IOActive Reviews | Glassdoor

IOActive Reviews

Updated January 27, 2017
35 reviews

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4.4
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Jennifer Sunshine Steffens
30 Ratings

35 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (1)

    "Warm and friendly"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at IOActive part-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Around highly experienced people with intelligence and dedication that makes you want to work harder.

    Cons

    Hard to make a name for yourself.

    Advice to Management

    Listen to low levels. Just because someone isnt up in the ranks doesnt mean they dont share the same passion.


  2. Helpful (1)

    "Fun people"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at IOActive (More than a year)

    Pros

    We have the best hackers

    Cons

    It's a small company with the bureaucracy of a large company.


  3. "Excellent company to work for. Exciting Opportunities, excellent management, and a fun pirate culture."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Seattle, WA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Seattle, WA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at IOActive full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    I was an employee at IOActive for over 5 years, and it was fun from the very beginning. Working with Jennifer (the company CEO) made my job easier, and her guidance allowed me to grow and prosper in my role. This company has grown immensely since I started there, and this provided so many opportunities for me to expand my skills and abilities. I really felt like I could have an impact on the company, and I was building something meaningful. Every year presented new challenges, especially when the company’s global expansion kicked into high gear. I learned how to think on my feet and succeed under pressure, and all along the way, I had the constant support of management.

    The CEO always had an open door policy, and she would encourage me to ask her the tough questions and challenge her thinking. Most of the time, she knew exactly what to do, however, there were many occasions where she changed her direction based on my ideas and input. This is the sign of a good leader, and I am very happy that she was one of my mentors in life.

    The company has a fun pirate culture that presents a unique theme that ties in with the company’s services. My colleagues enjoyed being called pirates, and we all had fun at work everyday. We had regular company events, such as our Halloween party, and amazing company getaways as a reward for great performance. I have moved on now, but I always consider myself a pirate. I highly recommend working here if you want to grow and challenge your career.

    Cons

    IOActive is a company that rewards good performance. However occasionally, an employee would become upset because they thought they should get paid more for doing less. I never liked this type of attitude, but I have to admit that management always handled this well, and they made sure everyone was treated fairly. I always agreed that hard work and good performance were necessary to succeed anywhere, and IOActive is certainly a company that rewards hard work.

    Advice to Management

    With the accelerated growth of the company globally, I would recommend that IOActive hire more executives into key positions (which they seem to be doing now). This will support the overall success of the organization, and allow leadership to steer the ship in the direction of success.


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  5. "Great company driving the security industry forward"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - STPMM in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - STPMM in Seattle, WA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at IOActive full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    The on boarding experience was great--very seamless. Benefits are strong for an innovative, boutique security firm and are consistently evaluated for improvements. Management and leadership have a great sense of where the company is headed. Innovation and research into solving security problems for industry is a priority here.

    Cons

    You need to be comfortable with innovation here. This is probably more of a pro than a con, I guess. Great culture.

    Advice to Management

    Keep doing what you're doing--it's a great place to work.


  6. Helpful (1)

    "My and my team's efforts matter!"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    The IOA environment allows good ideas to flourish and efforts to be noticed as improvements are being effected in every function of the organization. Very rewarding to see clear successes driven by personal, team and cross-functional! IOA culture is changing for the better to have more input from stakeholders before decisions are made. The international work environment adds to the complexity and variety of everyone's work and interactions.

    Cons

    Requires effort to get to know everyone well, as many on team are located internationally or work remote.

    Advice to Management

    Keep doing what you're doing. You're headed the right direction.


  7. Helpful (1)

    "6 month employee"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Vice President of Operations in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Vice President of Operations in Seattle, WA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Innovation, creativity and opportunity.

    IOActive is a young company so any employee can influence the company's future. I am very excited to work with such a dedicated technical team. A very unique and cool place to work if you like looking at problems in unorthodox ways.

    Cons

    It is a young company so doesn't have many of the established processes that you would see in an older company. You have to be ok with that or better yet, help define the processes without adding bureaucracy that is so common in most larger companies.

    Advice to Management

    Keep hiring dedicated and uniquely skilled people that like to help customers secure their products from nation-state attackers.


  8. Helpful (6)

    "The Evolution from Good to Great"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Individual Contributor
    Current Employee - Individual Contributor
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at IOActive full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    There is something special about working at IOActive, something that wasn't always there. I left IOA few years back; I did some research, traveling, independent work, and a start-up. I had no intentions of returning; but when I did, I found something special. There was a marked and significant improvement in IOActive on a number of levels.

    When I was first here, the culture of the org was somewhat fractured. There was a freshly minted exec team in place to introduce improvements designed in enable the org grow from a plucky hacker collective to a true cybersecurity powerhouse. Unfortunately, the result was unnecessary silos, and an “us vs. them” mentality between every functional element. And with every day, it got worse. Many times, this happens when a small company makes moves that are fundamentally required for its survival in a big company market. And many times, the small company doesn’t make it.

    Today, the company has taken a new course and the demons of the org have been properly excised. The exec team has been almost entirely replaced with the right professionals for the right time. Most of the poison in the ranks was expelled naturally through attrition. Today, there is no dead weight at IOActive and we are extremely lean. There is a distinct spirit of belonging that brands every elite group and it’s incredible to walk back into this. We are elite - it’s exceedingly interesting to watch, because the staff believes this, once again.

