Host: Jeremy Cherny interviews Sean Tepper, Founder and CEO of TYKR
“I’ve been in the software engineering space for about 15 years. I started a business in 2006 where I was focused on building custom software and websites for small and mid-sized businesses. Then in 2010 I went through a merger and kind of branched away and started doing more contracting with bigger businesses. In the meantime, I’ve been involved in the tech investing space, doing some angel investing and then doing a lot of investing within the public sector – which really leads to TYKR. TYKR is a tool that really helps investors find stocks and make a lot of money in the stock market.”
Why is security important to you?
From a cyber security standpoint when building custom software, it can be overlooked especially in the beginning. If you get into the build of the software and don’t have your foundation built around security, you can run into a lot of rework. And of course, if you don’t build it correctly, you can run into a lot of nightmares like clients calling you at late hours of the night, telling you that their site is down. So really, you need to make sure that when you’re building something custom, you have a strong cybersecurity foundation. There’s also the world of investing where cybersecurity is such a hot topic with cybersecurity businesses being excellent investments that aren’t going to go away anytime soon.
How do you stay on top of the latest security threats?
Since investing is really my career right now, I pay attention to the hot businesses in the cybersecurity space. But after I figure out if they’re a wise investment or a poor investment, I get to take a deep dive into what the business is all about. So I really learn about the newest trends through looking at a business’ products and services. If these businesses are releasing new products and features that they are doing well with, then that’s an indicator to me that that’s where the trend is going.
What are some ways you address security awareness for the users of TYKR?
With TYKR, fortunately it’s a software that we don’t collect any sensitive information. We mostly just collect first and last name and then email, which is generally pretty public information. We do keep everything in a highly secure database. There’s a firewall that blocks people from getting in and you have to have two factor authentication, even if you’re an admin like me. I have built software that you’re dealing with highly secure information like social security numbers and that’s when you get into data encryption. If we have something that uses credit card information we also use tokenization. So let’s say you have a 16-digit credit card number, we then transform that into a token and then that token changes every month. It’s a cool process but it’s really hard to do.
What do you see as the future of information security and how it might apply to you?
Yeah, here’s a different answer for you – estate closures. I’ve been the executor for several people and it’s one of those things where it’s really hard to close an estate when a family member passes because you have to look up everything – passwords for this site and that site, bank information. It’s a huge process, like six to nine months, to collect everything. I think there’s going to be a solution out there where somebody engineers a software where it’s an estate – it’s everything in a centralized location, one password to get to it. You’ve got a will connected to it with designees that log in once and they can help close the bank accounts and shut down any subscription services. Today, it is a very cumbersome laboring process. So I see cybersecurity that is highly secure but also highly efficient for the end user to work with.
What’s your favorite tech movie?
Inception. It wasn’t really cyber, but they want to enter the dreams of somebody who has a really big business and then change the trajectory of the business. On the surface it sounds boring, like business, but it’s all about the process and the challenges of entering into somebody’s dream – with tech.