Advisory Board

Dr. Kenneth P. Weiss

Kenneth P. Weiss, Ph.D. founded Security Dynamics in 1984 and served as CEO until 1986 and Chairman of the Board and CTO until 1996. The company’s security products — the SecurID Card [1] and RSA encryption — have become world standard technologies for computer security and electronic commerce and authentication. The company has been ranked among the top 100 software companies in the world. In 2006 the company was purchased by EMC corp.
The three branches of the United States government, including the Defense Department, Treasury, Senate and the White House, use SecurID technology, as well as most Fortune 500 companies and the governments and major corporations in more than 30 countries.
Once the SecurID’s potential was recognized by both customers and investors, he set out to expand his company, and he initiated the purchase in 1993 of RSA, a small, fledgling, encryption company that was gaining some notoriety in the field of internet commerce security. The next year, he brought Security Dynamics public on the NASDAQ stock exchange. Ken, the company’s largest individual shareholder, resigned from Security Dynamics in 1996 [2] after the company achieved a market capitalization of more than $4 billion.
With his multi-faceted background — as a professor of psychology, entrepreneur, business/management/marketing executive, and human factors engineer — and with more than 30 years of experience in computer system design, Ken brings a unique perspective to high technology entrepreneurship and the field of information security. He is an internationally recognized authority, spokesperson, author, and inventor, with nineteen (19) U.S. patents and numerous foreign patents to his credit. He currently has three seminal patents pending to address identity theft, secure financial transactions (eliminating multiple credit cards), and a substantially improved replacement for the SecurID card.
Ken has taught at several colleges and universities, including Penn State, University of Bridgeport, and Nasson College, as well as at Kings College, where he was chairman of the psychology department for seven years and was an extensively published professor, authoring chapters in textbooks. He holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Bridgeport; continued graduate studies and research at the University of New Hampshire and Temple University; and he earned a doctorate degree from the Neotarian Fellowship. He is a member of several professional organizations, including the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and honor societies such as Sigma Xi and Psi Chi.
From 1975 to 1983 he was President and CEO of Contax Systems, a manufacturer of human-engineered, computer-aided dispatching systems. He is now Chairman and CEO of Strategic Diversity Inc., a private holding company with interests in intellectual property licensing, private equity investment and other projects. He serves as a director on the boards of several companies.
As a widely published author and acknowledged authority in information systems security and computer crime and abuse, Ken has published more than 50 professional journal articles and has presented speeches on information security throughout the world and has held U.S. Department of Defense security clearance. His innovations and financial success have been featured by a broad range of media, including the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, Christian Science Monitor, Fortune (cover story), several feature articles in the Boston Globe, national and international network television and radio programs and business and industry publications.
He was on the editorial board of the Journal of Information Systems Security, was chairman of the identification and authentication division of the American Defense Preparedness Association’s committee on computer security, and a member of the Technology and Ethics Committee of the Information Systems Security Association (ISSA). He has been named to Who’s Who in Computers and to Leaders in American Innovation.
Still engaged in technology entrepreneurship and innovation primarily through his own private firm, Strategic Diversity Inc., Ken acts as an “angel” investor in start-up ventures which he feels have the potential to have a positive influence on the environment, society, and humanity.
In addition to the physical sciences, his interests also include yachting and high performance automobile collecting. In 2000 after a worldwide search he acquired the high tech, computerized, sailing yacht GITANA, a 118-foot cutter-rigged sloop designed and built by Perini Navi of Italy. The vessel has undergone an extensive refit with loving attention to restoration and enhancement of original features since his purchase. Gitana was sold in December 2006.
Ken is also involved in the communities in which he resides, both as a participant and officer in civic organizations and as a benefactor to a diverse group of philanthropies with a focus on culture, education of youth and the preservation and restoration of historic buildings. Some of those groups include the Cape Ann Symphony, Gloucester Stage Co., Gloucester Schooner Festival, historical meeting house restoration, Cape Ann Historical Association, and The Perfect Storm Foundation, as well as Boston-area urban health care centers, the Lahey Clinic, and political action groups. In addition to his own direct and financial participation, he has often hosted events or receptions in one of his homes or his yacht to promote more involvement and fund-raising within the community.
1. Ken’s SecurID technology — still the core product, greater than 80% of all revenue, of the company he alone founded — is based on the premise that a password alone is not enough to secure a computer network. The SecurID introduced two-factor authentication — something you know (a password) and something uncounterfeitable you have (a token, i.e., the card) to solve the problem of unauthorized network access. To prove to a computer that a user has the token in his possession at a specific moment, a digital display produces a random up to 8-digit number every 60 seconds. Through a patented algorithmic process, that same number is simultaneously synchronized and produced within the host computer. If the password and numbers match, access is granted. The powerful algorithm has never been broken. The entire core SecurID technologies are exclusively Ken’s inventions and patents.
2. An investigative financial reporter wrote: Ken resigned in protest in 1996 after becoming concerned about the inappropriate influence of the venture capitalist controlled board of directors and the integrity, motivation, and lack of vision exhibited by the CEO he had hired. His concerns focused on board member independence, abuses associated corporate governance, the improper backdating of executive options and the non-exploitation commercially of some of his patents. He was convinced that the company could not maintain its value and growth and would loose its value under the entrenched management. Indeed, after his resignation, the company lost more than 90 percent of its value.
Ken arranged for his resignation letter to be sent to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). (available online) Years later his concerns were reflected in a scathing article published by a highly respected online investment newsletter. Backdating of options has become a current major national concern and the SEC has implemented new controls. Subsequent to his departure, the company has had independent actions filed against it by other investors and the SEC.