Organizations are looking for security tools that are simple to use, easy to integrate, and that are usable by anyone with a development background. These same tools should also teach, rather than instill fear. Tinfoil Security came up with the goal to build a holistic set of tools, across the different disciplines in information security, all of which share these values of ease of use and automation.
Ainsley Braun: Brains behind Tinfoil
Ainsley Braun, CEO of Tinfoil Security, attended MIT for her two bachelor’s degrees. She later went on to work for Booz Allen Hamilton, doing UI/UX design and security consulting for the Army and DoD, before starting Tinfoil in 2011. She is responsible for heading up product design and cares an immense amount about improving the state of security tools across the board.
Coverage, Automation, and Focus on Developers
Tinfoil believes coverage is incredibly important, and that it is a requirement, not a feature. For automation, they give their customers an incredibly open and extensive API, through which they can automate the entire process of interacting with Tinfoil and integrate it into their build and deployment systems. Lastly, everything they do is laser-focused on developers, down to providing remediation instructions that are specifically tailored to the software language or software stack that the application is written in.
Tinfoil believes that happy customers are the most important thing for their business. It’s always difficult to enter an established market and try and change it from the outside, with their focus on developers, but customers have really gotten on board and share Tinfoil’s vision for the future of how security can be integrated into the development process. Tinfoil is a very product-oriented and customer-focused company, rather than a sales-focused company.
Tinfoil started their enterprise business model just about a year ago, and it’s simply been exploding since then. They still have thousands of SMB customers that they love and support, but the vast majority of their business has moved into enterprise and that is where they’ll continue to grow.
Some Advice for Startups
“Trust your gut. You will get different opinions from everyone, but inevitably a startup lives and dies by the choices it makes. If you are not comfortable with a choice you’re making, trust your gut; if you’re uncomfortable purely because it’s something you haven’t done before, that’s not a good reason. If you genuinely think a decision is a poor idea, then you should analyze it more and follow your instincts.” At the end of the day, Tinfoil says, their guts have been more right than wrong, as long as they couple it with logical reasoning and sound thinking, even in the face of competing advice from other people.