In 2005, long before anyone even knew what the “cloud” was, Lance Crosby co-founded SoftLayer, a cloud company which was bought by IBM in 2013 for $2.1 billion. As Lance was working with IBM, he identified the pain points of the cloud customers and providers that resulted from keeping cloud systems secure while rapidly scaling which instilled a new thought in him. He parted ways with IBM in 2015 and went on to start his own secure edge services company called StackPath which is one of the leading companies in its field. As we outline his journey, we have highlighted the important insights that serve as a source of motivation for every person who is passionate about their dreams.
The Pioneering Path
An initial struggle StackPath faced was the fact that Internet security risks were already at scale, and rapidly evolving and growing. Additionally, the model most business use for securing their work on the Internet was in—and in ways still is—an adolescent stage, growing from every system being separately and uniquely secured to systems having integrated security fabrics that just work without causing interruption and friction. StackPath’s strategy was to purchase innovative companies that already had standout solutions or advantages—like unique security or network tech, or comprehensive delivery footprints—distill and advance those solutions, and then build a single, cloud platform of inherently secure computing and services at the cloud’s edge. This calculative plan allowed them to rapidly reach scale, and enter the market with a composable foundation, ready for the continuing growth and transformation of security threats.
They acquired MaxCDN and Highwinds for the distinct distributed computing capabilities behind their successful content delivery networks; Staminus for its advanced DDoS mitigation tooling; Fireblade for its website security and traffic management software; Cloak, a prominent virtual private network (VPN) provider; and Server Density, an up-and-coming infrastructure monitoring and management company. As you can imagine, merging six companies to create a seventh had its own challenges, but the approach has been successful, increasing the customer count from 50,000 to more than one million in less than two years after emerging from stealth.
The Security Products
While they have specific security products—such as an advanced, cloud-based firewall (their WAF), DDoS mitigation, and SSL encryption services—the true security advantage they provide is the fact that all of the edge computing and edge service products are surrounded and strengthened by their DDoS protection, a dedicated private network between edge locations, and the ability to customize access and performance through edge rules and serverless computing. That makes StackPath an inherently secure and scalable platform, so cloud developers can protect, accelerate, and innovate whatever they are building without needing cloud security and delivery expertise of their own. Using StackPath, original computing resources and even user data can be kept entirely separate from the public Internet.
The Expert Insights
Lance holds an Honorary Doctorate, a Master of Business Administration, a Master of Science in Finance, and a Bachelor’s in Finance and Management from Tarleton State University – a part of the Texas A&M University system. He also holds a Juris Doctor from Texas Wesleyan School of Law and a Master of Law from SMU. He is a licensed attorney in the state of Texas, where he is an active member of the State Bar of Texas.
Lance did not originally choose technology or cyber security as a career path. After moving to Dallas in 1995 for law school, he met two guys from EDS who asked him to start an IPS. He networked all the Texas A&M campuses together, basically creating .net when no one knew what the Internet was. While he finished law school and went on to become a lawyer, Lance realized technology was his passion and decided to focus on “the internet thing” instead.
As CEO, he has ultimate oversight over a multi-product platform that is now leading businesses to a secure and scalable Internet, as well as leading the development of StackPath’s short- and long-term strategy. He is passionate about his work and is driven by his vision to radically change cloud technology. He often quotes, “love what you do, or you’ll never be good at it”. StackPath is a result of Lance’s love for technology. Another Lance quote reflected in StackPath’s ideology is “Never stop innovating. Never stop asking ‘why’ and challenging the status quo.” These life principles have kept him going and accepting challenges as a way of learning.
The Course Ahead
The team at StackPath works hard to put together innovative and creative ideas to change the practices of cyber security, and Lance and his team have a definite list of future events in store for the growth of the company. StackPath will be the default platform for secure edge computing and services. They recently released their edge computing virtual machines (VMs), containers, and serverless scripting. While others are talking about being an “edge cloud platform,” they aren’t providing developers true edge computing/processing that they can use for anything their solutions require. StackPath does. Through 2019 their plan is to continue to refine and enhance those services and introduce complementary services such as their recent object storage service. All delivered via a secure, highly-performance edge network. This will let their customers build things no one has even dreamed of yet.
True to his life principle, Lance followed and sought what he loved to do. His love for his work not only introduced new ideas in the industry but also made Lance Crosby’s story an inspiration. His passion and vast knowledge acquired over the years boosted him with confidence to withstand any challenge. As he sets out to write new success stories in the life of StackPath we are certain that he will continue to inspire every individual who courageously seeks a career path that they love.