Cipher Tech Solutions, Inc. (Cipher Tech) was founded in 2006 by two engineering students from Northeastern University who were passionate about national security, software development, and entrepreneurship. Alongside classwork, Cipher Tech began to bridge the gap between the nation’s best academics and students, and the defense community. Just a few years later, in true “David and Goliath” fashion, Cipher Tech became known as a fierce competitor by defense and intelligence firms many times our size.
Today we, as a company, take great pride in supporting many of the most mission critical projects within the Department of Defense and the Intelligence Community. The majority of the company is comprised of extremely talented software developers who write production tools that directly support one of two missions: digital forensics and malware reverse engineering.
Digital forensics is the application of computer science and investigative procedures involving the examination of digital evidence. This includes extracting and processing evidence from computers, phones, tablets, cameras, flash-drives, and just about any other form of digital media. The results of our work are then used to support federal and military law enforcement, counter-intelligence, and counter-terrorist activities.
Malware reverse engineering is the practice of analyzing extremely advanced malicious code. The goal of a reverse engineer is to understand how the malicious code is working and determine things like: how it infected the victim’s computer; what kind of information is it seeking to steal; how is it communicating with the author (actor); and who that actor might be.
We recognize that our employees are the lifeblood of our organization and we rely on them not only for their engineering acumen but for their innovative ideas. These ideas have historically turned into the critical programs that set us apart from our competitors and continue to fuel our rapid growth.
Our rigorous hiring processes and extremely flat organizational chart have been critical to the company's success. We ensure that those core elements are preserved in our company's culture as we continue to grow year after year. Accordingly, we firmly believe in maintaining an extremely high bar when it comes to bringing on new talent.
Every year, Inc. magazine ranks the 5,000 fastest-growing (privately held) companies in the United States. Cipher Tech has made the list for the past six consecutive years, something only a small fraction of start-ups have been able to accomplish.
Keith D. Bertolino, CEO
In 2001, Keith started his first business as a sophomore in high school, building an IT company out of his parents’ basement. His young company supported many law firms in the suburbs of NYC, providing technical assistance both in person and remotely. After leaving New York for college at Northeastern University, he juggled the management of New York-based clients and employees from Boston alongside his engineering classes. Keith also led an undergraduate research team out of the local IEEE chapter. It was at this time that he met his eventual business partner Matthew Kowalski, a fellow engineering student from Northeastern who was also running a remote tech business. Keith and Matt merged their companies in 2006, and Cipher Tech Solutions, Inc. was born.
Keith received a BS degree in Computer Engineering with a minor in Technological Entrepreneurship (2008) and a MS degree in Engineering Management (2009). He is a fellow of the Gordon Institute of Engineering Leadership.
As CEO of Cipher Tech, Keith has the privilege of working for a team of computer science and engineering prodigies who collectively develop some of the most advanced tools in the disciplines of digital forensics and reverse engineering. Driven primarily by his insatiable desire to find and support the most impactful Department of Defense missions, Keith is forever grateful that he can still find a way to work some portion of his time as a targeted forensic software developer.
In his personal life, Keith spends his limited free time goofing off with his wife and daughters, creating “bringing down the house”-esque statistical gambling simulations, skiing at irresponsible speeds, and seeking out tactical driving and firearms training. He is also a self-proclaimed master of Contra on NES.
Matthew B. Kowalski, CTO
Matthew B. Kowalski, Chief Technical Officer, co-founded Cipher Tech Solutions in 2006. Matthew's technical career began in 2001 at Consolidated Technologies, Inc., where he specialized in converged telecommunications technologies. These included the integration of voice systems with email systems, Voice over Internet Protocol systems (VoIP), and enterprise wireless deployment. In 2002, Matthew founded and managed Future Proof Techs, which provided small businesses and home users with computer support, website development, and custom software development.
Matthew also supported the Seeker and Interceptor Group at MIT Lincoln Laboratory in Lexington, Massachusetts. His key responsibilities were supporting the research networks and implementing custom electrical circuits.
Matthew received a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering with a concentration in Computer Engineering from Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts. Matthew published a security paper on Wireless Security and is a Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP).
In his spare time, Matthew enjoys tinkering with technology, playing hockey and spending time with his family.