Impassioned defense of Corporate America

Cyber Security Solutions


Cyber Security Solutions

Our corporations are being attacked. As a result, the strategy for securing their most sensitive information must be as thorough and relentless as the adversary’s pursuit of it. We harness decades of training and experience in providing cybersecurity solutions and risk management to protect corporate networks from the inside.

Dept of Defense Roots

root9B's leadership and technical teams are comprised of cybersecurity professionals who honed their craft securing DoD networks and communications. Along the way, they battled the same adversaries who represent the biggest threat to businesses and government agencies today—advanced, sophisticated nation-state cyber actors. This experience enables us to think like the adversary.

infoThe median number of days that attackers are present on a victim’s network before being discovered is in excess of 140 days.

Pioneers of the trade

We are information security veterans, who over the course of many years have dealt with diverse types of sophisticated cyber adversaries and technical vulnerabilities. We’re trailblazers, breaking new ground with our unique approach focused on active adversary pursuit and tailored cyber operations and cybersecurity solutions.

Root9B Team

root9B's executive team and advisory board members are proven leaders in the areas of cyber security, national security, and risk mitigation. Together, this team guides our company with a combination of security expertise, organizational management, and global perspective that is unmatched in the cybersecurity and risk management industry.

Eric Hipkins

Chief Executive Officer

Eric Hipkins is root9B’s founder and has served as root9B’s Chief Executive Officer since May 2011. Eric Hipkins is an accomplished cyber and intelligence professional with over 25 years of specialty experience in advanced cyber and technical intelligence operations. A military veteran with extensive experience across the Department of Defense, Intelligence and Commercial community, Mr. Hipkins has earned more than 12 nationally recognized certifications, including professionalization by the National Security Agency as an Intelligence Analyst and Adjunct Faculty. Mr. Hipkins holds a Master’s Degree in Computer Resources and Information Management and is a graduate of the prestigious Middle Enlisted Cryptologic Career Advancement Program. His professional background spans numerous assignments across the Cyber and Cryptology community including senior positions within the U.S. Intelligence Community, Special Programs and Special Operations Community. He is the recipient of the distinguished Knowlton Award for significant intelligence contributions to the United States of America.

John Harbaugh

Chief Operations Officer

As Chief Operating Officer, Mr. Harbaugh orchestrates all root9B cybersecurity operations, capability development, and training services. John brings over 25 years of cryptologic and intelligence community experience as a US military veteran and former Senior Executive in the federal government. He was a Department of Defense certified Master-level technician with expert skills in cyber defense and network security operations across multiple disciplines. Mr. Harbaugh has lead several “first-ever” events in cyber to include: creating the US Air Force’s cyber operations capability and was recognized as the Air Force Association’s Jimmy Doolittle Fellow for Cyber Operations; authoring advanced military and government cyber operations and network security training programs; and developing innovative technology solutions to meet critical national security requirements and holds a patent. As a member of a U.S. government advisory panel, Mr. Harbaugh also provides expert advice to senior leaders on matters related to cyber defense and emerging technologies.

Michael Morris

Chief Technology Officer

Mike Morris has over 14 years experience in intelligence operations and specializes in the areas of advanced Offensive and Defensive Cyber operations, tactics and tool development, and advanced training curriculum. As the Chief Technology Officer, Mike is responsible for the company's technical vision and leads the company's technological development. Mike has developed several programs of record for Advanced Cyber Tactics, enhancing defensive and offensive maneuvers for  the Department of Defense. During his military service, Mike was responsible for spearheading the cyber posturing of several new emerging mission areas. In each of these new initiatives, his technical leadership contributions led to prototype mission management and prosecution techniques. Mike is the Chief Architect behind the design and integration of root9B’s Active Adversarial Pursuit platform, and has been an integral member for shifting the nations perspective on adversary pursuit operations.

Steve Picot

Chief Revenue Officer

Steve Picot has held positions from sales engineer to CEO over the last 20 years, Mr. Picot brings a unique spectrum of real world experiences to the senior executive role. With a "character and capability" philosophy, Mr. Picot has solved perplexing technical challenges, successfully managed complex commercial and government accounts, achieved $500M+ goals leading high performance sales teams, reorganized and transformed established businesses, and built a profitable start-up from the ground up. Mr. Picot is an accountable, balanced and ethically guided leader. He seeks to enrich an organization with his life and business experience, creating an environment that fosters the best from its people and which generates mutual success for the business and it’s ecosystem of suppliers and partners.

