Military Values and Work Ethic Drives Tech Startup Dark Rhino Security
The reality of running a tech startup is that success and longevity are often uncertain. For network security firm Dark Rhino Security, founded in 2017 to almost instantaneous success, honest and direct communication is key to a flourishing business.
Chief Executive Officer Kevin Casey founded the company in the spring of 2017, bringing on Chief Revenue Officer Nathan Boston and Director of Sales and Business Management Shawn Richardson the summer of that same year.
“We have grown tremendously in a very short time frame,” says Boston, who is an equity partner in the company. “I think that is because of the people and the culture that we’ve brought in.”
“…If someone were to go out on their own and do what we’re doing, it’s hard to do that in this business,” he continues. “Fortunately, we’ve brought together a team of people that have a tremendous network.”
Specializing in enterprise network security, Dark Rhino Security’s services all tie back to risk, whether it be financial, reputational, or legal. The different variables that come to play for each company allows Dark Rhino Security to customize products and services that fit the needs and initiatives of each client.
“And just like our clients have reputational and brand risk, so do we. We’re a startup, and our name is what we have at this point,” says Zach Lawrence, the company’s business development manager. Lawrence started at Dark Rhino Security midway into 2018.
“We want to take care of that and nurture that as we grow our business, to make sure that we’re not known in the community as folks that either over-promised and under-delivered, or sold a really expensive solution that wasn’t needed, but actually as partners and advisors in the community,” he says.
A problem clients often run into with tech companies is miscommunication, resulting in what is oftentimes an intentional barrier between opportunistic tech companies and clients who are technically inexperienced.
“There’s a bridge that’s often times not handled very well between clients and tech companies, and that’s often a communication barrier,” says Nathan Horne, senior security engineer. “We bridge that language barrier very well, because there’s a level of honesty here.”
That honesty is largely attributed to the company’s many military affiliations: Boston joined the Marine Corp Reserves while attending college; Richardson retired as a master sergeant in the US Army; and Jordan Graham, a firewall engineer for the company, was on active duty in the Marine Corp as late as January 2018. The commonality has even led the company to start an initiative specifically targeting veterans entering the workforce or looking to start a career in the tech field.
Veterans face a number of obstacles transitioning from the field to the workplace. A barrier quietly felt by former military members is a resentment expressed by corporate leaders given the value of their diverse skill set.
“The skill sets that we learn in our careers, we’re taught not to just be an IT guy, or a grunt, or field artillery, or engineers, or a logistician. When we come out into the marketplace, it gives us the advantage, or should give us the advantage,” he says. “I think the marketplace is now seeing the value in that, because for years the leadership within certain companies would see that as a threat.”
There is also a need to address the sense of purpose many veterans lose by entering this space. Dark Rhino Security’s team uniquely understands what veterans are up against, making their initiative a model on how these narratives may start to change.
“What’s hard for veterans transitioning in the corporate culture — most of them are purpose driven. They want to feel like they’re a part of something that’s more, that’s going to serve someone else,” says Boston.
“I know their hearts and their mindset, and what their ‘Why’ is. Their ‘Why’ was they wanted to be something bigger, and we want them to be a part of that here,” he says.
For more information on Dark Rhino Security, visit darkrhinosecurity.com.
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