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Will Ackerly      

Co-Founder & CTO, Virtru; Former Cloud Security Architect, NSA

Will Ackerly is the CTO and Co-Founder of Virtru. Prior to founding Virtru in 2012, Ackerly spent eight years at the National Security Agency (NSA) where he specialized in cloud analytics and security architecture—specifically protecting the agency’s in-house data transfers.

Ackerly was once a whiz kid in the National Security Agency (for a time using his technical skills in Iraq to help the American military track terrorists). Like Edward Snowden, he was disturbed by the extent of the NSA’s spying on regular citizens. Unlike Snowden, Ackerly didn’t leak the agency’s secrets. Instead, the lifelong tinkerer—as a child, he rewired a switch in the family basement to disable a light on his parents’ phone system so he could conceal his excessive modem use—invented a technology that can protect your email and data from anyone bent on stealing it, whether a criminal hacker or a government snoop. Ackerly’s company, Virtru, launched a web plug-in based on what he dubbed the TDF in 2014 and now has thousands of clients. Many are in the healthcare realm, and state and federal government entities have even begun using the technology, newly aware of their own vulnerabilities. Virtru also offers a free version that individuals can download and use on, say, their Gmail.

Ackerly graduated magna cum laude from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology with a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical and Electronics Engineering.

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