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Blog April 1, 2024 Recognizing Excellence

PKI Solutions 10 Years Later

by Mark B Cooper

It’s an exciting time at PKI Solutions, we are celebrating the 10-year anniversary of the founding of our company. It’s incredible to see what has transpired over the last decade, and all the great customers and students we have worked with during that time. What started as a desire to focus on the technology I love and care for – PKI, has turned into a vibrant community of like-minded people focused on solving Challenges Others Can’t.

If you don’t know the origin story, PKI Solutions was started on April 1, 2014, after I had spent nearly a decade at Microsoft as an engineer focused on PKI. Specifically, working with Microsoft’s largest enterprise customers to deploy and manage their PKI, as well as supporting numerous internal groups that struggled to understand PKI or were tasked with deploying solutions that were complex. The pivotal moment came when my manager at Microsoft said there was not sufficient demand for PKI and that I should learn another more important technology – Exchange. Does anyone still run Microsoft Exchange anymore?

While my original focus was to hang up a shingle, do some consulting projects and provide for my family, I was determined to “do great PKI work”. Through the years, customers were the ones that helped shape what that was and provided the answers to “what new offering can I provide?” Many of the customers that started with us on Day 1 are still with us. These customers saw the need and I made it a point to make sure we always did right by them – which we do for every customer, every day still to this day.

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For the last half of the decade, PKI Solutions grew beyond the single-person consulting organization. Jake Grandlienard was our first hire and was brought on to do consulting projects alongside me. From there, the rest of the team grew, with the addition of Vadims Podāns, and the back-office team. Business continued to focus on professional services and the company grew year after year.

In 2020, as the pandemic was changing the world as we knew it, we were able to continue to support our customers that were working in new dynamic situations and were able to focus on advancing an idea that had been percolating around in my head for many years. Once hastily mocked up in Visual Studio and called “CA Buddy” many years ago, gave birth to the idea of a real-time monitoring and alerting system for PKI Resilience and Security was created.

After the initial prototype of PKI Spotlight was shared internally, I knew we had something special. Nick Sirikulbut joined as our first Product Manager and created the team to bring PKI Spotlight to the market. That was 3 years ago, and we haven’t looked back and recently we were proud to be recognized by Gartner Research as the founding pioneers for this work in “PKI Posture Management”.

I am extremely proud of not only the work we have done for our customers – often with silent praise as is common in Cybersecurity, but also of the team we have at PKI Solutions. With the goal of innovating, listening to our customers, and never being afraid to fail, we enjoy an extremely productive work environment and an extremely envious low turnover rate of employees.

Perhaps more exciting than celebrating our 10-year success is what the next 10 years will hold for us and our customers. Despite what I was told 15 years ago “PKI is dead, there is no need, no one uses it”, it is clear that PKI is needed and used more and more every day. It’s not the sexy new toy that everyone talks about, but it’s the security tool they all need and use. I am happy to be focused on a “foundational” technology that secures the world. When the next fad comes and goes, we will be here, as will our customers, focused on doing great things, with great people, and solving challenges others can’t.

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Mark B Cooper

President & Founder at PKI Solutions, Leading PKI Cybersecurity Subject Matter Expert, Author, Speaker, Trainer, Microsoft Certified Master.

View All Posts by Mark B Cooper

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