is unique in the security industry. Often you hear the tales of doom and gloom that accompany most security services and product sells – buy our stuff or your company will be hacked out of existence! The fear marketing happens at nearly every company, and I guess it must work, to some extent. Cryptzone takes a different approach – providing a security solution and support to a customer partner trying to address security and compliance challenges to protect their enterprise. REFRESHING!! As an industry, I think we need to move away from the scare tactics and focus on solutions. While I was able to do this to some degree in my previous professional endeavors, Cryptzone embraces the concept.

Culture: I walk into a room with co-workers for the very first time, and the first comment that I was greeted with was “I had better step up my beard game.” No, I do not make employment decisions based on the beards in the room (though that may not be a terrible criteria), but it speaks to the welcoming and collegial atmosphere of the company. My previous professional experiences have varied – from the large, Fortune 50 technical company, to the small manufacturing company, to the small financial services company, to the public sector. Each has been different, and each has their positives and negatives.

Cryptzone is an established “start-up”, though it is different than any start-up I have seen or been a part of. It is established and funded, has mature products, industry leadership and all of the usual infrastructure that you would expect from a well-run company. Yet there is definitely a start-up vibe – excited, driven, innovative, and fun. I have been immediately embraced as a person, not just another employee, engaged at every level about my ideas and suggestions. It is the dream of every person to work in an environment where they are valued. Cryptzone convinced me of this on the very first day (actually long before that).

I blog ALL THE TIME – this is the first of MANY blogs that I will create for Cryptzone. I am planning a series on a recent Forrester Research report that you should be able to read soon, as well as thought leadership content on Cryptzone and information security topics.

You can find more information about Cryptzone here. The Forrester Research whitepaper “Forrester – “No More Chewy Centers: The Zero Trust Model of Information Security” can be found here. You can also read additional Cryptzone blogs by going here.

Forrester Research, No More Chewy Centers: The Zero Trust Model of Information Security

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Chris Steffen

Christopher Steffen joined Cryptzone in October 2016 as the Technical Director to educate and promote information security and regulatory compliance as it relates to network access management and cloud computing solutions. Before joining the team at Cryptzone, Chris served as the Chief Evangelist – Cloud Security for Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE). He has also served in executive roles as the Director of Information Technology at Magpul Industries (a plastics manufacturing company) and as the Principal Technical Architect for Kroll Factual Data (a credit service provider). Steffen has presented at numerous conferences and has been interviewed by multiple online and print media sources. Steffen holds several technical certifications, including CISSP and CISA.

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