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Company Background & History

Check out the story of our founder’s journey from NSA hacker to pioneering a cutting-edge offensive security & pentesting company!



You told me a little about your personal background and mentioned what you were doing at NSA and USAA was similar to what PEN Consultants does now.
Tell me more about that and how PEN Consultants came to be.

Before we were a formal company, 
we started as volunteer testing and consulting
for churches and private schools
By early 2013, we started doing work for some for-profit clients,
that’s when the brand PEN Consultants was created
in early 2014
By 2018, 
just by word of mouth, 
it got big enough to make it a for-profit business
As of today, we’re still a small team of 7, but we are continuing to grow

I would love to hear more, do you mind drilling deeper into the details?

You bet…
In the early years
from 2010 to 2013
I had been at NSA for a number of years at that point
the name PEN Consultants did not exist
I facilitated the efforts of a group of cyber guys
at my local church
It was a group of guys
mostly Agency guys as well
who had a heart to help churches and private schools
with their IT and cybersecurity needs
It was all volunteer
we didn’t charge
but occasionally we’d receive a gift card or dinner
By 2014, I personally started working for a few companies outside of that
and would charge a few hundred dollars for my time
That is when the brand “PEN Consultants” was created

What does PEN Consultants stand for?

Glad you asked…
A little trivia for you
“PEN” actually has three meanings
we never landed on one
so you might say all three are correct
First, it’s a dual acronym that could stand for:
Penetration, Exploitation, and Network Consultants
But since Penetration & Exploitation is essentially the same thing, we also came up with…
Penetration, Evaluation, and Network Consultants
But also,
“pen” is often used as the abbreviation for “penetration”
as in a “pen test”
so it works well as that too
“pen consultants”
or “penetration consultants”
so “penetration testing”

Ok, now, tell us about when you transitioned from NSA to USAA.

Back to 2014,
I transitioned from NSA to USAA
during that time I was also running PEN Consultants as a side-gig
which was continuing to grow
exclusively via word-of-mouth
I brought in people to help as needed
but very adhoc
and usually for a specific task
I actually had no big drive to 
build this into a self-sustaining company
with other team members
…it just started to happen naturally
Remember, this started as
and a side hobby
because I love doing this stuff
and love helping people

How did you get from a volunteer, side hobby, to a side-gig, and to where you are now?

In 2018, our client base was growing
in fact
most of those same clients still use us consistently to this day
But we were getting busy enough, that we (my wife and I) had to
decide if I was staying with USAA
or making the leap to PEN Consultants
After an entire year of prayer
over a year really
we got a very clear answer to the direction God wanted us to take
By the first of February 2019
I was fully separated from USAA
and PEN Consultants was my sole focus
That’s when we really started to grow as a company

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