Adam Cecchetti

From INI to CEO – an alum's journey to start his own company

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Keanu Reeves played a role in naming Adam Cecchetti’s company, Deja vu Security.

“The name is both a reference to the black cat spotted by Reeves’ character in the 1999 movie "The Matrix," which is caused by a glitch in the Matrix, and a nod to the fact we help our customers avoid seeing the same bugs over and over again,” explained Cecchetti, who graduated from the Information Networking Institute’s (INI) Master of Science in Information Networking (MSIN) program in 2005.

Cecchetti founded Deja vu Security in 2011 and is the current CEO. The Seattle-based firm is a trusted provider of information security research and consulting services to some of the world’s largest and most-esteemed technology companies.

“We help organizations that produce technology, from start ups to Fortune 500s, secure their products and services before attackers can exploit them,” said Cecchetti. One of the ways the firm accomplishes this mission is through its widely adopted security-fuzzing platform called Peach Fuzzer™, which helps customers find unknown vulnerabilities in hardware and software by “fuzzing” their own products.

Keanu had nothing to do with this one: “The name comes from the fact that peaches are fuzzy,” says Cecchetti.

Among his favorite memories of Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) are the late nights hacking on the embedded boards at the INI. Cecchetti names Computer Architecture, Embedded, Distributed Systems and Security as his top four courses, but says the best feature of the INI was the ability to take courses across various schools.

“It enabled me to get a well-rounded view of technology, business, policy, and people,” he said. “I personally continue to use some of the lessons learned while at the INI in many of my everyday conversations. The fundamentals helped in every aspect of working with technology organizations and founding security-focused organizations.”

The British insurance company Lloyd's estimates cyber attacks cost businesses an estimated $400 billion a year. But cost is only one of the reasons why the Internet security business is booming and Cecchetti believes that awareness will continue to grow as more and more of our lives are integrated into the Internet.

“Eventually, as the air gap between us and the Internet closes, security will be seen as a requirement even more than it is today,” he concluded.  

His vision for Deja vu Security’s professional services and product lines is to continue driving relentless innovation and cutting-edge research to discover unknown security issues in hardware and software.

“We're always looking for smart individuals that are interested in security and like to code,” he said. “It’s a job that requires you to go a layer deeper and understand exactly how things work. If you enjoy security, coding, and tinkering things apart to break them, then apply."

Those interested in working for Deja vu Security can learn more at http://dejavusecurity.com/careers.

To read more profiles of INI alumni, visit the Meet Our Alumni page.