From hacking MySpace to building the next generation of Decentralized Security, Rick Deacon is bringing incentives and a human touch to Web 3. He is now the co-founder and CEO of Interlock. We asked Rick a few questions for you to get to know him better.
How did you get started in cybersecurity?
As a kid, I started out in my parents loft (not the basement) breaking and fixing PCs that I got from where my mom worked. I learned how to install games via DOS, how to code websites (just plain old HTML back then), and learned what backdoors, malware, and hacking were.
At 20 I started as a network admin, then got a job as a penetration tester/red teamer after I spoke at DEFCON in 2007 about hacking MySpace. Turns out when you hack notable companies, others want you to hack them too. So I started working for Fortune 100 firms by hacking them and telling them what they needed to fix.
Since then, I’ve advised 7 companies, including a large bank; fundraised four times across four companies, sold software to companies like Uber, Coinbase, and Monsanto. I’m also a serial entrepreneur with one successful acquisition. In 2013 I co-founded Apozy, where we began creating products that bring that enterprise-level security to the rest of the world.
How has the idea for Interlock evolved into what it is today?
We started building security products in 2013 with the idea that there HAD to be a way to “fix” security at a human level. To stop phishing, stop people from getting hacked, stop companies from being breached. Since then, we’ve developed tools for enterprises to use to secure their orgs. Then we realized, we were looking at it wrong. In order to do that correctly, you need to start with the people. You need to give every day users protections from every-day threats and autonomy over their own data. Then you have a foundation to build secure workforces within companies. So with Interlock, we are going web3 because without blockchain, engaging the individual person wouldn’t be possible.
How would you explain Interlock to a 5 year old?
Interlock is an app that pays you for sharing information about bad websites you visit, while keeping you protected on the internet. Interlock sells that info to big companies to keep them safe. A win-win.
Who will use Interlock ($ILOCK)? What problem does it solve?
Everyone uses Interlock. Retail investors, crypto enthusiasts, blockchain early adopters, enterprises, your mom and dad.
We’re helping everyone stay secure online in web2, but more importantly, the web3 space, in order to protect them from future attacks that will plague DeFi in the same way they plague web2 and centralized finance.
We’re also securing every company that uses our product or consumes the threat intelligence created by our community.
What is Interlock’s biggest challenge in the next year?
We’ll need to make sure our product gets out there and is recognized as “best-in-class” security for everyone, and show them it’s valuable to share their data while they earn by using our product. It keeps them safe, it makes them some money — everybody wins.
What do you consider the core values of Interlock ?
We believe in security and privacy for everyone. That looks like decentralizing the security ecosystem as we know it and staying ahead of what’s next so we can be the security foundation both people and future projects can lean on. So a web3 you can trust, and without the gatekeeping of web2.
Who was the most recent person you hired and why?
We hired John, a Senior Software Engineer working mostly with our Principal Engineer, Nick, on the blockchain integration aspects of our project. We hired him because Nick has known him for many years, and the best employees are referrals. Always. He also fits the bill in that he’s motivated, wants to be a part of something that isn’t the monotony of Web2 (he turned down a job at a social media platform) and has potential to change how people look at security and web3.
We’re looking for more people just like that. Ambitious, ready to kick ass, and wanting to help us figure out everything as we go. We’re pretty irreverent as a founding team, so we also require a healthy level of sarcasm.
Who are the investors and why did you pick them?
Funds and people from across the globe! Our seed round was led by Outlier Ventures we also received investment from 8186 Ventures, GAINS Associates, Pluto Ventures, KON, MaxStealth, RBC, FishDAO, Damo Labs, Waterdrip Capital, and Scorpio VC. Most of them were chosen because they brought with them strong skills and a strong network. We also secured Matthew Niemerg, founder of AlephZero, as an advisor. An absolute gem of a person as well as a genius ready and willing to help.
You can learn more about Interlock’s plans to shift the cybersecurity paradigm in web3 (yes, we make bold cheesy claims it’s fine cause we mean it) by joining our Telegram group, following us on Twitter and signing up for early access on our website.