Introducing Cmd — Security for cloud-first companies

Early in 2016, I begun work on what would eventually turn into Cmd, my first Expa project.  The inspiration came out of the frustration I’d felt when managing technical teams in the past and the lack of visibility that large organizations face during and after their transition to the cloud.  After witnessing numerous breaches as a result of human error and malicious intent it had become obvious that an easy to use, accessible and user friendly tooling for Linux was absent from the market.  

A small team of talented developers and I put together a rough MVP of our concept. We decided on the name CmdWatch, inspired by the Night’s Watch from Game of Thrones tasked with guarding the Wall. With Expa’s help we were able to secure cmd.com and decided to shorten our name to simply be Cmd.

With a name and a prototype, we went out to validate the idea with security practitioners in our network.  It was through this process I met Jake King.  He shared my frustration with the lack of tooling available to enterprise SOC teams looking to secure their Linux environments. He immediately understood our vision. We knew we had a clear pain point and, with the world migrating to the cloud, the presence of enterprise-grade Linux servers was only going to continue expanding exponentially. Jake took a keen interest in the project and shortly after decided to join the team.  

When we dug further into the research, we learned that most vendors in the market at that time focused on threat detection and preventing sophisticated zero-day attacks. To us, though, this missed the root of the problem—visibility into user activity to set a baseline, and the ability to change user behavior through enforceable, customizable policies.

With a few engineers, we went through a series of prototyping and refined the core product offering. In a nutshell, we decided that a Linux-focused product capable of offering granular visibility, authentication, and control would solve the gap we knew security professionals were looking for.

I could tell quite quickly in working alongside Jake that he had a natural intuition for leadership and vision.  He soon became CEO of the company as Cmd continued expanding with Expa’s support.  As per Expa’s model, I took an Executive Chairman role where I helped build and advise with Jake as Cmd slowly emerged out of stealth and began to take on customers.

Our message has resonated with the security world, helping us bring on technology-first companies like Uber, Zenefits, and Qubole as some of our early customers. After a lengthy period of stealth, Cmd recently closed our Series B round of funding to expand our growing team and continue refining the features of our core platform. On behalf of Jake, myself, our team, our investors, our customers, and our supportive community, we’re excited to continue building on our vision for the future of frictionless Linux security and hope you’ll join us for the ride.

To find out more about Cmd, visit our website cmd.com and follow us on twitter @cmd_security.

Expa is a startup studio designed for entrepreneurs to create and launch new companies.
Learn more →