Roger Thornton, Chief Technical Officer
Roger’s career has been dedicated to the development of technology and new business ventures based on technical innovation. Over 25 years in the Silicon Valley and abroad, he has driven the formation and growth of dozens of new companies and hundreds of products, serving in a wide range of roles from engineering, marketing, and management, to investor/advisor.
In 2002, Roger founded Fortify Software, convinced that information security required a fundamental shift in thinking – from a focus on the perimeter to a focus on the core – the software code itself. Incubated with acclaimed venture firm, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and recognized by Business 2.0 magazine as one of the Valley’s “Smartest Start-Ups”, Fortify represented a return, after the dotcom era, to the “old-school” style of classic Silicon Valley startup: successfully achieving product revenues within its first year of operations and launching three award-winning product lines through global distribution within three years of inception. Roger’s passion and vision for software security was a catalyst that continues to shape the software security market and was the driving force behind Fortify’s global leadership.
Now, after 10 years of working with many of the world’s most advanced security organizations at Fortify, Roger is once again convinced that security needs another shift. It is time to bring down, once and for all, the old approach of ‘panic-driven’ technology purchases, fueled by the latest news headlines and vendor promises that if you just bought their gadget, you will “be secure”. Security must become more rational, risk-based, effective and accountable. More importantly, this approach must become more accessible and not just the purview of the global banks and government agencies.
A new approach is needed – one where companies can answer key questions before rushing to spend: “Have I been hacked?” (or, better yet, “Am I about to be hacked?”), “What is the root cause?” and “How do I fix it?”. When he realized that was what AlienVault was all about, Roger joined the team, determined to lead another successful shift in the security industry centered on visibility, vigilance and practical risk management.
Prior to founding Fortify, Roger spent a decade working with several leading venture capital firms in the Silicon Valley. As a “hired gun”, he specialized in high impact delivery of technology products and services and helped guide the launch of several successful businesses. Over his career, he has architected key systems for ETRADE and eBay, helped incubate and launch Good Technologies, Inc., and held leadership roles with some of the earliest pioneers of Object-Oriented technology and top-tier technology firms: Centerline Software, Apple Computer (Taligent), and Sun Microsystems (JavaSoft). At JavaSoft, he was responsible for Market Development of Java 1.0, delivering key design wins for the new platform while guiding several of the first Java development tools companies to market. Roger learned about startup management early in his career at Cypress Semiconductor, where during its early stages, he was responsible for the development of manufacturing planning systems.
Roger earned his BS and MS degrees in Engineering with honors at San Jose State University. Roger continues his advisory work with select venture capital firms and start-up companies around the globe. He also regularly provides counsel and advice to corporate executives and government leaders on the topics of cyber-security policy and emerging trends.