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Who We Are

bladestack.io is a team of the most absurdly technical cloud experts.

Our team of Cyber Samurais have decades of experience designing, deploying and continuously securing global infrastructure. Our cyber-samurais cybersecurity engineering and compliance expertise spans US and international cloud security standards. Equally as comfortable in the boardroom as out on the data center floor, our cyber-samurai’s are elite cloud security experts trusted by the world’s most demanding organizations.

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Our cyber-samurais are equipped and credentialed with the top industry recognized certifications. We are prepared to cut, slice and dice through the cyber fog of war to ensure you come out on top. 

What We Do

Since the inception of cloud computing we have helped organizations around the world take secure, compliant advantage of the cloud to power modern business.

Powered by our absurdly technical cyber-samurais, we help complex organizations engineer creative, compliant solutions to cloud security challenges. We design sensible security approaches that help your organization open new markets, serve new stakeholders and stay resilient in a challenging world.

Why choose bladestack.io as your Aibō (Partner)?

Experienced cybersecurity experts are hard to find. Cloud security experts, even harder. Cloud security experts with a wealth of experience solving modern business and compliance challenges? They don’t exist.

Except at bladestack.io

We are the premier cloud security advisory firm, trusted by cloud-centric organizations in the US and internationally. Our cyber-samurais are masters of their field. They have experience with every hyperscale provider, support dozens of industries and have expertise across a diverse range of emerging cloud architectures and technologies.

We provide dedicated battle-tested cyber-samurais to support to our clients, to help you design secure cloud solutions for the modern world. Contact us to get started. You’ll be immediately connected to one of our cyber-samurais to start solving your cloud security and compliance challenges.

Our Trusted Cyber Partners

Meet the Cyber Samurais

AllShoguns (Executive Management)Cyber Samurais

Bhanu Jagasia

Chief Technology Samurai

Kris Martel

Chief Information Security Samurai

Vincent Tham

Chief Solutions Rōnin
Samurai Spotlight

Mark Almeida-Cardy

Cyber-Elite

Christopher Rule

Cyber Warrior

Ethan First

Cyber Warrior

Chief Technology Samurai

Bhanu Jagasia

Founding Samurai

Bhanu Jagasia’s obsession and fascination with technology came at an early age when his parents bought him a Nintendo Entertainment System (NES). Bhanu started picking the game cartridges and console apart, tinkering with the actual internals to the point he broke the system and was able to re-assemble it once his parents got him some soldering tools. This obsession continued in all types of electronics until the obsession hit critical mass when Bhanu was introduced to the computers in general in elementary.

By middle school, in the time and age where technology wasn’t much understood, Bhanu felt as he had the upper hand. Bhanu was making more than his parents by designing websites, selling modded Xboxs, along with unknowingly getting involved into the deeper areas of the dark web by making a small fortune from Diablo 2 Stone of Jordans (SoJs, raise your hand if you remember those days!), World-of-Warcraft gear, server-breaking exploits and a lot of other things which would now be heavily frowned upon. Thankfully Bhanu managed to stay away from anything which would have landed him in jail!

Bhanu continued by managing his own newsgroups, ran early-day “script-kiddie” exploits to until finally getting to more types of exploits which were considered sophisticated during those times. Regardless Bhanu was involved in all thing’s technology, to the point he dry-ice cooled his personal computer and ran the energy bill to the point where his parents almost got evicted. It didn’t matter to Bhanu, because he was able to get the highest 3DMark leaderboard score and overclock his CPU to the point where his classmates made a bet to Bhanu that he would not be able to overclock his CPU to 4GHZ.  Little did his class know he had one of the most overclockable CPU’s during that era, the Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 – Bhanu was able to hit 4GHZ on air, no problem. His classmate never ended up paying for losing the bet, and to this day, Bhanu retells this story in a light-hearted manner. However, Bhanu is still waiting for his payment – you know who you are!

