Oz Alashe is the CEO of CybSafe. Given the name, interested individuals should have no problem guessing that his company is focused on cybersecurity, which is a critical concern for a wide range of organizations in modern times. Very recently, CybSafe revealed that it had managed to raise $28 million from a Series B funding round.
1. Went to the University of Reading
For his bachelor's degree, Alashe went to the University of Reading. Said school started out as an extension college of the University of Oxford in 1892. However, it went on to gain its own royal charter in 1926, which is notable because it is the one British school to do so during the interwar period. In any case, the University of Reading now has multiple campuses of its own. Two of these campuses can be found in the town of Reading itself. The third is elsewhere in the United Kingdom while the fourth is in Malaysia.
2. Focused On Economics
During that time, Alashe focused on economics. Amusingly, the field's name comes from the Greek for "home accounts." Nowadays, economics is still concerned with said topic to a considerable extent. After all, the sub-field of microeconomics is concerned with the decision-making of individual economic entities, which can include people, households, and organizations. Having said that, economics can have much broader fields of focus as well. Both can be useful for business leaders, whose day-to-day responsibilities often touch upon economic issues of one kind or another.
3. Went to King's College London
Alashe has a master's degree from King's College London as well. It is considered to be a part of the so-called golden triangle of universities that can be found in Southeast England, which is anchored by the cities of Cambridge, London, and Oxford. The exact list of schools sees a fair amount of variation. However, King's College London is one of the schools that tend to be on the list but aren't always on the list.
4. Focused On Defense Studies and International Relations
For his master's degree, Alashe focused on a couple of subjects, with one being defense studies and the other being international relations. It isn't hard to see the connection between these two fields. Even so, they are separate fields with separate focuses. Something that becomes particularly clear when defense studies moves beyond strategic matters.
5. Went to the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst
Alashe was once an officer in the British Army. As such, he went to the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. The school's name doesn't make this very clear. However, the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst is responsible for training officers for the British Army. The United Kingdom has four military academies, each of which is responsible for training officers for a different part of the British military.
6. Reached the Position of Lieutenant Colonel
Speaking of which, Alashe had reached the position of lieutenant colonel before he left the British Army. The word "colonel" came from 16th century Italian, which suggests that the position of colonel came from that time and place as well. Specifically, the word means "of a column," so the position is implied to be something along the lines of the "commander of a column." In the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries, colonel came to mean the officer who was in charge of a regiment, which came from the notion that a collection of companies had agreed to be ruled or "regimented" by said individual. Nowadays, the exact meaning of colonel can see considerable difference from military to military, though a lieutenant colonel is lower-ranked than a colonel. This can be seen in how lieutenant colonels are sometimes called "half-colonels" in the British Army in an informal context, which gets the point across in a very succinct manner.
7. Became Familiar with Cybersecurity During His Time in the British Army
Alashe was commissioned in the British Army's Parachute Regiment. However, he also became familiar with cybersecurity during his time in the British Army. Initially, Alashe did so from the perspective of national security as well as counter-terrorism. Subsequently, he became familiar with cybersecurity from the perspective of dealing with cyber-crime and so on and so forth.
8. Is Concerned with Cyber-Resilience
He is concerned about not just cybersecurity but also cyber-resilience. Essentially, cybersecurity isn't enough on its own. Instead, organizations also need to be cyber-resilient, which can be described as the ability to handle cyber-incidents, recover from cyber-incidents, and learn from cyber-incidents. All of these things are critical in an environment in which threats are ever-changing. For instance, there is no such thing as perfect cybersecurity. As a result, organizations need to be prepared to restore their normal operations as soon as possible if something goes wrong. Similarly, learning from cyber-incidents enables organizations to improve as well as maintain their ability to deal with cyber-incidents.
9. Sees Himself As Something of an Accidental Entrepreneur
There are a lot of people out there who are very intent on becoming entrepreneurs. However, there are also those wander onto said path without meaning to. Alashe sees himself as something of an accidental entrepreneur, meaning that he can be considered an example of the latter. As he tells it, he set out to solve a problem by combining data science with behavioral science. In the course of doing so, he found himself starting out his own company.
10. His Company Is Meant to Help Out with the Human Element of Cybersecurity
Alashe's company is specifically focused on helping out with the human element of cybersecurity by making employees more aware of potential problems. This is important because humans are a well-known weak point in an organization's cybersecurity. No matter how good its technical counter-measures might be, there is always the potential that an employee will either click on something problematic, plug in something problematic, or make some other mistake. They aren't even necessarily incompetent when it comes to work because human nature means that everyone has moments during which they are off-guard. Still, employees can be either better or worse at dealing with such situations, which is presumably why Alashe's company has garnered so much interest.
Written by Allen Lee
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