The Standard Pitch (Bio)

Chris Hoff has 20 years of experience in high-profile global roles in network and information security architecture, engineering, operations, product management and marketing with a passion for virtualization and all things Cloud.

Hoff is currently a VP of Strategy and Planning at Juniper Networks after serving as the company’s Chief Security Architect.  Prior to that he was Director of Cloud & Virtualization Solutions of the Security Technology Business Unit at Cisco Systems where he focused on virtualization and cloud computing security, spending most of his time interacting with global enterprises and service providers, governments, and the defense and intelligence communities.

Previously, he was Unisys Corporation’s Chief Security Architect, served as Crossbeam Systems’ chief security strategist, was the CISO and director of enterprise security at a $25 billion financial services company and was founder/CTO of a national security consultancy amongst other startup endeavors.

Hoff is regularly interviewed by analysts, media and the press, is a featured guest on numerous podcasts and has keynoted and presented at numerous high-profile security conferences including Black Hat, DefCon, Microsoft’s Bluehat, RSA, Gov2.0, FIRST, Glue, Source, SecTor, and Troopers.

Hoff is a founding member and technical advisor to the Cloud Security Alliance, founder of the CloudAudit project and HacKid conference and blogs at http://www.rationalsurvivability.com/blog. You can also get his firehose Twitter timeline by following @beaker.

Hoff was a CISSP, CISA, CISM and NSA IAM, he now spends the AMF money on coffee.  He was twice nominated as the Information Security Executive of the Year and won the Security 7 award in Financial Services in 2005.  Hoff is a 2010 Microsoft MVP (Security) and a 2010 VMware vExpert.

One-Line Bio

Security Strategist, Architect, CISO and Evangelist/Prophet, Brick layer, priest and short order cook…Product manager, product marketeer, CTO, advisor, board member and SQUIRREL!  My life? It’s like Blade Runner meets Beautiful Mind w/some Patrick Swayze Roadhouse violence mixed in (h/t @alexhutton)

Me, In Real Life…

Like anyone who’s been in the security “racket” for some time, the realities and vagaries of the truth behind six degrees of separation makes me laugh out loud when I realize just how small this world really is.

Yes, I have had a CISSP, CISM, CISA, IAM and about 10 other certifications/credentials, and unlike some others, I’m neither horribly allergic or blowing my own horn because of them. I get to meet some interesting people because of them, however. Does that cause you to revoke my membership in the “counter culture club?” Oh well.

I’ve done 3 start-ups (and the odd up-start,) raised venture funding, lost my ass, made it all back again, been a CEO, CISO, CTO and still haven’t figured out what I want to be when I grow up. I’ll let my kids tell me what I should do next — they’re wiser than you and I.

The coolest thing I can look back on and be proud of professionally is that at 120% of capacity I always look for more. I get accused (rightfully) of having ADD but at the same time when it’s time to lock and load, I think I do a fine job.

I’ve been featured in numerous articles, works of non-fiction, reviewed and technically-edited books. I present and keynote at a lot of conferences.  I contribute to podcasts and numerous community efforts.  I make a lot of Kiva loans.  I specialize in emerging and disruptive innovation and what it means to security.

I have no idea why you’ve continued reading all the way to this part — I’m a boring person so I can only assume it’s 1:40 am and you’ve run out of things to type into Google.


Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and various physical exercise routines. Tattoos. Big ones. Small caliber firearms, power tools, anything with wheels and an engine that puts me in harms way – supercharged small blocks, motorcycles and 125cc shifter karts, especially.

Kentucky bourbon, Tennessee whiskey and fine sipping rums. Cigars — usually the kind that curl your toes and puts hair on your palms. paintball, jumbalaya and bbq’ing anything that at one time had a face and was not in the same genus/species fork as I am/was.

I really dig virtualization and cloud computing.

In love with my kids and wife.

The Good Ole Days – 125cc Honda 6-speed Shifter – 120mph on the backstraight @ Willow Springs Raceway

One of my modified Mustangs – Click on the picture for the link to the story (Cover Car)

  1. June 1st, 2009 at 23:32 | #1

    Don't tell me you are retired Navy… Love the BIO… I think I found my twin…. but I don't have all of those fancy certifications/credentials, I just know what they all are and what they do or don't do…. I am laughing with you…. From what I remember, either it's on or off and if it's on you have to have a way to mine/use the data… no point in having it on if you don't. Don't tell me you are 48 years old like me and have a birthday in a month or so… John Zarlino

  2. August 5th, 2009 at 06:11 | #2

    I love your passion and the fact that you have been out in the guts of doing a startup and failing then getting up and doing it again. There is no MBA class that can be taught this except for this real pain of building the dream. I'm glad I was reffered over to your blog. Warmest Regards, Cheray

  3. Johann van der Merwe
    September 7th, 2009 at 20:13 | #3

    Hi Hoff

    See the PwC publication on Cloud Computing at http://www.pwc.com/us/en/technology-innovation-ce… (Technology Forecast, Summer 09). It features a conversation with Eran Feigenbaum of Google on security issues in cloud services.



  4. October 22nd, 2009 at 10:32 | #4

    I have to know…is that a functional electric guitar, if so what brand and where did you get it.

  5. June 25th, 2010 at 09:28 | #5

    Well, its 9.28pm not 1.10am. And I didn't find this page via google. I guess that makes me a very strange individual. Like the limerick about the cloud by the way…

  6. June 28th, 2010 at 06:09 | #6


    We would like to invite to cross-post some of your blogs at InfosecIsland.com – please contact me to discuss!



  7. September 1st, 2010 at 22:30 | #7

    I got down to "I’m a boring person so I can only assume it’s 1:40 am" and glanced up at the clock. It's only 1:31 am. You were close, but no cigar…

  8. September 3rd, 2010 at 12:58 | #8

    Who won that jiu-jitsu match, you or Vint? 🙂

    • Greg Ness
      November 9th, 2011 at 15:35 | #9

      That is really just a cardboard cutout of Vince. LOL

  9. Jason Goodman
    September 6th, 2010 at 17:37 | #10

    I've found small caliber firearms go exceptionally well with Buffalo Trace.

  10. Tom Chalker
    September 16th, 2010 at 05:04 | #11

    Let's see if disruptive technology really turns your crank:

    Check this out:

    What do you think that's going to do to the storage market?


  11. November 8th, 2010 at 21:10 | #12

    Shizen I read so far down I couldn't find your Twitter handle and became frightened 🙂

  12. September 26th, 2012 at 10:27 | #13

    Your BIO and interesting background is a good read in itself! It just shows that people who don’t sit still are often the most interesting people in the world. I’m interested in the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, i’ll have to check this out! A great read and I look forward to checking out your future blog posts. Keep the cool attitude towards security certs also, it counts for a lot.
    All the best

  13. May 21st, 2013 at 22:46 | #14

    Awesome own-life commentary I would say. I actually LOVE half of the things you do and HATE the other half!:D

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