LogRhythm co-founder and CTO Chris Petersen is a rare Colorado native, running a Colorado-based company that has won numerous awards, including APEX Company of the Year.
LogRhythm helps companies quickly identity threats like compromised systems and user accounts – and ensures damaging cyber incidents such as data breaches are avoided.
Not surprisingly, the company has met with incredible success. After hiring roughly 100 employees in 100 days and providing invaluable cyber security to companies across the world, Petersen is humble. “It’s just cool to me that there’s a company like us in Colorado.”
What are the biggest factors in LogRhythm’s success in general, and how being located in Colorado has contributed to your success?
If I look at some of the key factors around our success, one is the focus on our mission in cyber security and the technologies we bring to market to help protect our customers. Secondarily, the people here. We’ve had incredible fortune at LogRhythm attracting people to the organization both at the executive level down to the staff level. Our culture is built around solving our customers’ problems, truly innovating in the marketplace,
but also being a place everyone likes to come to work every day and can find a good work-life balance, which is honestly very important to the Colorado market. One of the benefits of being in Colorado from a recruitment standpoint is that there’s a lot of there’s a lot of great universities here. There’s also a lot of people that align with our culture and our values in terms of wanting to work hard and wanting to play hard, as well. And Colorado is really an ideal place to do that.
You mentioned the importance of innovation in your culture at LogRhythm. What role does failure play in innovation and how you balance that from a managerial or leadership perspective?
Innovation takes courage. Along with the courage to innovate is the courage to fail at times, and the courage to accept the fact that that effort might not work out. To innovate, you must be willing to take risks. You need to be willing to fail. So that you don’t have catastrophic failures, you need to have good judgment and balance. Especially in the product side. That’s where it’s easy to start innovating in areas where no one has expressed need or concern, and before you know it, you’re innovating just for the pure sake of innovation. And while that’s perfect in an academic environment, it’s not so perfect in a business environment. So, one thing I’ve always focused a lot on is innovating where we know we have problems to solve. There is a real problem here. We can understand it; we can qualify it. We can qualify it; we can quantify it. Innovation at LogRhythm is just constrained in areas where there are known problems that provide us a better solution for customer or a more efficient operation somewhere in the business.
How does LogRhythm uniquely help with cyber threats? What goes wrong in general with cyber security? Between Sony, Anthem, and celebrity hacks, do you think people are underestimating the threats out there?
We are a security intelligence analytic company. One way to think of LogRhythm is being the intersection of big data and analytics. The challenge that businesses face today is that there’s so many threats, so many attacks, so much malware, they can’t see through the noise. There are alarms going off all the time all around them, and they don’t know which alarm to chase down.
Our big data and analytics approach helps our customers leverage all the data that they currently have to better see those threats that could actually bring them damage and prioritize those threats. And then, we provide them a streamlined work through workflow through our software to mitigate those threats very, very quickly.
Organizations have recognized that preventative metric approach is adequate. What I mean is creating a big firewall. You think that’ll keep the bad guys out, but the problem is that the bad guys have figured out ways through the wall: they go over the wall, around the wall, under the wall, they bribe somebody who’s already inside the wall. So our job is to detect when those threats have gotten through, over, under, or around the wall – or if it’s in the wall already.
In any sizable company over 10 million in revenue, they’re all being tagged and targeted for one reason or another. And that’s just due to the amount of money to be made in cybercrime today. There’s an estimate by the Rand Corporation that cybercrime is more profitable than the illicit drug trade. So, there’s a huge motivation for criminals to come after companies of all types. And unfortunately, most companies are pretty blind in terms of their ability to see these threats. A lot of them are compromised, have their data stolen, or have their services disrupted. It’s just pretty ugly out there. You see it in the news with the eBay hack or the J.P. Morgan hack, but you don’t see it with the smaller companies they’re hacking every single day.
LogRhythm is one of the most important securities in the world when it comes to cyber security in terms of what we do around security intelligence. There are few companies like us globally in terms of our scale in the market. We have 400 employees now, and we hired roughly hundred people in 100 days. Were in a period of explosion in our growth right now.
It is it really is. In the local space, we’re experts in cyber security, and we’re one of the best globally in what we do. To me, it’s just cool that there’s a company like us in Colorado. I’m from Colorado and so I’m glad were here.