Former Baltimore cyber exec brings another company to Maryland

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Article written by Morgan Eichensehr

A veteran cybersecurity executive has moved his Northern Virginia company to Columbia to be closer to Maryland’s flourishing cyber industry and resources as it continues to grow.

Gregg Smith was CEO of cybersecurity startup OptioLabs Inc., housed in the B&O Warehouse at Camden Yards, for two years. In January, OptioLabs announced it was promoting a new CEO and Smith was moving on. He took a top position at another cyber startup, Silent Circle, and got to work on relocating its headquarters from Switzerland, and Fairfax, Virginia, locally, to Greater Baltimore.

Silent Circle, which specializes in mobile security, is housed in Corporate Office Properties Trust’s Cirql co-working space in Columbia. It has about 15 local employees, with about 70 worldwide. In the first half of the year, with Smith at the helm, it added 28 new customers and made an acquisition of a small security device company, Kesala.

The company declined to disclose specific revenue or growth numbers, but Smith said the firm is “taking resumes” and plans to continue expanding.

Smith said he is excited to be back in the area and close to all of the cyber activity and opportunities near Baltimore.

Maryland has one of the largest cyber industries in the country, with over 12,000 IT and cybersecurity companies, serving organizations like the National Security Agency and U.S. Cyber Command. Smith said the state’s colleges — 17 of which have been designated National Academic Centers of Excellence in Cyber Defense — also deliver great recruitable talent as he looks to grow his workforce.

Silent Circle seeks to deliver security products that people can use to secure their mobile communications and phone calls. For example, users can set their text messages to automatically “burn” after a certain number of days, so that even if a phone is hacked, old data will be unretrievable. The company serves hundreds of government and private sector customers worldwide.

Silent Circle is currently developing new products to be released later this year, Smith said, as it works to continue building its customer base.

Read more at the Baltimore Business Journal’s Website

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