The UConn Operations and Information Management (OPIM) Department, along with the Information Management Association (IMA) sponsored a reception prior to the School of Business IT Security Executive Lecture on Thursday, March 9th.
Students and faculty of the OPIM Department gathered in the Gladstein Lab to network and listen to a presentation by Jason Meller, a graduate of the Management Information Systems (MIS) program here at UConn.
Meller is the CEO and co-founder of a cyber security startup company called Kolide out of Boston. Since graduating from UConn in 2007, Meller has spent his career building technology that enables cyber security professionals to protect our country’s interests from threats around the globe.
In an informal presentation and Q&A setting, Meller spoke about his experiences that led him to the IT field, what go him to where he is today and his passion for his career.
Meller said he began his career at UConn as a Marketing major. He said that the pivotal point in discovering his interest in pursuing a career in MIS was when he took the Introduction to Information Systems class with Professor Ramesh Shankar.
Meller said that in his time at UConn he enjoyed working at HuskyTech and completing his Capstone course, which ultimately led to his first job with GE. During his time at HuskyTech, Meller said he loved figuring out the ‘puzzle’ of how a particular piece of malware was created and how it worked. He said he loved to be able to understand problems within technology and to determine what went wrong.
Right before graduating from UConn, Meller was completing his Capstone course. In this course, he said companies would come to the students with different problems and seeking solutions. One of the companies that year was GE. He said GE had a problem with their Credit Decision System. Meller said he remembers being extremely excited to work on this project because it was something very important and could have a huge impact if they discovered a solution.
“I love building things that help people, on a team with other smart people,” Meller said.
During his Capstone, Meller networked with executives at GE and landed his first job as a member of GE’s Computer Incident Response Team.
Throughout his career, Meller said he constantly pulls from his MIS knowledge to help build different tools and assist other member of his teams in discovering different solutions relating to IT Security.
Today, Meller is working on his startup company Kolide. He said that Kolide is based on something that Facebook created called osquery, which converts all computer files into a relational database to query with basic SQL.
Three weeks ago, Kolide launched an osquery fleet manager product, a central interface where users can ask questions across infrastructure and receive solutions within seconds. Meller said Kolide is open-sourced which he said is what separates his company from the competition. Open-sourced means that anyone can go online and see how it works in powering solutions.
Meller said his future plans for Kolide are to build an IT Security App Store where users can create plugins to enable wifi survey and updated location services.