Former White House Cybersecurity Director Sameer Bhalotra Joins Impermium

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Sameer Bhalotra left The White House this past January.  Bhalotra has joined a cybersecurity startup company Impermium as the chief operating officer.  Impermium is based in Redwood City, California.  Impermium will help big data companies with their security.

Bhalotra is one out of several people that recently left the public sector to join a cybersecurity startup.  In April Shawn Henry of the FBI joined Crowdstrike and former White House cybersecurity czar Howard Schmidt joined Qualys.

Bhalotra had coordinated some of President Obama’s cybersecurity initiatives such as the National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace, which sets a higher standard for the way that online vendors like banks and mobile service providers verify user identities.

Bhalotra decided to join Impermium because he believes that cyber-criminals are aiming for the social web next.  Impermium is backed by investors like Accel Partners, Greylock Partners, Charles River Ventures, Highland Capital, and other investors.

Imperium cleans up social content across 300,000 websites and social networks.  They remove spam, fake registrations, and hate speech using “big data” analytics.

Imperium uses algorithms to look for users’ IP addresses.  Imperium is able to determine where they are located and what type of machine that they are using.

“We have hundreds of thousands of sites that feed in, which help us analyze transactions in real time rather than one by one,” said Imperium CEO Mark Risher. “Over time, we build up user reputations. We learn the patterns of bad guys and good guys and can make more relevant decisions about whether a transaction is good or bad.”

Risher used to be Yahoo!’s anti-spam chief.  His job at Yahoo! was to get rid of spam in Yahoo! e-mail, but then he started getting more internal queries from other parts of the company like Yahoo! Finance and Flickr to help clean up spam.


This article was written by Amit Chowdhry. You can follow me at @amitchowdhry or on Google+ at
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