    Cons

    Is IOActive perfect? No. Today’s perfection is the mirage of modern digital security. In our case, some parts of the org need more federated leadership. Others need more structure. Others still need more investment. It may sound trite or obvious, but growth is an evolutionary process. The idea of turning the “growth” corner from small company to big company is a myth - it’s an arc. This development arc has many steps along the way and some of these steps do and will present challenges to IOActive. The best part of all of these challenges is that they are internal - they’re IOActive centric.

    The market has begun the process of commoditization for general security services. The tools, tactics, techniques, and procedures are being socialized at an exponential rate - this is great for the process of enhancing security. However, this process forces a crushing, high-pressure, high tempo cycle of research, delivery, research, delivery, etc. in order to remain elite. This has a human toll which manifests itself in attrition. To combat this vicious cycle, IOActive has introduced other additional lines of security services to alleviate these pressures on the delivery side of this cycle. Is it perfect? Who knows, time will tell. But the leadership elements are determined to make it successful.

    Advice to Management

    I have read reviews on Glassdoor suggesting that Jennifer Steffens should leave the CEO position, and go be VP of Sales, or something similar. In the past I may have shared this perspective; however, in today’s IOActive I definitely do not share this perspective. Leadership presents itself in all manners and fashions. It doesn’t come through time in grade or service, or through age. It is neither given, nor earned; and like nature, leadership abhors a vacuum. It’s clear that in today’s IOActive, Jennifer is just fine where she is.

    Leadership is why IOActive is so successful today, and will be successful in the future. Specifically, I am referring to Jennifer’s leadership. Is Jennifer perfect? No. Is the exec staff perfect? Certainly not. We all make mistakes. Personally, I look forward to making mistakes because its only in our mistakes where we actually learn something really valuable. If we’re good, we learn to make new mistakes. If we’re great, we evolve. IOActive has evolved.

    My advice to management is this: Find the leadership in the organization and foster it. Like nature, leadership grows…it evolves. Find it at every level and enable it. This enablement is infectious and will assist in the employee engagement and retention initiatives. IOActive needs to focus on itself for awhile.

    Benjamin Disraeli, a mid-19th century UK Prime Minister, once said, “The secret of success in life is for a man to be ready for his time when it comes.” Jennifer is ready for this challenge. The executive team is ready. The staff is ready. It is an exciting time to be at IOActive.


  9. Helpful (2)

    "Exciting, Engaging, Entertaining and Evolving!!!"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Business Development Manager in Windham, NH
    Former Employee - Business Development Manager in Windham, NH
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at IOActive (More than a year)

    Pros

    IOA has some of the most amazing technical talent on the face of this earth. As a BDM, knowing the type of quality work enables you to not sell on price but on quality of the work to be performed. Two amazing labs for embedded penetration testing as well as consultants in over 26 countries. Management will always listen to you and return feedback directly. Also, the fact that this company has such great talent and can make decisions quickly for the BDMs is a huge plus!!!!

    Cons

    As a remote BDM, sometimes info takes a while to get to you, but if you ask, they will always respond. Do not promote just to promote. Quality at all levels is a must to continue success!

    Advice to Management

    As stated above, quality at all levels is a must for success. It is better to wait and get the right people into positions than just move people that are not ready or do not have the right temperament.


  10. Helpful (1)

    "Unique, Fun, and Growing Company"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at IOActive full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Great, brilliant and passionate people that really care about the company's mission to make the world more secure. The global need for cyber security services is growing exponentially and the company is uniquely positioned to deliver solutions that few others really can. A largely new leadership team in place is setting a strong foundation to evolve/mature the company to take it to all new levels while maintaining the fun and dynamic culture that's consistently attracted the world's best and brightest security talent. Tremendous upside here, a company that's on the move and well-equipped to do something very special in a hot and growing market.

    Cons

    Not too much to share here. Growing pains mostly. Growth inspired change and transitions typically come with some challenges that not everyone is equipped to handle or flourish in. Transforming from basically a start-up to a world-renowned elite services company takes time, patience, adaptability and perseverance that not everybody possesses. Given the space the company is in it also employs wide range of often eccentric personality types that can create strains at times, but it makes it a very diverse and never boring work environment.

    Advice to Management

    Fantastic changes occurring in the business this year. Stay on the current course and keep calling on this team to raise our game and take advantage of the great opportunity we have. You can really start to feel the momentum across the business.


  11. Helpful (10)

    "A good resume addition"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at IOActive full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Incredibly smart and talented coworkers. Lots of opportunities to learn/improve skills and work on interesting projects. Great travel opportunities for road warriors. Connections are easy to forge with other shops, and former employees band together like POWs, marked with a badge of honor for time served.

    Cons

    The CEO's favoritism is palatable throughout the company. Consultants are regarded as disposable resources, and are reminded of this regularly. Unethical behaviors are often encouraged. Morale and HR issues are addressed with booze, parties, and regular culling of the staff. Managerial indiscretions are blatantly ignored. This all creates a revolving door culture, with staff leaving as often as joining, and a highly volatile environment.

    Advice to Management

    Treat employees as assets, not liabilities. Get a CEO with actual business acumen, new ideas, and a sound growth strategy, rather than just a set of one-note marketing gimmicks.


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