Meet the Santa Monica Cybersecurity Firm Helping Facebook Protect Its Data

Keerthi Vedantam

Keerthi Vedantam is a bioscience reporter at dot.LA. She cut her teeth covering everything from cloud computing to 5G in San Francisco and Seattle. Before she covered tech, Keerthi reported on tribal lands and congressional policy in Washington, D.C. Connect with her on Twitter, Clubhouse (@keerthivedantam) or Signal at 408-470-0776.

Meet the Santa Monica Cybersecurity Firm Helping Facebook Protect Its Data
Art by NicoElNino/ Shutterstock

Between a distinguished career as a U.S. Navy officer and various roles at IT and cybersecurity firms, Glen Day became the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services’ first chief privacy officer in 2002—a role tasked with overseeing HIPAA compliance for over a million medical patients.

At the time, governments and businesses alike were only beginning to understand the importance of privacy in a budding technological world, where data still straddled both analog and digital realms. Two decades later, the evolution of data storage and the cloud have turned companies into data hoarders. As a result, security breaches have become more sophisticated, and privacy compliance—from the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation rules to California’s “right to be forgotten” law—has only increased.

“When you see companies dealing with these new ransomware attacks, it is a clear indicator that they've lost control of their data,” Day told dot.LA.

In 2018, Day founded NVISIONx, a Santa Monica-based cybersecurity startup that unveiled a $4.6 million seed funding round on Thursday. Boston-based Companyon Ventures led the round and was joined by investors Morgan Stanley Next Level Fund, SixThirty Ventures, Gutbrain Ventures, PBJ Capital and CreativeCo Capital.

NVISIONx founder Glen Day.

NVISIONx “data risk intelligence” platform manages data storage and protection for enterprise clients, with the goal of helping them avoid cybersecurity breaches that could lead to regulatory fines or the loss of intellectual property. The startup has already garnered a handful of major corporate clients—most notably Meta Platforms, the company formerly known as Facebook, as well as San Diego-based fleet management software provider Platform Science.

NVISIONx’s platform examines every piece of data in a company’s repository, and takes stock of what is outdated and what is valuable and needs to be protected. The program then assesses who owns the valuable data, looks at what protocols are in place to protect it, and makes sure those protections are in line with federal, state and international compliance regulations.

Day said he was inspired by his work at accounting giant Ernst and Young. There, he oversaw cybersecurity and intellectual property protections for companies like Nike, Qualcomm and Monster Energy, which would often have large databases filled with consumer information and unpatented intellectual property. Some companies would struggle to sift through large volumes of data to protect individuals’ privacy, which could then open them up to large fines if a security breach was discovered. Others had pieces of intellectual property or research and development data scattered across unprotected data containers, leaving them vulnerable to data leaks.

By getting rid of outdated or unnecessary data, Day said, companies can save millions of dollars on the security engineers and data storage costs often required to babysit large volumes of information. “When you purge the junk, not only does it reduce your compliance scope and reduce your attack surface—it also will save you millions on a recurring basis,” he said

The seed funding will go toward marketing costs, expanding NVISIONx’s technical offerings and integrations, and growing its sales team to garner more clients, Day added.

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Energy Shares Gears Up To Bring Equity Crowdfunding to Retail Investors

David Shultz

David Shultz reports on clean technology and electric vehicles, among other industries, for dot.LA. His writing has appeared in The Atlantic, Outside, Nautilus and many other publications.

Energy Shares Gears Up To Bring Equity Crowdfunding to Retail Investors
Photo by Red Zeppelin on Unsplash

The Inflation Reduction Act contains almost $400 billion in funding for clean energy initiatives. There’s $250 billion for energy projects. $23 billion for transportation and EVs. $46 billion for environment. $21 billion for agriculture, and so on. With so much cash flowing into the sector, the possibilities for investment and growth are gigantic.

These investment opportunities, however, have typically been inaccessible for everyday retail investors until much later in a company’s development–after an IPO, usually. Meaning that the best returns are likely to be captured by banks and other institutions who have the capital and financing to invest large sums of money earlier in the process.

That’s where Pasadena-based Energy Shares comes in. The company wants to help democratize access to these investment opportunities and simultaneously give early-stage utility-scale energy projects another revenue stream.

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Why These Ukrainian Entrepreneurs Are Making LA Their Home

Aisha Counts
Aisha Counts is a business reporter covering the technology industry. She has written extensively about tech giants, emerging technologies, startups and venture capital. Before becoming a journalist she spent several years as a management consultant at Ernst & Young.
Why These Ukrainian Entrepreneurs Are Making LA Their Home
Joey Mota

Fleeing war and chasing new opportunities, more than a dozen Ukrainian entrepreneurs have landed in Los Angeles, finding an unexpected community in the city of dreams. These entrepreneurs have started companies that are collectively worth more than $300 million, in industries ranging from electric vehicle charging stations to audience monetization platforms to social networks.

Dot.LA spent an evening with this group of Ukrainian citizens, learning what it was like to build startups in Ukraine, to cope with the unimaginable fear of fleeing war, and to garner the resilience to rebuild.

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