Fast forward to age 16 and Bhanu began his “first” job – which lasted approximately 4 hours at Bob Evans. Bhanu promptly told his manager that this was not for him. Bhanu instead ran home, asked to borrow his father’s credit card, and ran his father’s credit-card up by purchasing tons of books and learning materials to earn certifications. In a few months, Bhanu at the age of 17 was more certified than any other individual at his age, or older. The entire certifications market was still coming into shape however once again, Bhanu had a leg-up and was able to land his first job, loaded with certifications, and no experience or college degree at ManTech international.

Bhanu continued his climb from systems engineer, enterprise architect, developer, software engineer, and so on so forth until finally when the advent of cloud computing came into the picture, Bhanu, once again, was unknowingly already years into cloud technology. When cloud computing finally “emerged”, Bhanu realized what he had been doing this entire time has involved some form of cloud-computing, and thus the rest is history. Still, an obsessive tech-geek and Chief Technology Samurai of his own Cybersecurity Cloud Advisory Firm in McLean, VA, Bhanu leads his army of absurdly technical cyber-samurais in all things cyber from complex automated cloud solutions to the most stringent cybersecurity frameworks in the world, such as FedRAMP.

In addition to all thing’s cybersecurity, Bhanu is infatuated about giving back to the community and helping everyone understand technology at level where it’s absolutely absurd. One of Bhanu’s greatest driving forces is to help others understand that technology is a tool to be used and to accelerate and supplement the human factor. From helping his team implement frictionless second-brain process workflows, to being able to reverse-engineer code and develop processes and systems which work in your favor, ultimately at the end of the day – ensuring you’re providing value back to the community and service to your fellow humans. Bhanu currently serves as a Subject Matter Expert and Exam Writer for ISC2 and Amazon Web Services. Bhanu is also a member of the Penn State Technology Council.

Omoshiro jōhō (Fun Facts) about Bhanu:

  1. What do you do when you’re not at bladestack.io?
    1. When I’m not working, my favorite thing to do is race cars and motorcycles. I’m a major gearhead and captivated by all things mechanical. I’ve earned some trophies in the past at the Mid-Atlantic Ducati track days. However, when I’m not being a gearhead, I default back into immersing myself into even more technology, and occasionally gaming. I have a very bad habit from my early years where I have at this point, most likely poured thousands into my computer setup. I’m always pretty proud of my computer, and I like to keep my PC’s specs top-of-the-line at all times. That said, I’m making a deliberate effort to a little more traveling and getting back into photography.
  2. What did you want to do when you were a child?
    1. Truthfully…. A fighter jet pilot. I found that to be one of the most bad-ass things ever. I always wanted a bright-red fighter jet, and yes, I know how illogical that would be, but you’ve got to admit, if you were in a dog fight and you saw a bright red fighter jet headed your way you would be thinking “Wow, what an idiot…” but also, “Wow… this guy has some guts!”.
  3. Do you have a favorite quote?
    1. “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act, but a habit” – Aristotle
  4. If you could use a time machine, would you rather have one that only goes back in time or only goes forward?
    1. Definitely forward. I want to see the andromeda galaxy and milky way galaxy collide, and all the new technology. That’s my biggest FOMO, is the future. Hopefully I can cryogenically freeze myself until those great things happen.
  5. What’s your definition of success?
    1. I’d like to quote my father here… “Success is when you make more than your wife can spend!” [laughs]

Chief Information Security Samurai

Kris Martel

Co-founding Samurai

Kris Martel didn’t start out with an interest in computers and cybersecurity. In fact, Kris was the typical kid who played every sport and enjoyed spending all his free time outdoors until he was called in for dinner and bedtime. He enjoyed some video games, and his first computer was the vaunted Apple II when it first came out but Kris really remained a standard “user” until he was in college.

While attending Emory University, Kris was focused on what he thought was going to be his future, being pre-med and earning a bachelor’s degree in Anthropology and Human Biology. It wasn’t until his Senior year that when he took a random computer programming class as an elective just for fun. It was at this point that Kris decided to change his career path, and put the medical field behind him and focus on computers.

