John Smith joins NEAR Inc. as CISO to redefine safety in the Blockchain Ecosystem

NEAR Foundation
October 29, 2021

We are thrilled to announce that John Smith has joined NEAR Inc as its Chief Information Security Officer (CISO).  John will be leading NEAR Inc’s information security strategy, working closely with core development teams, partners, and the ever-expanding NEAR community.

“John has the right background, experience, and network to do the hard work of elevating trust in the blockchain community,” says Illia Polosukhin, the CEO of Near Inc.  “He comes to us with a history of solving complex technical problems at scale across challenging industries.”  

John is a seasoned cybersecurity professional—having led highly collaborative teams at iconic threat intelligence, security, and technology companies; serving clients at every scale across an array of industries.  In his previous role as the VP of Business Information and Product Security at the global ad ratings company Nielsen, he led all aspects of application and cloud security. At Nielsen, he transformed the relationship between developers and the security organization, shifting DevOps to DevSecOps. Early in his career, John also served at the US Nuclear Regulatory Committee, working on digital transformation, alongside reactor programs and human safety.  There he learned to understand and appreciate the detailed nuances of risk analysis, applied in complex high-stakes environments.

While John will be responsible for ensuring traditional security practices are maintained at NEAR, he will be particularly focused on developing and enabling scalable security practices for smart contract developers and ensuring the security of dApps when they go live.

Scalable Security 

Interest in DeFi continues to soar and NEAR is uniquely positioned to drive massive adoption of this revolutionary technology while continuing to build the foundations of Web3. 

NEAR Inc. is achieving this through dedication to developer friendliness, scalability, cross-chain interoperability, and performance. These are the features that drive adoption.

However, these features don’t guarantee that blockchain and cryptocurrency are free of issues. We’ve seen the ramifications of development mistakes and attacks on DeFi protocols and smart contracts.  

This creates another barrier to adoption—trust—and it limits the adoption of not just a single protocol, but all of Web 3.0. Ensuring the security of the NEAR protocol and elevating the practices of the entire NEAR development community are crucial to earning that trust and attracting new participants to take part in the future of finance and the web. 

We are excited that John has joined our team to help us achieve these goals. His work will help NEAR Inc. continue to build out a secure and scalable blockchain designed to onboard the world into Web3. 

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