Sometimes you gotta change the game

I had a couple of weeks of transition and I was talking with my friend Jim McMurry and he was telling me he could hardly believe he started his company, Milton Security, 10 years ago. Wow! 10 years I thought, from an idea and a desire to a company that has had ups and downs and seen competitors come and go. 10 years of growing a business into something that he is still proud of and that hasn’t lost its family feeling, and that feeling isn’t going anywhere. Jim invited me to come out and see the new building and his new project, and just be yet another security guy to walk through the door and be embraced by Milton.

I spent a few days on the ground and was pleasantly surprised by the reception and the activities going on. Then we started to dig into Jim’s business and his customers. I wanted to know, what does it take to build a new thing from an idea to 10 years later? Many companies last this long but some languish in slow development and some just hold on for that acquisition to take them to the next phase. Not Jim, Jim did it exactly the way I would have. He asked his customer what they needed, and set forth the hard work to build it.

Jim’s customers, you see, are treated like part of the family. So when he has a conversation with a customer, they are honest and they know that Jim isn’t just listening for them to say something he will react to and never do anything about. Jim took their feedback and learned that many organizations just don’t have the expertise to cover all of today’s IT world. We can all agree that IT is complex, infrastructure needs, cloud services, managing day to day and needing staffing expertise for every little thing. Then comes Security. Many organizations struggle with this.

What Jim learned is that Security is hard for the average IT manager, even harder if they are also the entire IT department. For larger organizations the staffing needs are the same only there are more and more things the larger organizations buy causing a need for more and more specialized staffing. Same problem. Jim realized that when someone buys his product, they put it in place to solve a problem and it has to be silent and demand no additional time or headcount. But Jim also learned that when he creates new features for his products, customers can take a long time to deploy the features because they don’t have time. Time. Often it all boils down to having knowledge and time.

Enter the idea, for a very low cost Virtual Security Operations Center, Milton manages Milton’s products for its customers. No expertise needed on your end. You ask for X to happen and Milton makes it happen. Simple. This way if you need something, you just ask. Adding onto this Jim saw that Security Incidents are difficult and nebulous to navigate and can feel very personal. So he took on Incident Response as part of this, so when an incident happens your hired guns are already in place. Finally a few customers wanted to run regular 8-5 IT staff and wanted an inexpensive night shift to “mind the store”. This became the perfect storm of needs and converged into Milton Security Virtual Security Operations Center.

Milton’s vSOC is a new way to think about infrastructure management, security monitoring and incident response. Milton’s NAC as a Service as the heart of the data stream from the customer environment, joined by their additional data sources like FireWalls, AD, IDS, various syslog output, and Milton’s team of experts can watch over your organization like watch-standers aboard a battleship at sea. 24×7 peace of mind at a fraction of the cost of having to staff an organization like this yourself.

Jim told me about this and I was floored. It is genius in its simplicity and actually removes burden from organizations that may not have time or staffing for simple things like adding features to the NAC all the way up to massive organizations entrusting their security to the pros. Jim’s success has been in treating his customers like family and his family is growing. I feel like I am part of the family for having spent a few days with an old Coast Guard sailor, having been in the Navy myself, telling stories and learning from someone that has a decade of success to draw off of. Thanks for my time with your team and for your generosity!