After graduating, Kris took some computer networking and administration classes at a local school in Tallahassee and quickly landed his first job as an assistant network administrator. Kris was a quick study and couldn’t get enough of technology while he learned the ins and outs of building custom desktop computers, creating CAT5 patch cables, building servers, configuring and managing firewalls and routers, and becoming a subject matter expert in Microsoft Office applications and dozens of other project management, accounting, and productivity software.

In 1998 Kris earned his first of many certifications, the MCSE 4.0. He leveraged that certification to migrate his first network from Novel Netware 3.2 to Windows 4.0, and later upgrade to Windows 2000! Kris leveraged his technical prowess to assist companies avoid the Y2K crises that threatened to shut down the world and send everyone everywhere back to the stone age (obviously that never happened)! Kris never looked back once the 21st century hit and he racked up dozens of new certifications supporting products like Cisco to eventually focusing in on cybersecurity as his area of specialty.

After realizing that he was never going to be the head coach of Florida State Seminoles Football (or even being any part of the program), Kris decided to sell his first company in 2003. Kris moved to the Washington DC area to better support Government agencies as a consultant and cybersecurity SME. Over 2 decades later and supporting the Intelligence Community, Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security, and dozens of Federal Civilian agencies, Kris started up bladestack.io with his partner and co-founder Bhanu Jagasia.

Omoshiro jōhō (Fun Facts) about Kris:

  1. What do you do when you’re not at bladestack.io?
    1. I am a college football fanatic. Year round I am talking and following college football (Go Seminoles!). However, when I am not talking about or watching football, I like to travel and visit new places that I have on my bucket list.
  2. Who has had the most positive impact on your life?
    1. This may sound cheesy, but my parents have had the most positive impact on my life. They have been the flawless example of respect, kindness, how to love, work ethic, and how to enjoy life.
  3. If you could be any mythical creature, what would you be and why?
    1. Without a doubt, a dragon. Dragons are badass, wise, live forever, and powerful.
  4. What single event or decision do you think most affected the rest of your life? Was there a turning point in your life?
    1. There are many significant events that have happened in my life but the decision that most affected my life was choosing to not attend medical school my senior year of college and get into the computers and technology industry instead. The rest is history as my whole professional life has led me to where I am today!
  5. What is your definition of success?
    1. Success to me isn’t about status, accomplishments, standing in your community or profession, or how much wealth you can accumulate. Success to me is when you have a good balance of loving what you do and enjoying every day of your life. If you love what you do and live the life you want, you are successful.

Chief Solutions Rōnin

Vincent Tham

Samurai Spotlight

Vinnie’s start in technology is uncommon and not traditional. If you were to ask his closest friends if they ever thought he would have a successful career in cybersecurity, they would absolutely state something along the lines of “Vinnie was the type of person who could not turn on a computer let alone be considered a trusted advisor in a cybersecurity space” and Vinnie 100% agrees. Prior to fully going all in on cybersecurity and compliance, he spent years pursuing completely unrelated aspirations, including becoming a strongman/power lifter, local fish store owner, firefighter, and physical therapist.

Fortunately, those aspirations were never realized. In the wise words of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson: “Sometimes the goal we’ve worked our a** off for years is never achieved. Then years later, we look back and realize, it’s the best thing that never happened.”

This is exactly what happened to Vinnie. He landed a position as an office administrator/local support desk position at a defense contractor instead of becoming a firefighter. This decision blossomed into his obsession of technology and security, stemming from troubleshooting printers, office networking, and company laptops. What was a port or protocol? What is ring zero? How do I tun on a computer? Questions that needed answers!

To learn those answers, Vinnie obtained his first of many cybersecurity certifications, the CompTIA Security+ and started his cybersecurity career as a security analyst! Instead of returning to college for formal cybersecurity education, he chose to learn as much as possible with hands on experience and more obtaining industry certifications. This path enabled Vinnie to join multiple teams and learn multiple security disciplines, ranging from security analyst systems, security engineering, and auditing.

