Slide 1: Jeff Chao Slide 2: Rick Mischka
Jeff Chao and Rick Mischka: Co-Founders of ShortArm Solutions, Inc
Jeff Chao and Rick Mischka are committed to protecting American businesses from digital threats. Their company, ShortArm Solutions, is a veteran and minority-owned cybersecurity consulting firm that assists both US government contractors and small- to midsized commercial customers accelerate, optimize, and mature their cybersecurity positions.
Jeff Chao, CEO, brings nearly 20 years of experience in business operations, development, and strategic alliances. With a decade of entrepreneurship in both inception and high-growth stage companies, Jeff is a proven serial entrepreneur. He strives daily to ensure that clients receive a white-glove experience, serving as their internal champion to bring solutions that simply work. His entrepreneurial background, which includes starting, co-owning, and successfully exiting two companies to date, has shaped him into the strategic visionary of the firm.
Rick Mischka, CTO, brings over twelve years of experience in information technology, including eight in cybersecurity. His role is to provide clients with consultative and bespoke solutions, while educating them about the ever-evolving landscape of cyber technology, services, and trends. Rick's impressive list of certifications include being a Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH); CompTIA Advanced Security Practitioner (CASP); Security+; ISC2 Certified in Cybersecurity; and a Cybersecurity Maturity Model (CMMC) Registered Practitioner (RP). Prior to ShortArm, Rick was an Army Special Forces operator, professional athlete, and a collegiate/national team volleyball coach.
Founded in 2020, ShortArm Solutions serves successful companies run by brilliant leaders, who achieved success by making shrewd decisions, especially those related to safeguarding what they’ve built. As cybercriminals become smarter and more brazen, the ability to defend against and recover from attacks is evermore paramount. To combat this influx of cybercrime and protect their clients, ShortArm Solutions provides risk assessments to identify gaps, as well as continuity and compliance planning for incident response and disaster recovery. In many cases, they help companies to meet the ever-evolving and more stringent regulatory, legal, and insurance compliance regulations.
Understanding each client's needs are unique, ShortArm Solutions approaches every situation by first completing a full assessment of the landscape. Their ultimate goal is to devise a working and scalable solution that fits the current need, while remaining nimble enough to pivot as outcomes dictate.
ShortArm Solutions clients generally fall into two main groups, which can be likened to common medical terms:
1. Chest Pain: Long haul, consultative. Requires extensive listening, comprehension, knowledge, experience and attention, to arrive at a new healthy state.
2. Surface Wound: Able to be patched with the correct application of a point solution.
In complement of their essential suite of business services, ShortArm is establishing a non-profit arm, which will empower socially and economically disadvantaged individuals and companies. By providing education and real-world experience in cybersecurity, they meaningfully contribute to the protection of our digital world.
What inspired you to start SAS?
Rick: As a U.S. Army veteran with a Native American heritage, I had a vision to form a partnership with fellow underrepresented entrepreneurs. The original goal and purpose were to create a successful business while assisting the US Federal Government in meeting its diversity requirements. However, the past three years have unfolded in ways few could have suspected, and we've come to realize that our true value lies in serving other awesome government contractors and commercial businesses. Our objective is to empower these entities to defend themselves and their customers.
Jeff: Rick said it well. The pandemic hastened many timelines, and these evolution cycles will only get faster. Cyberthreats and those with nefarious intent are lurking everywhere; it is imperative to fortify ourselves against these smart, sophisticated, and motivated adversaries. Criminals by nature, will often target vulnerable and compromised prey; we position ourselves between the threat and the client, ultimately enhancing their resilience to being exploited.
What is the most common cybersecurity challenge companies face, and what are you doing to help them solve these?
Jeff: Lack of knowledge and the experience to combat threats. ShortArm assesses environments, identifies and prioritizes weaknesses, and provides guidance on how to bolster existing, and add new layers, to one’s security posture. Founders and C-Suite executives are often overtasked with mission critical tasks. When asked, they recognize the need to address cybersecurity measures, but lack bandwidth and expertise they trust.
Rick: Efficient and effective processes. It's essential to have experts who comprehend these processes. Specifically in cybersecurity, the ability to respond effectively to incidents is vital, not just focusing solely on prevention measures, but recovery as well. These are the key areas we continually discuss with our clients.
You also host the popular Cyber Pro Podcast, which has gained an enthusiastic “non-techy” following. Tell us about this.
The theme is: Share. Learn. Protect. Guests share their extensive knowledge and experiences, providing responses to the most current and prevalent questions in and around cyber domains. Initially tailored for industry professionals, it soon became evident that its value extended to a broader audience, prompting us to produce nearly 300 episodes. Our approach avoids delving into technical intricacies, focusing instead on offering practical and actionable options. Unsurprisingly, many of our listeners reached out and are now clients.
Jeff Chao, CEO & Co-Founder
Rick Mischka, CTO & Co-Founder