Why this cybersecurity firm ditched the virtual model for an office in Philly - Technical.ly Philly

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May 24, 2017 7:39 am

Why this cybersecurity firm ditched the virtual model for an office in Philly

Security Risk Advisors just cut the ribbon on its 9,000-square-foot office in Center City, dramatically changing its office model.

Part of Security Risk Advisors' team at their Center City office.

(Courtesy photo)

Things were going well for six-year-old cybersecurity firm Security Risk Advisors as a virtual company with no official HQ, said managing director Tim Wainwright.

And yet Monday night, with a visit from Commerce Director Harold Epps and Councilman Derek Green, the firm is cutting the ribbon on its new 9,000-square-foot Philly headquarters on the third floor of 1760 Market, which will house about 80 percent of its 70-person team that up until now worked remotely.

Wainwright said the firm provides clients across the country and parts of Asia with cybersecurity consulting services. In theory, the firm could have been anywhere. But the exec said laying down roots in Philly is key for the company’s future.

“Our growth strategy is investing in cybersecurity talent,” Wainwright told Technical.ly. “I always chuckle when firms say they want to hire the most experienced people. It’s better to assemble a team by building talent from the ground up.”

Specifically, Wainwright mentions the talent coming from Penn and Drexel University (like this team of student cybersecurity defenders that made it to a national competition). And to lure that kind of talent, of course, the company needs a stronghold near a city young people want to live in (where they can “ride their bikes to work and have hip stuff to do,” according to Mayor Kenney).

“We have a very active and competitive internship/co-op program,” said company spokesman Doug Webster. “We also stay involved with local universities including Drexel and Penn State. We also sponsor the cybersecurity clubs at both of these schools.”

The exec is particularly eager to tackle the diversity gap in cybersecurity, an ongoing challenge for the field. “We want to get more young women interested in cybersecurity,” Wainwright said.

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