Monday, August 27, 2012
I recently had the pleasure of attending some instruction from retired four-star General Bruce Carlson. The material covered a number of things, including some important life lessons. He emphasized the importance of making sure you love what you do, saying something along the lines of: “my wife tells me I had a job, but I don’t remember doing a single day of work. I got to fly planes for a living.” I suspect some degree of hyperbole, but it still made me think about where I currently choose to earn my living. Not only do I enjoy working at Bit9 (CrunchBase Profile), but I feel others should know that so they will join the company if given the opportunity.
I interviewed at Bit9 during the spring of 2011, an exciting time to look at computer security. The infamous Sony breaches occurred at the beginning of the year, with the fallout still ongoing. Anonymous had gone from some anarchists on 4chan to a serious threat in the security space. They had spawned the sub-group LulzSec, which actively rampaged prior to the capture of their leader that summer. RSA succumbed to a spear-phishing attack, part of an advanced persistent threat. A year earlier, Stuxnet had dramatically upped the ante of cyber warfare by causing physical harm to SCADA systems through malware. Computer systems security was and is the place to be (our investors agree).
Bit9 sits at the front of the computer systems security space. We keep a wall display containing many of our customer’s logos just past the reception area at our office. Our website lists some of these, but the display spans three walls and represent groups from all over government and industry. I walk by those walls a number of times each day. Most of the time I take them for granted, but occasionally I take a minute to inspect a few of the logos and remind myself: I get to defend the world’s leading brands. What I do matters (it’s definitely not selling sugared water). My friends and family may not have heard of my company before I started here, but they heard of our customers.
Of course, all the positive boilerplate career-page information also applies to Bit9. Positions provide creative fulfillment, a great work environment, and the best coworkers. Bit9 also offers traditional benefits: medical plan, dental plan, life insurance, short term disability, paid vacation, holidays, and a referral bonus. I can clearly see how the company values its employees by the behavior of my direct manager all the way up to the CEO. Management repeatedly demonstrates their commitment to transparency with their coworkers. This culture of valuing employees as our greatest resource acts as a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Bit9 delivers a product worth bragging about. The world’s leading brands come to us because Parity works, stopping the advanced persistent threat. We are the only company to claim preemptive stopping of Flame. Parity blocked the malware months before Kaspersky Lab identified it as a cyber-attack. Customers running our software successfully blocked the malware responsible for the 2011 RSA breach. These and other examples illustrate how we provide a unique and effective solution. We are good at what we do, and what we do actually gets used to make a difference.
I do not fly planes for a living, but I do not even like riding in planes and I hate the feeling of zero-g. I do like working with computer software, and I love doing it at Bit9. You would too.