1cbbf14This year’s 21st Mid-Atlantic Growth Conference, Washington Technology Showcase and DealSource will feature the first ever Washington Technology Showcase.

The CGCS editorial team recently spoke with Hemington Wealth Management Managing Director and ACG Board Director Denis O’Sullivan, who introduced us to the showcase, and explained why it’s a big deal for local tech companies.

Today, we’ll be featuring a conversation with Thom Ottoson, CEO and Co-Founder of Tech Showcase participant LemonFish Technologies. LemonFish is a security analytics as a service company that provides clients with insider threat detection, continuous employee monitoring, and supplier due diligence.

The showcase will also feature presentations from a number of other innovative companies, such as All Trust Networks, APX Labs, Diamond Mind, DrFirst, Echo360, Fast Orientation, Haystax Technology, Higher Logic, Liquidity Services, Luminal, Resonate, Tenable, VideoBlocks, and Zoomdata.

Here is what Thom had to say:

CGCS: Can you provide our readers some background on your company and its solutions? What products/services does the company sell? Who is your target customer?

Thom Ottoson: LemonFish was launched to address the growing problem of threat detection, or insider threats in business.  During our time in the Federal Government, our team created the programs and tools used across multiple agencies today to identify and continuously monitor insider threats and supply chain risk.  Our development team has been at the forefront of the threat detection and intelligence analysis for decades, developing the most advanced tools to solve the toughest problems.

Each member of the executive team has worked within the intelligence field of the Federal Government at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), in the U.S. Military, and in private industry, creating complex data analytics programs ideally suited to detect insider threats.

The market for our LemonAid+ solution is any organization that relies on human engagement to run their business, including employees, business partners, contractors, and suppliers/vendors. Ideal market segments are technology, telecom, pharmaceutical, defense, aerospace, manufacturing, oil & gas, energy, and higher education, among others.  In other words, any environment where research and development and intellectual property are concerned is of interest to us.

LemonAid+ conducts advanced data analytics on company information, such as human resources records, IT activity and physical security logs, integrated with publicly-available information from public records, social media and other publicly-available information, to detect broken rules, changed behaviors, and abnormal behaviors related to insider threats. We track events, not people.

Our target customers are those who put a great deal of emphasis on protecting their most precious assets:  their people, processes and intellectual property.

CGCS: What challenges do your customers face that your products and solutions help overcome? What pain points do your offerings help alleviate?  

Thom Ottoson: Insider threat costs U.S. businesses an estimated $250 Billion annually.  This is felt in lost revenue, market share, decline in investment, and a drop in stock price, resulting in lost jobs and a competitive edge.

Individual businesses might use our solution to prevent the loss of employees (and the cost of finding a new employee), the loss of equity in stock to former employees, the costs of a loss in research and development, lawsuits by employees, investors or business partners, and the steep cost of new advertising and branding when the company has been disparaged.

Companies have a fiduciary responsibility to protect their assets and brand, which requires a proactive approach.  They also have a responsibility to protect their employees and to provide a healthy, happy work environment free from the severe impact of insider threats.

CGCS: What market trends are impacting the demand for your product/service? 

Thom Ottoson: The insider threat issue isn’t going away.  Whether it is a pharmaceutical company concerned with counterfeit products leading to health problems, lawsuits, brand damage, shareholder vulnerability and loss of investment dollars.  Or, a technology company spending a considerable amount on R&D, then to have their key advantage wiped away through an intellectual property theft event.

Additionally, I suspect more emphasis is going to be placed on the protection of employee privacy.  What’s different about LemonFish is that we start all of our processes by tracking events, not people.  An event could be a policy violation or an anomalous activity indicative of insider threats.  If internal events are detected, an investigation is launched whereby our clients make all reasonable attempts to protect their people, IP, and shareholder value.

We utilize information owned by the company, and with privileges assigned through the employment agreements and policies, we monitor publicly available information like blogs, message boards, and social media.

CGCS: What do you view as your largest business challenge of 2015 and beyond? How is the company positioning itself to overcome them?  

Thom Ottoson: The challenge for LemonFish is going be matching our growth in talent to meet the emerging addressable market for solutions.  We will need to recruit cutting-edge talent, and that means we will have to expand our footprint to reach the talent that is out there.

Additionally, we need to leverage the best IT tools and software and partner with companies that are on the bleeding edge of their own focused areas to provide end-to-end solutions.  For example, our solution requires high performance computers to run our algorithms – to do this, LemonFish has partnered with Cray, the makers of the world’s fastest production supercomputers.

CGCS: What drew you to participate in the 2015 Mid-Atlantic Growth Conference? What do you think the company can get out of its participation? What can attendees gain from your participation? 

Thom Ottoson: As members of ACG participating in the Mid-Atlantic Growth Conference, it is an opportunity to showcase LemonFish’s capabilities and its PE sponsor LLR Partners. ACG is about creating relationships that lead to progress – lead to moving forward.

Check back in the following weeks for new and insightful conversations with participants of the Washington Technology Showcase. To learn more about the Showcase and to register for the 21st Mid-Atlantic Growth Conference, Technology Showcase and DealSource, click HERE