Security, Smart Devices, and Industry Trends: An Interview with Ray Potter

[interview]
Summary:

Ray Potter, CEO and founder of SafeLogic, sat down with Jonathan Vanian to talk about how 2014 is the year of encryption, what the future is for security on wearable tech, the issue of security not being at the forefront of software development, and his time at SafeLogic.

Jonathan Vanian: All right, we are on. I'm with Ray Potter. Ray Potter is with SafeLogic, and Ray, why don't you start off and just tell our listeners a little bit about yourself and a little bit about your company.

Ray Potter: Sure, Jonathan. Thanks so much. So, Ray Potter CEO and co-founder of SafeLogic. We provide a cryptographic solution for mobile devices, for servers, and for even wearable environments that essentially provide drop-in compliance for regulatory requirements, all right? So one of the challenges in security and especially in the crypto space is making sure that products are designed and architected in a way that meet very strict either government or private sector vertical requirements.

Jonathan Vanian: Right.

Ray Potter: I think we've done it in a way that traditionally had been lacking in the industry so far. So it's just pretty exciting. We actually got our start by kind of bootstrapping from some consulting operations. So I ran a services firm for about nine years where we provided security and cryptography and compliance consulting to a ton of just, you know, household security companies, network companies, as well as start-ups.

Jonathan Vanian: Right.

Ray Potter: Then what happened was we kind of saw that everyone was typically seeing the same challenges and issues with the traditional model for compliance with some of the traditional players out there for the software space. So we came up with kind of a R and D effort to kind of close that off and that's how SafeLogic was born.

Jonathan Vanian: So you've been in the security space for quite awhile then.

Ray Potter: Yes, for oh gosh, a good number of years. So before my service company I was at Cisco Systems for a number of years. So I basically kind of ran their security and compliance program, and really helped them kind of build a strategy for how they start to attack different compliance programs especially for federal government and try to get some of those requirements either merged into the development process or at least thought about it a little bit earlier during a product development lifecycle, so that they can kind of close off some of the ... I guess make some of the sales people happy as we like to say.

Jonathan Vanian: Always important to do that. So I mean, so obviously you've been in the security space for awhile, so any sort of trends that you're seeing? I mean, what have you witnessed happening with security over the past few years? I mean, what are you seeing today?

Ray Potter: Sure, well, I think one thing that's kind of exciting is that encryption is like cool again, right? I mean for the longest time it's just been essentially plumbing for all sorts of different products. I mean, you know, so many products sue encryption technology for a variety of reasons but after some of the alleged issues with one of the large vendors last year, and then with everything happening with Edward Snowden and everything, it's almost like people are really thinking about encryption now more seriously than before and actually really considering it during product development and I think even from a in-user perspective. Kind of just asking some questions and taking more of an interest in it where that's been a big challenge in security from homeless from day one, right? It's getting kind of in-user interest and buy-in.

Jonathan Vanian: Yeah, it's hot one day and the next day it cools off a little bit, but now it seems to be back hot in the cycle again.

Ray Potter: Yeah, exactly, but then, you know, now, like here in 2014 it's just like embedded. It's almost like the year of encryption, right? Which I feel pretty fortunate that we're in the space that we're in and I think that hopefully the timing should work out for us. But it seems like every day goes by you see news articles and tweets about Yahoo and Google's efforts to encrypt email and even just from that perspective it's interesting, but as I said, we start to look at other security, mobility, and big data that are out there offering solutions.

We're starting to look at encryption and cryptography a little bit more seriously from the beginning. So I think that's pretty exciting.

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About the author

Jonathan Vanian's picture Jonathan Vanian

Jonathan Vanian is an online editor who edits, writes, interviews, and helps turn the many cranks at StickyMinds, TechWell, AgileConnection, and CMCrossroads. He has worked for newspapers, websites, and a magazine, and is not as scared of the demise of the written word as others may appear to be. Software and high technology never cease to amaze him.

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