For a dozen years or more, Frank Teruel has been leading a double life professionally.
When he stepped into the CFO slot at Arkose Labs last February, the position was just the latest in a succession of CFO stints that had required him to align C-suite duties with additional responsibilities in a Santa Clara University classroom.
In his teaching mode, Professor Teruel is known to speak quickly, while keeping discussions lively and interesting by injecting real-world knowledge and business insight into his lessons.
Meanwhile, inside the C-suite, Teruel is helping to champion a new chapter of growth designed to turn Arkose into a “Rule of 40” company sometime in 2024.
As far as the perks of leading a split-screen professional life go, Teruel tells us that along the way he has been able to hire many of his students, who have since developed into executives and leaders in their own right. –Jack Sweeney
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CFOTL: Tell us about Arkose Labs … what does this company do, and what are its offerings today?
Teruel: Well, if you think about life online, only two things at the heart of every exchange ever matter: Is the other person really the other person? And, Is this person behaving normally within the concept of this transaction?
“We focus on crime-as-a-service companies that are renting out bots to our adversaries” -CFO Frank Teruel
Given the enormity of the data breaches that are out there and, as a result, the concomitant incalculable number of data elements about everyone that are now “public,” bots have taken off, as we know. Robots that take these credentials and stuff them into places to try to commit fraud or try to manipulate text flows or SMS flows—all of these kinds of things.Read More
Arkose stops volumetric bot attacks. We focus on crime-as-a-service companies that are renting out bots to our adversaries, who then use them in a volumetric way—millions and millions of times a day—to try to infiltrate accounts, to take over accounts, and, again, to make money off of SMS flows.
Our main mission is to stop volumetric attacks. We have fantastic customers—everybody from OpenAI to X, to Microsoft, to banks. You name them, and they’re probably on the enviable list of customers that use us today. We stop volumetric attacks, and we also stop human-based attacks. Sometimes these attacks are perpetrated by human fraud farms, so we have technology to help us to identify when this is the case. By extension, you can infer that we have super-strong detection and challenge technology. If you show up on a website and you’re legit, you’ll never see us. If you show up on a website and you’re not legit—or we suspect that you’re not legit—then you’ll go through a bunch of challenges.
At the core of our mission are three things. Number one is really the idea of making the cost of intrusion expensive. Our technology challenges these models in a way that makes them just not profitable for the adversary. Number two is to help our customers to harden their targets by giving them all of the data that we collect—here’s what we’re seeing, here are the vectors that you should worry about—so that they can use this information. Number three it to help our customers when they seek to apply real-world consequences to their abusers. If you’re an organization and you’re going after the bad guy and you need our data and technology to prove that there was an attack or a vector, we gladly work with you on this.
We are a great, 5-year-old start-up—funded by some fantastic folks—and we’re on a high-growth journey. We really do provide people with the ability to safely transact in a digital economy because by stopping bots and human fraud farms, we are allowing our customers to proceed on their journeys without risk. We’re a small but exciting company—and global, too. And, as I have said, we have an enviable list of customers with whom we’re very, very proud to partner.
“Invest in two areas early! One, cultivate the network. Two, develop predictive muscles. Beyond simple career advancement, your network brings critical support structures, salient sounding boards, and the thought leadership necessary to navigate the dynamism of CFO roles and the technology marketplace. Being predictive is a business leader requirement.” –Frank Teruel, CFO, Arkose Labs
Arkose Labs | www.arkoselabs.com | San Mateo, CA