The Innovators: Cmd is bringing cybersecurity to the cloud

As criminals increasingly target server infrastructure, the Vancouver startup is getting noticed.

Credit: Cmd

Cmd founders Jake King and Milun Tesovic

As criminals increasingly target server infrastructure, the Vancouver startup is getting noticed

Smartphones, laptops, tablets–when it came to cybersecurity, Jake King had seen plenty of innovation for mobile devices. But server infrastructure? King and his business partner, Milun Tesovic, spotted a gap. “We hadn’t seen the same innovation in the cloud,” recalls the Australian expat, who was lead security engineer at Vancouver-based social media management company Hootsuite before founding cybersecurity startup Cmd with Tesovic in 2016. “There was a marketable opportunity to defend the systems where everyone’s data is stored, and no really leading vendors.”

Vancouver-headquartered Cmd’s customers, most of which are in the U.S., include cloud services company PagerDuty, a provider of alerts and disclosure for problems with digital systems. “We help them defend their systems because they’re a target of a lot of international crime syndicates and all kinds of different adversaries,” CEO King says. “But most pressingly, we help them achieve a lot of the compliance standards that they have to achieve to sell into large organizations.”

Cmd, which raised $19 million from GV (then Google Ventures) in 2019, made Forbes’ list of 20 cybersecurity startups to watch last year. As demand for its enterprise and free products grows, King expects the 48-employee company to expand by “orders of magnitude.” 

Although the shift toward working from home has shone a spotlight on identity verification, he thinks the COVID-19 pandemic also changed businesses’ security priorities. “A lot of companies started to look at physical access to systems or disk encryption,” King says. “We’ve got thousands of laptops floating around the planet now, and they’re all in people’s homes.” Post-COVID, the security industry will see a resurgence as organizations slowly uncover breaches related to remote work, he reckons. “People are going to find pretty significant gaps in their infrastructure.”