Following the data leak from almost a year ago, the company has extensively increased its security measures in order to thwart any future attacks on its information servers. In order to further do so, Slack hires former Palantir information security chief to boost its defenses, a person by the name of Geoff Belknap.
Palantir is a CIA-funded security firm specialized in data protection and defense. Slack, one of the fastest growing cloud-based business communication tools, appointed Belknap as it first chief security officer, giving him the task of regulating and handling any security policies, as well as oversee the company’s entire attack prevention methods.
The reason why Slack opted to name as their security chief one of the best people in this domain stems from last year’s attack which leaked Skype IDs, personal information, emails and phone numbers of almost all Slack users. Because the company’s service encompasses messages sent between accounts as well, the need of a higher degree of defense towards attack was urgently required. Fortunately, no financial information was leaked in the attack.
The fact that Slack has named a chief security officer now, even though the company started in August 2013, does not mean that up to this point no one was in charge of managing security protocols for its users. The title was simply not attributed to anyone, with this task being more of a group goal instead of relying on only one person.
Another new acquisition was made in the form of Keith Adams, placing him as chief architect, with the task of handling everything in regards to the company’s program infrastructure. Adams is the co-founder of Facebook’s Artificial Intelligence research. He will work in tandem with Slack’s newly appointed first chief security officer in order to upgrade the system’s defenses even further.
An internal restructuring was also made public, with April Underwood being promoted to VP of product, placing her in charge of Slack’s third-party platform which was previously announced last year, as well as controlling the group responsible with the distribution of the company’s main product.
Slack has up to this point amassed almost $2.9 billion in total market value, with shares rising higher and higher in accordance with the growth of its user base. Almost 2 million users are active on a day-to-day basis, with a quarter of them being paid subscribers. In April 2015, Slack released data that showed how their total profits from subscriptions were marked at $340 million, making investors’ expectations become more and more positive.
Taking into account the fact that Slack hires former Palantir information security chief to boost its defenses, the odds that a similar data leak will occur in the near future are next to none. Even so, building a tougher defense towards attacks might entice certain hackers to attempt to break their defenses in order to test their skill. Only time will tell how the company’s new first chief security officer will fare.