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First-Generation American Finds His Niche In Cybersecurity

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First-Generation American Finds His Niche In Cybersecurity

Three years ago Cybercrime Magazine reported that Cybersecurity Ventures expected cybercrime costs to grow by 15 percent annually, reaching US$10.5 trillion globally by 2025.Already, the cost of cybercrime had risen from $3 trillion in 2015 to a projected $6 trillion in 2021.

If measured as a country, cybercrime would be the world’s third largest economy after the U.S. and China.

Theft from cybercrime represents the greatest transfer of economic wealth in world history. Profits from cybercrime are greater than the global trade of all major illegal drugs combined.

Data breaches, often connected to cybercrime but sometimes just the result of incompetence or hacker curiosity, have become everyday events in the cyber century. In just the first three months of 2023, major data breaches were reported by Yum Brands (KFC, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut), Chick Fil-A, Activision, Google Fi, T-Mobile, Mail Chimp, Norton LifeLock, and even ChatGPT.

One of the largest data breaches occurred in 2018, affecting 2 billion Facebook (now Meta) users; the company was also breached in 2021, affecting “only” half a billion users.

Yahoo, Amazon, Twitter, Microsoft, Uber, AOL, Dropbox, eBay, and many other 21st Century giants have also suffered the indignities caused by hackers.

There are three leading reasons why company data can get hacked – One is old vulnerabilities – hackers who breach once leave a secret window to enable repeat attacks; human error by employees ranging from weak passwords to clicking on malicious links and visiting phishing sites; and the third is malicious software used by hackers – viruses, ransomware, Trojans, spyware, adware, and other traps that enable would-be criminals to steal confidential information.

Cybersecurity expert Melvin Ejiogu says he founded VeeMost Technologies in 2002 after realizing that most of the key players in the industry at that time focused more on billing their customers and responding to current attacks than on building and managing a secure cyber environment to protect those customers over the long term.

Ejiogu said he was motivated – despite a lack of capital at the time – to provide a variety of services to ensure the security of customer data rather than rely on gimmicks. His focus was on long-term maintenance protection rather than quick fixes over and over again. But, he admits, though he was a technology expert and had the financial background, he did not understand how to grow what is today a great company.

To learn those ingredients, Ejiogu, whose college days were at the University of Akron in Ohio, first partnered with companies in Cleveland Ohio to provide networking and security services for state and local government accounts and private enterprise accounts.

But Ejiogu wanted more than just a successful small company, so he relocated to New Jersey to begin a 10-year partnership with AT&T Labs.

There, he designed, implemented, and secured network infrastructures and solutions for much larger government entities and enterprise customers. His experience, along with his teammates, was critical to landing and executing a multibillion-dollar contract with the Department of Defense.

And then, Melvin muses, he began to learn “…how the big boys do business.”

The “big boys” were not afraid to invest in people, processes, and tools – the keys to growing a business that already provides high-quality services. Ejiogu decided to leave AT&T and take VeeMost “off autopilot.”

To do that, Ejiogu opted to go public. “Free advertising,” Ejiogu says. “Shareholders become your first-line customers and your first sales force.”

VeeMost, which has specialized in architecting, deploying, and managing secure digital solutions and platforms to accelerate and enhance business efficiencies for increased profitability, also expanded into India and West Africa, looking to gain some market share there as well.

It launched its own cloud services and solutions and today provides full life-cycle management for companies’ digital transformation journey to the cloud – from initial consultation and assessment to full migration and cloud management. They launched a tool called VeeShield Cloud Security, which is a suite of cloud-delivered products to protect customers from malicious content, malware, and other attacks.

At about the same time, VeeMost launched an innovation Hub Center that focuses on researching and developing new solutions to enhance its partner companies’ products and services. Those partnerships are strategic alliances with Palo Alto Networks, Cisco Systems, Splunk, and most of the other industry-leading security vendors.

While VeeMost has recently become an attractive target for acquisition, Ejiogu remains far more interested in increasing value for his shareholders through business expansion and multiple acquisitions.

Maybe it’s the thought that others might not operate the businesses he has grown according to the same moral code – or maybe it’s just because he’s not done growing.