IronGate's CRO and COO Describes Inspiration Behind Starting Cybersecurity Firm
Joe DePaul is Chief Revenue Officer, Chief Operating Officer, and co-founder of IronGate Cybersecurity. Joe shares the inspiration behind launching a cybersecurity firm, lessons learned from his 30-year career in the insurance industry, and his commitment to collaboration across the cyber insurance ecosystem to drive solutions. He describes how data plays a major role in helping organizations pinpoint their vulnerabilities and heighten their resilience to future cyber attacks. For anyone considering a career in cybersecurity, Joe says the time is now.
Q: What motivated you to start a cybersecurity firm? What was the inspiration behind it?
A: At the core of what IronGate does is to help companies recover quickly from a cyber event. We have designed solutions to deliver that response and recovery quickly and efficiently so that our clients can get back to the business of managing their business.
Assisting a company, whether a healthcare organization whose patients are dependent on that facility's technology to provide medical care, a manufacturing company whose customers are dependent on their specific order, which then allows them to sell their own product, a public entity whose residents or students are reliant on technology to provide basic services or educate students, or a financial firm who must ensure that financial systems allow customers to transact business globally - that is the motivation and inspiration behind launching IronGate. We strive to be a true differentiator in the full cyber ecosystem.
We also know that data will play a big role in helping our clients understand how to protect their organizations from future attacks with pre-event preparation strategies as well as post-event analytics into the data to understand fully where vulnerabilities arise and how those can be mitigated. Carriers and brokers are deeply interested in our ability to analyze event data and interpret key insights to inform their business decisions.
Q: How do you stay up-to-date with the latest cybersecurity threats and technologies to ensure your solutions are cutting-edge?
A: If we are not aware of what the current and emerging threats are, we are not relevant. We must continuously educate ourselves, collaborate with our partners, and be immersed in the space. Our clients demand that from us, and we must rise to meet that challenge and demand. At IronGate we do just that.
Those who know me recognize me as a collaborator who strives to bring people together from all corners of our ecosystem for the good of the whole. We know that emerging trends and issues are not just impacting us. Every input - large or small - is vital to driving effective solutions.
Q: What is the firm's strategy for building and maintaining strong client relationships and trust in the cybersecurity industry?
A: Execution, proven trust, and expertise that does not compromise. Throughout my 30-year career, I’ve focused on providing companies with solutions to complex issues. This begins with listening to their concerns and understanding what risks they are facing as an organization. What I have heard over and over again, and is validated in surveys, analytical reports, and conversations with these individuals, is that what keeps their board, executives, and managers awake at night is the ability to identify, stop, and recover from a debilitating cyber event.
Each of us at IronGate has a reputation for listening intently to our clients' needs. We are passionate about selecting the right tools and resources to enhance their resilience through vigilance and robust cybersecurity practices. When assisting organizations that have been impacted by a cyber event, we focus on identifying the root of the issue as quickly as possible while empowering the organization to get back up and running as quickly as possible.
Additionally, cyber insurance offerings have become mainstream as an absolute must-have for any organization today. The cybersecurity industry has acknowledged the product provides not only a financial loss mitigation solution but also an overall risk mitigation solution by providing pre- and post-event offerings. This allows companies to improve their cybersecurity hygiene prior to an event and give access to tools and solutions to recover.
Q: What advice would you offer to organizations looking to improve their cybersecurity posture or to individuals seeking a career in cybersecurity?
A: Ask questions about current and emerging threats. Understand how those will impact your organization. Prepare for the when, identify the risks, and know which compensating controls can mitigate your risk.
Preparedness is a team event at every organization that must include the board of directors. The organization must test and implement a preparedness plan that they can initiate from any location, at any time of day. The now-expanded SEC Disclosure Rules compel public companies to disclose their cyber risk management, strategy, and governance policies, and to disclose those incidents. But they also must be able to respond to a cyber event for their survival.
The advice I give to anyone considering a career in cybersecurity is this: there has never been more of an opportunity to help organizations become cyber-resilient than right now. We’re seeing a tremendous increase in threat actors, both within and outside of organizations. Investments in developing technologies such as AI to help secure our everyday lives will grow exponentially over the next 5-10 years, and beyond. If you're thinking of getting into the space, now is the time!
Learn more about IronGate’s mission and vision:
Joe DePaul is a 30-year insurance industry veteran who's spent more than half of his career solving complex cybersecurity challenges. He leverages his experience, expertise, and relationships to ensure he’s focused on solving client needs now and in the future.