Students & Alumni

Chris Phair (’13) founds company to provide cybersecurity to small businesses

“Increasingly, bad actors are targeting small businesses so that they can start getting access to a large client or customer… they reel in one business and then use that information to attack an even bigger fish.”
– Chris Phair (’13)

Chris Phair (’13) has founded a new company, Level Up Cybersecurity LLC, which aims to bring the cybersecurity tools and products used by government and big business to protect small businesses.

“Small businesses sometimes think that they are a small fish and that no one would care to attack them, but this is not the case,” commented Chris. Cyber-attacks on small businesses are increasing, and the data that they have – including as client or customer data – can be very valuable to cyber actors.

Meanwhile, many small businesses remain easy targets for hackers. Some businesses find themselves using security products that are intended for personal instead of business use, and others neglect to train their employees to be aware of cyber threats.

Traditionally, these small businesses have struggled to protect themselves, often by virtue of the fact that they are small: they may not have a Chief Security Officer or IT expert on staff who interfaces with industry-leading cybersecurity companies. Meanwhile, the top cybersecurity companies often market their products primarily to larger businesses or government.

We offer small businesses the advanced next generation of anti-virus that is AI-based and that is backed up by deep dive threat hunting.

“We offer small businesses the advanced next generation of anti-virus that is AI-based and that is backed up by deep dive threat hunting,” said Chris. “The software we provide is made by industry leaders that big businesses and government have been using for a long time. We partnered with the best companies out there because they know what they are doing.” Chris’ company also offers employee training and proactive testing of employees to ensure that they are prepared to recognize cyber threats.

Before working in cybersecurity, Chris managed small businesses, so he used his intimate knowledge of small business operations to tailor his company’s offerings.  His business partners have IT experience and have done cybersecurity for larger organizations.

Our major adversaries are attacking us in the cyber space – this is 21st Century guerrilla warfare.

“Cybersecurity is something that we really need to get a handle on as a nation,” reflected Chris. “Our major adversaries are attacking us in the cyber space – this is 21st Century guerrilla warfare. In our work, we aim primarily to protect our clients, but our goal is also to make the U.S. more resilient in general.”

Chris founded this company while working at a day job in federal contracting in the cybersecurity space.

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