Jack Bruckner


Jack has a Bachelor in Accounting degree and MBA from the University of Colorado.  He has over 19 years of progressive experience in finance, accounting and operations. ​  Prior to root9B, Jack was the Vice President of Finance and Accounting with Schryver Medical with a key role in seven acquisitions/ integrations during a 20-month period and reaching over $100M in revenue.​  He has extensive experience, and has managed Accounting and Finance through the growth from $40M to $150M in revenue with CIBER, Inc., Federal Division.​

David Aucsmith

Chief Scientist

David Aucsmith is a senior computer scientist and technology leader with over 35 years of computer and communications security experience.  He has worked in a variety of security technology areas including secure computer systems, secure communications systems, security architecture, random number generation, cryptography and cryptographic systems, steganography and network intrusion detection. Aucsmith is a former officer in the U.S. Navy and has written extensively on cybercrime, cyber espionage and cyber warfare.  He has been a representative to numerous organizations including the technical advisory boards of both the National Security Agency and the National Reconnaissance Office. He is co-chairman of the FBI’s Information Technology Study Group and a member of the President’s Task Force on National Defense and Computer Technology.  Aucsmith was U.S. industry representative to the G8 Committee on Organized, Transnational, and Technological Crime during the Clinton administration. He holds 33 patents for digital security and holds a BS degree in biochemistry from the University of Georgia and MS degrees in physics from the Naval Postgraduate School and information and computer sciences from the Georgia Institute of Technology respectively.  He currently lectures at the Naval Postgraduate School and the USAF Air Command and Staff College.

Will Burns

Senior Vice President

Mr. Burns leads root9B’s Adversary Pursuit Center and Threat Intelligence operations.  Will has more than 19 years of subject matter expertise in cybersecurity, operations, and technical development to address the Nation’s most challenging cyber requirements.  Will designed and created technical solutions and training programs used by the Department of Defense to build cyber experts and execute critical operations.  Will is a founding member of multiple Defensive and Offensive cyber operations teams within the Department of Defense that drove decisions at the highest levels of the United States Government. While in the United States Marine Corps, Will received AFCEA's International Copernicus Award for pioneering the Offensive and Defensive cyber operations mission for the Department of the Navy. Mr. Burns is a respected operational leader and technical expert across the private and public cybersecurity community.

Eric Stride

Senior Vice President

Eric Stride, a 12‐year veteran leader of the U.S. Air Force and NSA, serves as Vice President of Emerging Technologies, the research and development arm at root9B. Mr. Stride brings significant technical and command experience throughout the cyber operations domain that includes numerous highly technical cyber operations for the Air Force, NSA, and Cyber Command. Some of these positions include commanding a geographically separated offensive cyber operations unit, leading the Air Force’s first-ever regional cyber combat mission team to initial operating capacity, and serving as deputy chief for cyber operations at an NSA field site. Mr. Stride is also an alumni of NSA’s prestigious Computer Network Operations Development Program. He has developed cyber capabilities for both NSA and the Air Force, in addition to serving as a subject matter expert to the Air Force’s cyber acquisition office. He authored the Air Force’s first weapons & tactics manuals addressing offensive cyber operations, and was the U.S. Air Force’s first-ever Numbered-Air-Force level offensive cyber evaluator. Mr. Stride holds a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from the University of Washington and a Master of Science in IT Management from Colorado Technical University, in addition to possessing numerous industry certifications.

Thom Salo

Senior Vice President

Thom has over 34 years of executive military and corporate leadership experience in the communications and Information Technology field. After a distinguished military career that spanned more than 30 years, Thom retired as an Army Colonel and entered the private sector. As the lead for root9B’s Business Operations directorate he is responsible for providing the organization shared business services and for synchronizing the execution and support functions of the company. Prior to leaving uniformed service, he last served as the Chief of the Information Technology Services Division at North American Aerospace Defense Command and United States Northern Command, where he developed the policy and processes that aligned IT systems and services to business activities, including all aspects of IT governance, corporate investment, development, and cyber defense. Thom has a proven track record of delivering and synchronizing communications and information technology solutions that meet organization requirements. Thom is a graduate of Arizona State University and he holds master’s degrees in Management Information Systems from Bowie State University and Strategic Studies from the United States Army War College. 



Steve Lewis is a senior executive with more than 30 years’ experience in Cyber Operations, Intelligence and National Security, Aerospace and Defense, and Private Equity with an emphasis on the engineering, development, integration, and operations of mission-critical programs, systems, and technologies. These areas include offensive and defensive Cyber operations, Intelligence analysis, and Information Operations. He is recognized for establishing, growing, and managing top performing teams – skilled in developing and leading cyber, intelligence, business development, and capture management teams to consistently exceed goals across constantly evolving business and market environments. Steve is a retired Naval Cryptologic Officer (1610) with over 22 years of honorable active duty service. He earned a BS in Business - Management Information systems from Oregon State University and a MS in Computer Science from the Naval Postgraduate School.

Making Organizations Stronger and Safer