What Is IT Audit Readiness And Why Should Small Business Owners and Startup Entrepreneurs Pursue It?
Who We Are
Eden Data is a cybersecurity consulting firm founded by former global consulting leaders that were inspired by the way emerging startups were transforming their industries and wanted to do the same. What that means in a nutshell is that we realized the expensive and service-heavy approach of traditional consulting couldn’t scale to an effective model for startups… so we built something that could.
We took a modern approach to our business model, offering month-to-month, subscription-based services designed in three tiers to meet the needs of any size organization. Our professionals offer programs as light as assessing your existing environment and making recommendations to offerings as comprehensive as building and managing your whole security environment with representation at the executive level.
Our approach is centered around building programs for startups that are cloud-centric for optimal scalability and that capitalizes on automation in a service-light approach. Eden Data’s goal is to build agile processes where we prove our value and necessity through our leadership and evolving knowledge rather than building a dependency on our services.
Most importantly, our drive is derived from the disruption a startup brings to their market, and we thrive on building a security program that can not only match that ingenuity, but enable success now and in the future. Being a startup is an exciting ride, and we can’t wait to be onboard.
The Eden Data Story
In the beginning, large consulting firms were created. And they thrived amongst their gardens filled with pools of top talent, vast plains of clients, and exclusivity in training that offered unparalleled experience. And for a while we all thrived here, growing flourishing security programs big and small, gaining experience across vast species of problems, and learning how to strategically problem solve.
But the firms soon realized they structured their gardens around lengthy growth cycles of hefty professional services and variable, cost-driven output with roots that ran too deep to pivot. Understandably, they became tempted by the dangling apple of prosperity that could come with this business model… and they took a bite.
But a group of their firm leaders had been inspired by a market they were no longer able to serve- startups. They decided, rather than re-plant in the existing garden, they’d build a whole new d*amn garden where there were no limitations to what they could grow and achieve. And thus, on the 7th day, Eden Data was formed.
Seeded in an era of digitalization and fertilized by emerging technology, start ups today have the opportunity to grow and scale in unprecedented ways. But mirroring their opportunity is a new era of government regulations and consumer pressure to protect their data. For the first time, to experience their full growth potential, startups must make information security part of their initial critical strategies. But executive professionals are expensive, big firms won’t sign them, and internal resources are already stretched thin focused on business objectives.
At Eden Data, we view our apple of prosperity as building innovative solutions alongside our clients. We want to consult like a start up, offer services in modern packages, and build foundations of security and compliance that enable success well into the future.
Rather than our predecessor whose growth techniques relied on deep roots of service based pricing, was segmented into gardens of siloed projects that drive up cost, and utilized hefty outsourcing of skilled labor, Eden Data takes a radical approach that mimics the way our target market of startups radically transformed their industries.
There will always be an apple of temptation devilishly hanging out on the shoulder of company principals, but we choose to be tempted by the appeal of offering lean solutions to startups to help them flourish, to be a seed in their story of success, to never scale out of our mission to break the standard mold, and to always reside in our garden of founding principles: Integrity, Innovation, and relationships.
We once read a quote by a successful entrepreneur who attributed his key to having an amazing company culture to “not hiring a**holes”- and we liked it so much we took it to the next level and committed to finding team members that were also rockstars.
… turns out unicorns exist.
Our team is the root system to our entire ecosystem and the most fundamental seed to our success. They’re not only incredibly accomplished professionals with experience in every industry, market, and org size, but they’re humble and strive to build relationships with our clients that truly make them feel like they’re part of a family of innovation.
You could say we’re pretty lucky.
Meet our unicorns:
Taylor Hersom, Founder & CEO
Taylor Hersom builds world-class security programs for organizations who not only want to embrace cybersecurity, but want to realize the benefits of putting data privacy first- from brand recognition to customer loyalty- while realizing substantial ROI.
He has a keen understanding of cybersecurity & compliance as it relates to the next generation of companies who are predominantly de-centralized and cloud-centric. He serves as the security thought leader for multiple organizations globally and also as a Board Advisor for various startups.
Taylor resides in Austin, TX and enjoys hiking with his three dog monsters, is never far from a book (or an entire stack), and is an avid connoisseur of lattes which you can usually find him sipping in meetings.
Brett Folkerts, COO
Brett has over 15 years of experience with entrepreneurship and executive leadership, specializing in streamlining processes to optimize business efficiency and agility. He has built programs for organizations of every maturity level, from complete ground level to seasoned industry leaders, enabling success as he fostered them to evolve.
Brett is an avid reader and devoted follower of evolving business trends, striving to keep Eden Data on the cutting edge of service development to best serve customers. He shares in Eden Data’s genuine excitement for startup development and serves in a variety of entrepreneurial groups and networks.
When he’s not immersed in learning, Brett competes in just about every outdoor sport on two feet and/or wheels (he’s not at all an overachiever…), enjoys both domestic and international travel, and boasts his title of ‘Coolest Uncle’ to his four nephews.
John Starnes, Lead Virtual CISO
John has a wealth of knowledge spanning all levels of organizational maturity built upon 9 years of experience in cybersecurity at the world’s largest consulting firm, Deloitte. He believes that simplifying cybersecurity controls can make them far more effective and that rapid, iterative enhancements are a key to success.
John drives cyber projects for companies across all cyber domains, working with teams to support traditional data-center delivery models, cloud-based systems, and hybrid approaches. He helps to prioritize objectives in a way that optimizes tangible results and ROI quickly, and he is the trusted executive security representative for a large portion of Eden Data’s clients.
John resides in Houston, TX with his beautiful wife and young son that often stars as best supporting co-worker in internal Zoom meetings. In what free time he has with a 6mo old, John enjoys fishing, gardening (ironic, not a shameless theme plug), is an Aggie (which we try not to hold against him), running/cycling to stave off the dad bod, and like any good techy tinkering with computers.
AJ Dehn, Virtual CISO
AJ is a risk management professional passionate about automation and fluent in programming knowledge, both of which he leverages in client engagements to enhance overall efficiency and produce high quality, strategic solutions. Previously part of the global consulting firm KPMG, AJ boasts vast proficiency in guiding clients through audits, particularly financial audits including SOX and SOC 1 & 2.
AJ has held instrumental roles in the development of growth initiatives aiming to automate engagement tasks for both internal and external scalability. He holds his CPA certification, is skilled in data analytics and software development, and is an aficionado at IT control automation.
AJ is a resident of Minnesota where, when it’s not arctic level temperatures, you can find him partaking in outdoor activities like kayaking and canoeing or attending a game for his die hard favorite sports team- the Minnesota Vikings. And in case you clash on sports teams and are therefore second guessing how impressed you are with his bio, he redeems himself with a favorite movie of, none other than, Top Gun. (Yes, we heard you just start humming the theme song).
Eve, Virtual Customer and Partner Success Advocate
Eve is our virtual customer success advocate. We don’t just want to provide exceptional project execution, we want to provide an exceptional experience. Eve adds the extra touch to make customers feel “special” in our professional relationship. From scheduled check ins, to satisfaction surveys, to occasional appreciation gifts, and just general online availability for questions- Eve’s goal is to ensure customer success and satisfaction with Eden Data.