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Interview: Michael Figueroa, Advanced Cyber Security Center

Michael Figueroa:

Michael Figueroa, CISSP, brings to the ACSC a diverse cyber security background, serving at times as an executive technology strategist, chief architect, product manager, and disruptive technology champion. He promotes an optimistic security approach that emphasizes the need to better assist the users, operators, and business owners in protecting their critical assets versus blaming them for being unable to properly configure and maintain complex technologies. Rather than focus on external influencers that business and mission owners have no control over, he encourages organizations to prioritize what they should do against what they are able to do, without judgement.

His past work has spanned a broad security spectrum. In the advanced technology space, Figueroa has prepared cyber technologies for transition, managed research and development applying non-security emerging technologies such as deep learning and human analytics to security problems, and led technology design and development of an innovative secure network and communications platform for cloud and mobile applications. As an enterprise security architect, Figueroa managed teams securing large-scale systems integration efforts for several U.S. Government agencies including the Departments of Defense (DoD), Homeland Security (DHS), and Veterans Affairs (VA). His business management roles have included serving as the Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) of a late-stage financial services startup, as an executive at a security consulting startup, and as a strategic program advisor for CISOs at the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the World Bank Group.

Figueroa is a graduate from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Brain and Cognitive Sciences and from the George Washington University (GWU) in Forensic Sciences, concentrating on High Tech Crime Investigations.


Advanced Cyber Security Center: A non-profit consortium launched and supported by Mass Insight Global Partnerships, the Advanced Cyber Security Center (ACSC) brings together industry, university, and government organizations to address the most advanced cyber threats. We focus on sharing cyber threat information, engaging in next-generation cybersecurity research and development, creating education programs that will address the shortfall in cyber talent, and advancing public policies that will enhance security.

Our goal is to help establish New England as a major region for cybersecurity research and development, education, and thought leadership. We are building on the considerable cybersecurity strengths already existing in New England by increasing the collaboration necessary to address the cybersecurity threat.

Michael Figeroa from Advanced Cyber Security Center


  • What is unique about running a security startup?
  • How about moving from a services/consulting company to a product company?
  • What are some unique things investors are interested in when talking to security startups?
  • Where are the best opportunities in the market for security startups?
  • What advice do you have for those who may have an idea and want to create a security startup?
  • What are some of the most exciting security startups in the industry right now and why?
  • What advice do you have for enterprises looking at solution and considering (or not) a solution for a security startup?

Startup Stories

Michael's Stories

Paul's Stories

Startup & Security Notes of Interest

Okta Files for IPO

Dyadic Security raises $12 million

AdEspresso joins Hootsuite — Anatomy of an M&A

The Startup Journey: Updates

Michael's Journey:

  • New website - check it out Security Catalyst ==> you'll note I took a radical approach. And more to come.
  • Focusing on helping security startups and stuck enterprise projects (especially where they overlap)
  • Working on a new resource to identify the 5 hidden reasons your security projects get stuck

What I published recently

Paul's Journey