Who would have thought a mere hacker would find his way into the business world. Ron Gula’s career journey can be compared to a scene from James Bond.
Ron Gula spent his earlier years at the National Security Agency as a hacker of the agency. There, he spent his time “penetration testing” the Department of Defense of the US. He simulates attacks from countries such as Iran and China.
He left the National Security Agency in 2002 and creates his own cybersecurity firm, Tenable Network Security. Being the CEO, Ron Gula raised more than $300million. This includes the $250 million round in 2015 which was the record for a cyber-security at the time. With more than 27,000 customers, Tenable went public last year.
This time, Gula runs the Gula Tech Adventures, his own venture capital firm which is said to be his eponymous venture. The firm invests in cybersecurity startups. His career journey only means that he is destined for security firms especially now that the society is getting worse in terms of bad actors.
Gula hopes that he could support the cybersecurity industry in a larger way than his employment in the National Security Agency through his entrance in the capital ventures. According to Gula, in some way, his work as a hacker before gives him the advantage in a way that he already knows the mindset of the hacker.
Gula Tech Adventures has now investments in more than 30 companies based in Columbia and Maryland. Gula Tech’s recent investments include the RackTop Systems and SCYTHE which develops secure systems used for storing data and a cyber-attack simulation platform, respectively.
This investment will not only protect organizations from hackers but also adapt rapid advances of technology while hitting $124 billion this year, as forecasted by a research firm Gartner.
However, investment was never easy according to Gula. Together with his wife, he is very selective in companies they are going to invest. But, despite the very strict attitude in investing, he ensures that what he had learned from his previous ventures will be shared to his staff to encourage them in their future ventures.