Why Our Firm Loves The Columbus Cyber Security Community

Yesterday, I was doing an interview with one of my mentees. The questions she asked brought up some interesting points about MSI, our history and Columbus. I thought I would share 3 of the questions with the SoS readers:

How Did The Firm End Up In The Columbus Cyber Security Community?

Brent Huston:

“You have to remember that when I founded MicroSolved, back in 1992, there wasn’t a strong commercial Internet yet. Most of the electronic commerce efforts and digital business was done via dial-up or dedicated networks. I came to Columbus in 1988 to go to school and eventually ended up at DeVry. I was working at Sterling Software and doing a lot of experimentation with technology. Somehow, I got completely interested in security, hacking, phreaking and online crime. I took that passion and began to explore building it into a business. There were a few of us starting consulting companies back then, and Columbus was certainly an interesting place to be in the early 90s. Eventually, Steve Romig, from The Ohio State University started putting groups together – meeting at different parks and restaurants. That was the first place I really identified as the beginning of a security community in the city.”

What’s Special About The Columbus Cyber Security Community?

Brent Huston:

“I’ve traveled a lot, and in fact, built a lot of the business of MicroSolved outside of central Ohio. That was primarily because I wanted to have a global business and I always preferred having depth of expertise in a given vertical over having width across multiple focus areas. That said though, the thing to me that is so special about the Columbus Cyber Security Community is the open and friendly nature of the firms involved. Even from the start of the community that I trace back to those days in the Park of Roses, we all treated each other with respect. We competed, to be sure, but I can count on one hand the number of times over the last nearly 30 years when I felt like any members of the community weren’t playing with dignity and respect – and I’d still have fingers left over! You just don’t find that sense of fair play, respect and focus on the clients and community instead of the rush for dollars in many other places. For example, I have several friends in other cities who often tell me about how their competitors are nasty, or how they have a tendency to back stab each other – and that has NEVER been a part of the culture of our community here. To me, the commitment to respect and the way we all focus on making the world a better place for everyone in Columbus, the state of Ohio and beyond is the single thing I love most about this community.”

After 26 Years Of Leading A Columbus Cyber Security Firm, What’s Next For You?

Brent Huston:

“Thanks for asking. I get this question a lot. But, the truth of the matter is this – I love MicroSolved. I love our team and I love being a member of the cyber security community in Columbus. I really get excited every day to hear how the team at MSI have helped clients. I love getting to talk to folks in banking, credit unions, technology, health care, manufacturing and all of the other verticals where the team has a presence. So, for that part, I’m still dedicated to making sure that MSI continues our commitment to each of them – to help make their businesses and clients more secure. With any luck, I still have several years in me – and I intend to spend them with a focus on MSI. I’m not going anywhere. MSI and I hope to be here for another 25 years and we hope to keep earning and appreciating the trust of our clients each and every day!”