In a recent podcast episode, I had the pleasure of hosting Justin Beals, the co-founder and CEO of Strike Graph. We delved into a variety of topics, from his role at Strike Graph to his passion for sailing and skateboarding, and the journey of starting a startup.
Meet Justin Beals: The Man Behind Strike Graph
Justin Beals is not just the co-founder and CEO of Strike Graph, but also a passionate sailor and skateboarder. His day-to-day role at Strike Graph involves building the business, assembling the right team, and solving important problems. As the CEO, he deals with various issues, from trash collection to strategy.
The Journey of Starting a Startup
Justin shared his journey in starting Strike Graph and his interest in entrepreneurship and technology. He looks for problems that can be solved with a technology-driven solution and that require capital to build and prove the value of the product. He mentioned working with an incubator in Seattle to spin out Strike Graph and their recent VC-backed funding round.
The Importance of Certifications in Business
Justin shared his personal experience as a Chief Technology Officer at a previous startup, where he struggled to help the sales team navigate the procurement process and share security operations. He explained how certifications like PCI-DSS and SOC2 can impact revenue by speeding up the procurement process. By cutting the two-year timeframe in half or three-quarters, companies can increase their revenue significantly.
The Ethical Aspect of Security
Justin also discussed the ethical aspect of the problem, stating that implementing better security is better for everyone involved in the marketplace. He mentioned that these certifications act as a measuring stick for an organization’s security operation and can help build trust among customers.
Understanding Certifications and Audit Qualifications
We also discussed the specific certifications and audit qualifications. PCI-DSS, designed for credit card processing, requires an external assessment for organizations that process a million transactions a year. SOC2, often added on top of PCI-DSS, has a broader set of expectations, including security processes around HR, change management, and encryption.
The Role of Security Operations in Businesses
Justin emphasized the importance of security operations in businesses. He mentioned that multiple people in the organization, such as the CTO and DevOps, should own different aspects of security. He emphasized the need for a separation of environments to prevent the leakage of production data into a QA environment.
The Impact of GDPR
We discussed the impact of GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) in Europe, which has driven the adoption of privacy-focused standards worldwide. Justin explained that GDPR is a liability standard, and organizations self-certify to avoid potential lawsuits. He recommends businesses to start with a simple risk assessment to determine the scope of security practices needed.
Advice for Entrepreneurs and Business People
Justin advises entrepreneurs and business people to adopt pragmatic approaches and focus on stable, metric-focused growth, retention, resiliency, and profitability. He highlights the importance of audits and certifications, such as SOC2, ISO 27001, and PCI DSS, as businesses grow and cater to more sophisticated customers.
About Strike Graph
Strike Graph is a security compliance and certification solution. Their platform helps customers earn certifications and audits like SOC2, ISO 27001, and GDPR compliance. Justin expressed his excitement about the success they have found with their customers and the value they have found in the product.
If you’re interested in learning more about Strike Graph and their solutions, I recommend visiting their website at strikegraph.com. You can also reach out to Justin on LinkedIn. He’s always happy to share his knowledge and experience with anyone who needs help.
I appreciate Justin’s insights and am grateful for his time on the podcast. His knowledge and experience in the startup world are invaluable, and I’m sure our listeners found his insights as enlightening as I did.