Welcome back to the quarterly DomainTools Employee Spotlight segment! Earlier this year, we introduced you to Karen Kuhar, HR Generalists extraordinaire, literature aficionado, and education advocate. This quarter, I was honored to interview our VP of Research and Development, Michael Klatt. Michael has a background in computer science from Central Washington University. After a few courses, he also discovered his interest for electrical engineering. According to Michael, “with a software background, you can do anything in the cyber realm, it is interesting to apply software knowledge to a physical manifestation through electrical engineering.” In his spare time, he leverages micro controllers to create Internet-of-Things (IoT) projects. A few examples of his experiments include: a wifi-enabled scale, Dwarf hamster pedometer and a remote controlled car steered over the internet. As working in security usually provides you with a healthy dose of paranoia and innate curiosity, Michael finds the IoT security particularly interesting. When Michael builds his own devices, he has to consider the same challenges as IoT providers when it comes to storing data on the cloud. He weighs this challenge with his interest for collecting data and leveraging this information to make decisions. Michael’s interest in hobby electronics and deep understanding of computer science makes him quite the contender for our annual Hack days.
Although DomainTools was named Boostrapper of the year, not many people realize we have been around for over 16 years. In fact, DomainTools was not always a security juggernaut, we pivoted away from the Domain industry back in 2014. Michael has been working at DomainTools for over 12 years, and has experienced this major shift into the security industry. According to him, it has been quite a ride, and that the company direction and benefit we provide to our customers has really changed. This shift, however, to help combat cybercrime has been an inspiring challenge. One of Michael’s major contributions has been his work to help create something we call Domain Reputation. Domain Reputation scoring, in Michael’s own words, is “an application of what security researchers do with our data in an automated fashion.” In a sense, it is scalable intuition. In addition, Michael took part in research that was written up in a paper and presented at the USENIX symposium regarding DGAs (domain generation algorithms) this past year. Needless to say, he is a massive asset to the DomainTools team.
Michael and I have a shared passion, suffering through yoga together every Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. One of DomainTools many perks is three hours of “flexible time off” (pun intended) with our yoga instructor Travis. Even though we find ourselves in a lot of pain, it’s fun to suffer together in our cross-functional yoga squad. Finally, Michael is also the de facto espresso chemist. But beware, his drink of choice, a six ounce whole milk latte with three shots. He certainly enjoys his caffeine!
Even with Michael’s concerning addiction to caffeine, he is a critically important member of the DomainTools team. We are very lucky to have him here, and we look forward to his next invention!