Prior to joining bladetack.io, Vinnie held positions ranging from Senior Security Consulting to Director where he managed multiple successful FedRAMP, FISMA, and NIST Advisory and Assessment client engagements from inception to closure. His experience has successfully enabled his clients on achieving FedRAMP Authorizations while prioritizing mission and business requirements with the lowest acceptable risk.

Outside of his professional career, Vinnie enjoys entertaining loved ones through grilling, seafood boils, researching new home improvement projects to implement, and looking at his garage gym equipment while having a few stiff drinks instead of working out.

Omoshiro jōhō (Fun Facts) about Vinnie:

  1. What do you do when you’re not at bladestack.io?
    1. Entertaining and spending time with loved ones! I love hosting firepit gatherings, seafood boils, and grilling.
  2. Do you have a favorite quote?
    1. I have plenty, but one there are specifically two I enjoy. The first is from one of my favorite shows, Parks & Recreation. Ron Swanson (Nick Offerman) says to his trusted friend: “Never half-ass two things, whole-ass one thing” which resonates with me and reminds me to focus on one thing, go all in, and give it your all to succeed! The second quote is from Dwayne Johnson: “Sometimes the goal we’ve worked our ass off for years is never achieved. Then years later, we look back and realize, it’s the best thing that never happened”.
  3. What is your favorite hobby?
    1. Halloween! My wife and I love celebrating Halloween. In fact, our engagement party was a massive Halloween party!
  4. What is one thing you’ve learned that you wish you could tell your younger self?
    1. Time is finite, please spend it wisely. If you do not know how to spend it wisely, learn how to.
  5. What was your first job?
    1. I was the mouse at Chuck E. Cheese and quickly had a new respect for individuals who wear full costumes. They get extremely hot.

Cyber-Elite

Mark Almeida-Cardy

From the age of 7,  Mark’s father encouraged curiosity in technology, from rigging Scalextric to a battery charger (with a boost button!); dismantling programmable self-driving toy cars (Bigtrack) and  programming games  on the Oric-1 in the late 80s.  Long live snake!   This “need to be curious” has been foundational to Mark’s approach to life (after all, you can only be held back by your own mind).   With hindsight these skills may not have always been used in the most effective manner.  But, how do you learn how a firework functions? You dismantle it and then build a bigger and better one,  right?   Hair grows back…. it’s all good!

In the mid 90s, Mark found himself being thrown into the deep end of Intel’s first Datacenter in the UK. He managed to convince a project manager who he had met in a bar, that he was capable of leading a network cabling crew as well as pulling CAT5e and fiber optical infrastructures into place and meeting the high standards expected.   Mark observed engineers installing the next phase of hardware installation. With his curious nature, Mark would ask questions, learn, research and ultimately, level up.  This meant he progressed from moving into network configuration, server management and solution architecture. This cycle has set a course of learning that is still present today.  Mark has achieved expert level status in many fields and continues to validate his knowledge with industry recognised certifications.  He has fulfilled roles such as Team Project Lead, Chief Solutions Architect and Chief Technology Officer.  At present, Mark has turned his attention to levelling up in the cyber security advisory space.

Omoshiro jōhō (Fun Facts) about Mark:

  1. What do you do when you’re not at bladestack.io?
    1. Striking a work life balance is important as is introducing my kids to the more extreme side of sports because taking yourself out of your comfort zone is hugely important.

      Skiing, traction Kiting,  adventure motorcycling, mountain climbing, kayaking and wild swimming in Scottish lochs are all things you’ll find me and my clan doing.

      Take climbing, as an example. When you are mid climb, you have put your trust in others (your life). You are strong and in control; problem solving by finding the route ahead and most importantly, able to fight back the voices of doubt.  “You can do this, you are doing this!” Every move up the wall is one you haven’t made before. You may fall but your teammate has your back. With sustained effort, you reach the top! Overcoming personal challenges requires team work.
  2. How do you influence others?
    1. Long lasting influence can only come from within one’s self.  I prefer to create an environment where there’s reflection through dialogue. You can steer anyone you work with to see a path forward in their own mind.  Like it was their idea…because it was.
  3. What’s your favorite quote?
    1. Taken from a T-shirt I was given many years ago. “Smile. Life is good.”  Smiles are contagious, and should be shared.
  4. What type of music do you enjoy?
    1. Anything by Daft Punk!
  5. What season of the year do you identify with?
    1. Spring and its association with new growth. It brings with it a feeling of optimism for the future.

