July 15, 2022

Last Updated on January 19, 2024

On a recent episode of The Virtual CISO Podcast, guest Ron Gula, President at Gula Tech Adventures and formerly co-founder and CEO of Tenable Network Security, talked about his company’s goal of “protecting our nation’s cyberspace.” How does that fit will all the recent US government cyber initiatives and mandates?

Where is the cyber fire department?

Ron started Gula Tech Adventures during the Trump administration, when the US Cyber Command was charged to “go defend forward,” which meant preemptively hacking the bad guys. Alongside that came the ban on Huawei, banning the purchase of DJI drones, and so on. Ron sees this as progressive because it takes our cyber warfare footing more seriously.

But what is the US federal government materially doing to help the nation’s SMBs implement security? What about state and local government?

“I live in Maryland and anytime I get a chance to talk to the governor or anything like that I’m always saying things like, “Look you guys could be doing a lot more. Where’s the cyber fire department?” asks Ron.

In Ron’s view, most governmental actions are too high-level and indirect. As he puts it, “For the most part, my mom and dad are on their own. If they get malware on their computer, who do they call? It’s a random answer depending on who you talk to.”

Secure by default

Gula Tech Adventures with its portfolio of cyber startups is trying to accomplish three main things:

  1. Bring products to market that are “secure by default”—user-friendly tools that can thwart attacks on a massive scale.
  2. Make the “typical hunting and hygiene investments” easier for SMBs to handle both strategically and financially.
  3. Focus more venture capital investment on solutions for SMBs.

“Most of corporate America is defended by small business IT shops,” maintains Ron. “They’re not defended by the name-brand cyber things that we know. And frankly, if Russia or China came at us, those are the people who are going to have to do the defending. Don’t get me wrong. The banks are going to have their resources, the telcos are going to have their resources and there’s a lot of cool technology and people in those things. But if you think about the 99% of America, it’s really small business that’s making up that supply chain and I want to see more technology and people focused on that. That’s really the basis of what we’re doing at Gula Tech.”

What’s next?

To listen to the complete podcast episode with Ron Gula end-to-end, click here.

What does recent executive branch cyber guidance mean for SMBs? Here’s a great podcast on the topic: EP#58 – Scott Sarris – The Cybersecurity Executive Order: What You Need to Know



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