As Jasson Walker would tell you, having an interest in science and math, and a passion for tinkering on a computer, can lead you almost anywhere. In Walker’s case, that pathway stretched from a boyhood in the Bronx to Dartmouth to DC, where he launched his own company, cFocus Software Inc., in less than 10 years.
“I’ve always been a software guy, even as a teenager writing BASIC programs with my Commodore 64,” says Walker, whose parents, both immigrants, encouraged their son to go to college at an early age. However, it was biology teacher who inspired Walker to think big about applying to schools. After an eye-opening college visit to Dartmouth College (“it blew me away”), he applied early decision, got accepted and went on to earn a BA in Mathematics.
His passion for computer science and programming guided him to the nation’s capital in 1998, and a career in government contracting, including a stint with Optimus Corporation, working first as a help desk operator and eventually getting involved with software. In In the fall of 2006, he decided to start his own company, cFocus Software, to provide IT services to federal government agencies.
“I had no clue about anything, I just knew I wanted to have my own software company, so I went out and I did it,” admits Walker, a self-proclaimed “cyber security and Microsoft technology evangelist,” who specializes in Microsoft Azure, Office 365 security, and custom SharePoint solutions.
The main focus of cFocus Software Inc., a compliance and solutions company, is serving serving the needs of the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program, or FedRAMP, a government-wide program that provides a standardized approach to security assessment, authorization, and continuous monitoring for cloud products and services. FedRAMP, a collaboration of cybersecurity and cloud experts from several government agencies and private industry, is “the framework by which government agencies are defining cybersecurity,” says Walker.
“Any time a government agency has an IT system that is in the cloud they need to get a FedRAMP certification, which is called an ATO, or an Authority To Operate,” he says, adding that obtaining an ATO can be challenging. “It is completely manual; you literally need a 900-1,000-page system security plan in order to go through FedRAMP. And that’s just one step.”
That’s where cFocus and its ATO (Authority To Operate) as a Service offering comes in: They help automate and expedite the process to generate that compliance document and offer continuous monitoring for systems hosted in the Azure government cloud — potentially reducing Azure FedRAMP ATO timeframes by up to 25%, according to Walker. Other services include creating “chat bots” to communicate and automate solutions, and custom Sharepoint resources.
Connect with Jasson on LinkedIn