Cyber Warrior

Christopher Rule

Employee Hire #1

Chris’s first experience with computers started at the age of 3 on Windows 99. He enjoyed playing terrible early 2000’s CD-ROM games and browsing the wild west of the internet in his free time. Inspired by his brother, he started coding in Scratch from an early age, creating basic video games for his family to enjoy. Unfortunately, instead of helpful feedback, he spent more time trying to get his parents to understand how to use the arrow keys to move forward!

As Chris started to understand more about the evolving technology around him, he started to experiment with jailbreaking iPhones and 3DS’s, creating mods in Minecraft and Team Fortress 2, and diving into more serious coding languages like Python and Java. His love for anything related to technology allowed him to excel in classes like robotics and entry-level computer science. His parents once joked “we knew if Chris had computer science homework, because he would come home and do it straight away! If only he did that with his other classes!”

In high school, Chris wanted to explore his other interests, primarily music. He played his main instrument, the Clarinet, along with guitar and trumpet. If you ask him about Benny Goodman, he could still list all his solos off the top of his head! Chris traveled to Italy, Indianapolis, and the New York Lincoln Center for some of his concerts. However, the call to dive back into technology was too tempting for him to ignore.

Inspired by his grandfather who was a diplomat for the U.S. during the Cold War, Chris moved to Washington D.C. for college to pursue work in the government. He enrolled in a semester of economics and political science classes before he realized that he wanted to have a happy life. Searching for alternatives, he pushed to enroll in an experimental graduate class called “Cybersecurity Analytics”, who was taught by his first mentor, Dr. Zhang. He instantly fell in love with detecting anomalies and generating insights from audit logs. Unfortunately, his college did not offer a Cybersecurity Major, so he was forced into Data Science!

Prior to joining bladestack.io, he enrolled in his college’s ROTC program to learn time management and leadership skills. His dream was to serve in the National Guard’s cyber branch around the DC Metro area. After many years of early morning runs, sitting in wet fields in Quantico, and a lot of paperwork, Chris grew dissatisfied as the program had not actually taught him anything about cybersecurity. Disillusioned, he secured an internship at the Department of Veteran’s Affairs as a Security Analyst for their Digital Media Engagement team.

Outside of being a Samurai Warrior, Chris enjoys trying every new activity under the sun, including bowling, skateboarding, chess, and golf. He also is an avid reader, enjoying books such as Musashi by Eiji Yoshikawa and Stoner by John Williams.

Omoshiro jōhō (Fun Facts) about Chris:

  1. What do you do when you’re not at bladestack.io?
    1. I enjoy practicing guitar or exploring new cuisines around Washington D.C!
  2. Do you have a favorite quote?
    1. “It’s funny how day by day nothing changes. But when you look back, everything is different.” C.S. Lewis
  3. What did you want to do when you were a child?
    1. I wanted to be an architect, and then musician before I decided on my current career path. My parents were happy I stopped wanting to be a musician, because as my father said “Not enough money in that field!”
  4. What is one thing you’ve learned that you wish you could tell your younger self?
    1. I would say “Stop trying to rush into being an adult, enjoy your time now.”
  5. What was your first job?
    1. I was the janitor for a local temple while saving up for my first car. I now ensure to keep every public place as clean as possible!

Cyber Warrior

Ethan First

Ethan’s technological journey started at the young age of ten, when he got his first laptop. It was a little dell computer, and had no special features, but that started a spiral of curiosity that never ended. Whether it was learning how to edit the Minecraft directory to be able to install mods or getting yelled at for messing with the router when trying to port-forward, he couldn’t help but learn more about the computer when it was to achieve the goals he had in mind.

