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Why I joined Coalition after 10 years at VMware Carbon Black

Coalition Blog: Joe Toomey

I spent the first 15 years of my career developing software for industries and fields that didn't really matter to me. Still, software development was a fulfilling occupation; I had great colleagues and was quite happy in my career. It wasn't until I began focusing on security that I found how much more rewarding work can be when you can believe in its purpose.

It seems passé, especially in Silicon Valley, to say that your startup is going to change the world, and I've seen enough Juicero "squeezing fruit in a bag" to know that there is a big difference between something you're passionate about, and something that actually makes a difference.

The Coalition approach: Security for all

The first time I spoke to Joshua Motta about Coalition's approach to cyber insurance, it planted a seed of intrigue in my brain that I couldn't shake. It's hard to find two parties with more aligned business interests than a policyholder and their insurance company. Whatever negative outcome you are insuring yourself against, it's in the best interests of both you and your insurance company for that negative outcome not to happen.

In traditional insurance, companies use actuarial science to determine premiums and spread the risk across all policyholders while taking some profit for themselves. But in the end, a traditional insurance company can do very little to prevent the tragedy against which you're insuring yourself. 

Coalition's Active Insurance is a fundamentally different approach that puts our aligned desire into action. By providing world-class Active Risk monitoring and alerting to our policyholders for free, we help you understand your organization's specific cyber risk profile and how those risks could lead to an adverse cyber incident. By helping your organization address those risks before an attacker exploits them, we both win. 

The Active Insurance approach

Imagine if your flood insurance company showed up with sandbags before a storm hit to help you prepare; imagine if they stood with you and helped board up windows before the hurricane hit. I'm sure other insurers wish they could offer advanced protection and mitigation, not only out of goodwill, but because it's in their best interests for you to avoid a costly insurance claim. Unfortunately, no one can predict the arrival of a flood or do anything except price the risk accordingly.

In contrast, Coalition's active approach to cyber insurance means not only will we respond in the event of a cyber incident, we'll be there before an incident happens. We bring deep security expertise you may not have, and work together with our brokers and policyholders to help them understand how to actively mitigate their cyber risk. That feels like a mission to me, and it’s the biggest reason I decided to join Coalition.

Moving forward

It was a difficult decision to leave VMware Carbon Black after 10 years. I poured a lot of myself into the company and still care deeply for the customers and my friends who are still there. Pivoting to cybersecurity insurance was the furthest thing from my mind, but I couldn't shake the idea that this active approach to cyber insurance was groundbreaking and important.

When I got the chance to lead the teams who build the security technology behind Active Insurance — I just couldn't pass it up.

The reality of cybersecurity and threat actors is you cannot possibly prevent every attack. However, I'm incredibly impressed by the security talent within the company and the richness of the data we're able to collect and analyze. There is no question in my mind that we're helping many policyholders prevent many breaches.

And for the policyholders who still suffer an attack? We've got a world class insurance company behind you to help you with a claims and incident response team that will help you resume operations as quickly as possible.

Coalition is all the things insurance is traditionally for, but it’s also so much more. If you're interested in seeing what roles are open, check out our careers page.