Every few years, a new cybersecurity fad emerges promising to revolutionize the way we do business. Once upon a time, we heard of DevSecOps. Now, the new prom queen is Shift Left, and a market of vendors — old and new — want to sell you their wears so you can be as cool as the stock photos in their marketing.

I respect what Shift Left looks to accomplish because this approach attempts to meaningfully integrate security as a core component of the software development lifecycle. Yet, my experiences as a CISO prevent me from pushing all of my chips…


I want to tell you a story about my dear friend Erin Valenti, who sadly passed away recently. As her friend for nearly 15 years and through many seasons of our lives, I hope that this serves as a small remembrance of a woman I will always know as the baddest bitch around.

While many pieces have be written about Erin, they’re all abstractions, written by people who don’t know her, pushing entertainment masquerading as coverage of an event. She deserves more. As her friend, I want to put something positive forward for her.

A Few Layers More

Erin worked in private equity, product…


Today is my last day in Denver, Colorado. After nearly 7 years in the great American west, I am moving back to Washington, D.C. to be closer to friends and family and to continue my work in cybersecurity. But in making this journey back East, I wanted to share some learning with you that I’ve accrued after more than half a decade in beautiful Colorado.

Throughout my life here, I have taken the time to write phrases at important milestones. For me, this collection is a powerful set of words that are not only a reflection on my past and…


I recently took some time off from my life to travel to India. Like many of you, I am a classic workaholic who has been focused on executing towards success with a nearly maniacal focus. To achieve in my professional goals, I have created a life for myself centered entirely around doing — and not doing well. But in need of a break to sort out my life, I discovered some realities that I hope will bring change to me.

I have decided to make some fundamental life changes. In thinking about my own reality, I came to see that…


Recently, I was asked by Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper and his economic development staff to participate in a trade mission to India. Leadership from the Office of Economic Development and International Trade made the trip, along with the Governor, and a small but thoughtful group of entrepreneurs, academics, and business leaders. We traveled half way across the world to promote Colorado to Indian business leaders. What came about was something much more meaningful.

In the coming weeks, I will be writing more about my experiences in India. Some of that writing will be about my industry of tech and cybersecurity…


I often feel that we are losing the race for discovery and exploration because we care so much about noise, so much about optics, and so much about politics. Now, we have to make a choice. We need a commitment to achieve. And achievement in the areas of discovery and exploration will fuel our souls and power the democracy and our great American society for the next century.

Not two hundred years ago, America was a relatively unknown country. We had not yet presented our global community with the type of contributions that would go on to change our world…


TL;DR: Love harder and make your own way by embracing risk.

Lately, I’ve been noticing a disturbing trend amongst so many in business and politics. People are playing it safe — for what, I have no idea. But fear and anxiety are palpable in American life and I think it’s because so many of us have forgotten a simple truth:

You will not make it out alive

Let that sit in. [Keep going] You’re not going to live forever. You will die.

If there is one constant enemy of all of us, it isn’t each other — it’s time. Should…


Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times

Over the past 50 years of American life, there has been a significant shift in who serves in the U.S. Armed Forces. As a result, most Americans are less and less in touch with the realities of military life, the struggles and victories of those who serve, and the truth of who fights and dies for American liberty. Today, Memorial Day, is a time to remember those who gave their lives for ours. It is also an opportunity to rethink how we understand conflict and policy.

I had the honor of attending and graduating from the U.S. Naval War College…


In the effort to commit code and ship product, it is all too common that even the most talented developers and product owners will make classic mistakes. Deadlines and constraints make people do things we otherwise wouldn’t do. Some times that’s good — others times it’ll kill you.

This is the story how how tech debt can become the slow cancer that consumes an organization.

Debt Is Efficient

When young organizations need to commit code and get a release underway, they often do so by working with sub-optimal code for the purposes of achieving a milestone. In turn, they owe a “debt” by…


I have been thinking a lot about the place of faith in my life. Most people approach it as a religious concept — myself included — but I have always also understood it to be philosophical in nature as well. Regardless of your position on organized religion, faith is a critical component in life. Without faith, it is nearly impossible to love others, achieve goals, and take on important and immensely complex realities believing that you can succeed and achieve.

What Is Faith?

I believe in science. I believe that truth can be found through observation, measurement, and experiment, and in the formulation…

Alex Kreilein

Cybersecurity executive, recovering startup founder, tech philosopher, hacker, traveler, early-stage investor. Independent. Faithful optimist.

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