Our Trinity team is excited to welcome Neil Daswani, Trinity’s newest Executive in Residence (EIR). A seasoned security executive, researcher and entrepreneur, Neil brings deep expertise in the ever-evolving cyber threat landscape and hopes to meet startups revolutionizing cloud security, artificial intelligence and security, privacy, Internet of Things (IoT) security, risk management, and more.
What did you do before joining Trinity Ventures as an EIR?
Prior to serving as an EIR at Trinity Ventures, I have been a Co-Director of the Stanford Advanced Security Program, and I have also been a former Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) for both LifeLock and Symantec’s Consumer Business Unit (which had acquired LifeLock). As a CISO, I helped LifeLock not only comply with Federal Trade Commission (FTC) regulations, but win the top consumer sector award for the strength of LifeLock’s security and privacy practices based on a repertoire of technical tests conducted by the Online Trust Alliance during its 2017 Honor Roll Audit that assessed nearly 1,000 organizations.
Prior to my CISO roles, I have worked in a variety of research, development, teaching, and managerial roles. I earned my doctoral degree in Computer Science from Stanford, and joined Google where I helped fight large scale click fraud conducted by malware and botnets, in addition to teaching security and co-authoring Foundations of Security: What Every Programmer Needs to Know, which was used both at Google and at Stanford. Post my time at Google, I co-founded Dasient, which was in the business of detecting and eliminating malvertising (malicious advertising) and other forms of web malware. Dasient was acquired by Twitter prior to its IPO, and at Twitter I led initiatives to mitigate broader information security risks (such as leading the development of its threat intelligence platform), while also combating malware and ads-related risks to the company.
What are you hoping to get out of this experience?
During my time at Trinity, I plan to work with the partnership to determine what are the areas of security that are most ripe for further investment based on the root causes that data breaches have been taking place over the past several years, and what investments have already been made to date by the venture capital community and public markets.
During my career, my perspective broadened significantly when I took on a CISO role after having been a security entrepreneur. While my DNA was rooted in security research and development prior to innovating and selling novel security services at Dasient, my perspective shifted when I became a CISO and a buyer of the broad set of services required to stitch an entire information security program together. I am similarly hoping to broaden my perspective as I experience being on the investor side of the table.
What types of companies are you interested in exploring?
I have an interest in companies that focus on cloud security, artificial intelligence and security, privacy, Internet of Things (IoT) security, risk management, and cyber-insurance.
What else should people know about you?
I have interests in how online learning is changing the field of education. Also, as hobbies, I enjoy hiking and digital video editing. The best way to get in contact with me is via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.