These goals were silly and seemingly useless, but the years of messing around with computers to try to get them to do what he wanted, with no shortage of viruses and other mishaps along the way, brought him to a point where he realized how far ahead of his peers he was. At some point he learned that googling was a skill, and a skill he was very good at.

In middle school and high-school Ethan participated in his school’s engineering program, learning various AutoCADs and dabbling in programming. He found that his classmates would often find themselves stuck on something, needing to go to the teacher, when he had already searched the problem up and found the solution that laid somewhere in the vast sea of information known as the internet.

During his initial year attending college, Ethan fully intended on becoming an engineer. He was going to graduate in Computer Engineering and work with 3-D modeling or something like that (he never researched what the industry actually would be like) until he applied for an internship at the Veteran Affairs. He applied for some random role that he figured he would be good at (data analyst) and much to his surprise, he was accepted!

At the VA he quickly realized that he was less than enthused about data analysis, and that’s when a new department caught his eye. Web Security. There was only a few people in it and Ethan was determined to be one of them. He spoke with his boss and with the Department Head of Web Security, and after a small interview, Ethan was officially a Web Security Intern; one of the greatest turning points of his life.

The ensuing year he spent with his team was one of many lessons. Being a part of the development of this new department meant there was a lot to do, and a lot to learn. Yet, all that hard work paid off, and eventually he found himself in the position his boss was in, managing and hiring other interns as the Department Head. From the initial team of 8 people they had started with, the department was now facing such a huge influx of hires that it was siphoning from the hiring pool of other teams. He couldn’t have been prouder to have seen this growth from the start.

Yet, like all good things, he had to move on. After leaving the department in the hands of an intern who he had noticed was particularly exceptional in both technical and managerial skills, Ethan began his journey as a programmer at Florida State University. He knew it was going to be a challenge, and that many of his peers had programmed long before him, who had only dabbled in if and else statements in a high-school class, but he was determined to learn.

Now that he knew what he wanted to do, Ethan wanted to be able to do it all. Cybersecurity is a huge industry, and Ethan wanted to be able to jump into it with as many options as possible. He continues this philosophy with his pursuit of certifications and problem-solving mentality when facing a challenge.

Omoshiro jōhō (Fun Facts) about Ethan:

  1. What do you do when you’re not at bladestack.io?
    1. Cooking is one of my favorite hobbies. I love the taste of good food, so at some point I decided I wanted to be the one who made it. The rest is history.
  2. Do you have a favorite quote?
    1. My favorite quote is one from Mike Tyson. He said that “Discipline is doing what you hate to do, but doing it like you love it.” A funny story that my colleagues might not realize, is I said this quote during my interview with bladestack.io when they asked me about my motivations. Motivation is fickle, and sometimes you won’t have it, but discipline never changes.
  3. What is your favorite holiday?
    1. Maybe it’s just my obsession with good food but Thanksgiving. There’s something special about sharing a feast with the ones you love and eating till you can barely move.
  4. What is one thing you’ve learned that you wish you could tell your younger self?
    1. Do something the second you say you are going to do it. There’s no need to wait if you truly want it.
  5. What was your first job?
    1. This one! I am very lucky to say that bladestack.io is the first job I have ever had.

Careers - Join the Samurai Clan

Early stage epic – looking to build something new?  Begin your saibā musha shugyō (cyber warrior training!) with bladestack.io!

bladestack.io is looking for the best in the cyber technical tradecraft. Entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well – we are looking for builders to take us to the next level.

bladestack.io is a primarily a remote company – but we do currently have two main dojos (headquarters). We strongly support professional autonomy and outcome based results. We have a tight knit culture, high quality standards and trust our employees to get the job done.

Explore career openings with bladestack.io, currently managed by LinkedIn.

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    Contacting bladestack.io puts you in direct contact with our Lead Samurais to discuss your cybersecurity requirements. After an initial introductory call, we offer additional unbilled consulting time until you are comfortable to proceed to the next steps. Feel free to bring your engineering and security teams and let’s start solving your security and compliance challenges.