Chris Swan is CTO at CohesiveFT, the recent winner of The Global Security Challenge, which brings together innovative startups and industry stakeholders for pitches, panels and networking. Our PR firm, Groshelle Communications, and GSC founder Simon Schneider both suggested we apply and pitch at GSC, considering our history in the cloud computing industry. Chris pitched at this year’s Summit as part of a large lineup of innovative cyber security technologies from around the world. CohesiveFT was named the winner in the post-revenue category by the panel of judges. To view the summary of the Summit, please click here.
CohesiveFT was formed back in 2006 by a group of financial services veterans who came from enterprise IT and management. I joined the team this April as the Chief Technology Officer. In addition to my technology focus, I’ve been a speaker at a few industry events including 451 Research Group’s Hosting and Cloud Transformation Summit (HCTS), the Open Data Center Alliance (ODCA) Forecast, and coming up at Interop NY.
The CohesiveFT team saw what we’ve come to call “cloud computing” coming, and knew that industries like finance would have even more security and connectivity needs than others. I was friends with the founders, and watched their company grow and evolve. I also kept in touch by participating in the regular CloudCamp London “un-conference” events that Chris Purrington co-founded and still organizes.
When not at events, I focus on product development and delivery. Through our product demonstrations and testing, I’ve had the opportunity to continue exploring public, private and hybrid cloud technologies. Recently, I’ve been impressed with Google Cloud (Google Compute Engine, or GCE) and the networking technologies there.
My career prior to CohesiveFT has the same financial services and heritage as the other founders. At UBS, I was the CTO for Client Experience where I worked on strategy and architecture for web and mobile offerings across all regions and business divisions. I was also previously co-head of Security CTO, focusing on identity management, access control and data security. I had the opportunity to represent UBS as a Director on the Steering Committee of the Open Data Center Alliance (ODCA) - an organisation I remain very involved in as CohesiveFT is a solution provider member.
Before UBS, I was a CTO at a London-based technology investment banking boutique, which operated a cloud-only IT platform. My first introduction to cloud and virtualization came at Credit Suisse where I built a global grid platform before moving into the IT R&D team where I covered infrastructure software, networking and security.
CohesiveFT released their first networking product in 2008, having seen that organizations wanted to reuse existing controls for security, monitoring and management as they moved workloads to the cloud. Our network function virtualization product,
VNS3, provides overlay networking capabilities to allow users to control addressing, topology, protocols and encrypted communications for business applications. With VNS3, enterprise IT teams can manage and run key systems and cloud-based servers as if they are running in on-premise data centres.
Since I started, CohesiveFT have launched the 3.0 versions and cloud service provider editions of VNS3 and Server3 products. We approached the Global Security Challenge with the goal of explaining our history in the cloud computing industry and our high expectations for the future.
With VNS3, enterprise customers can provide secure access between corporate data centres and cloud-based systems. It requires no new knowledge or training to implement, so customers can be easily create and start work on their applications without changing vendors, relearning software, or hiring more staff.