RADICL Defense has been named one of the top 22 Colorado Startups to watch in 2022


Off the Sidelines, Back to the Fight

I am an American Patriot. Regardless our imperfections, I believe no country in history has done more good for the whole of mankind. Today, this country I love, is under constant cyberattack. Our secrets are being stolen, our businesses are being ransomed, and our national defense is being weakened. 

Because we are a free people, with a free-market economy, there is no overarching government force to protect us from cyberthreats –nor should there be. Instead, individuals and businesses must take responsibility for their own cyber safety and defense – and to avoid a dystopian future, this is the way it must stay.

And so, the mantle falls to us in the cybersecurity industry to protect our nation, our businesses, our people. It is a tough task. The field of battle is constantly shifting as technology evolves and our adversaries adapt. We in the industry take up this noble fight because it must be fought. We as patriots take up this fight to protect the ever-evolving potential and promise of America and its’ People.

Nearly twenty years ago I started another company to fight this fight – LogRhythm. When I co-founded LogRhythm in 2002, I was quite certain US businesses and agencies were unknowingly being compromised by nation state threats and bleeding data. At that time, I felt the current SIEM offerings had let their customers down and were fundamentally flawed. And so, we set out to reinvent what SIEM should be; needed to be.

Over the next fifteen years, LogRhythm achieved success beyond my wildest dreams. We created a great product. We pushed ourselves to continuously innovate and helped spur innovation across the broader industry. We passionately cared about serving our customers well. We built a company culture and team that became family. What an incredible ride it was. Team LogRhythm, what gratitude and thanks I will forever have!

In the summer of 2018, I decided to resign from my post as CTO. My dad was battling cancer and my grandfather’s health was rapidly declining. After sixteen years of all-in effort, I also found my energy waning. Even so, what a terribly difficult decision this was. While stepping away was hard, I have no regrets. I needed the time; my family needed the time.

Of course, it didn’t take me long to start thinking about what was next. Those of you who really know me, probably guessed my “sabbatical” wasn’t leading to full retirement. You were right. Upon much reflection, I came to realize at the core I am an inventor, a builder. And what I enjoy building most is great software that solves hard cybersecurity problems. 

As I was ruminating on my future, a few events unfolded that further motivated the end of my sabbatical – the SolarWinds hack, a conversation with a space company CEO, and the insidious rise of ransomware.

When the SolarWinds hack became public, I was infuriated. My fury was not directed at Russia or the sophistication of the attack. Russia was only doing what nation states do – use whatever means necessary to spy on each other. My fury was not that US companies and agencies had been compromised by malicious software. This happens all the time and will continue to happen. Instead, my fury was that the further compromise of systems and user accounts, along with theft of data, went unnoticed and undetected for ~7 months! Compounding my fury was knowing the companies and agencies compromised likely have some of the best cyber security technology money can buy.

Last year I was also in conversations with a buddy of mine who was CEO of a small space company. My friend’s company is one of thousands that make up our nation’s Defense Industrial Base (DIB) –businesses inventing the future in areas critical to our national defense. My friend relayed that various three-letter agencies had reached out to him and his peers in the DIB advising them nations are compromising their systems and stealing their data. In our conversations he conveyed great concern for the security posture of small companies like his, thinking most lacked the sophistication and expertise to defend against nation state adversaries. I knew he was right to be concerned. After all, if cyber-sophisticated entities like FireEye and the US Treasury couldn’t defend and detect against the SolarWinds hack, how could a small business like his stand a chance?

This conversation and the SolarWinds hack stirred my blood. How as a nation are we allowing our most important secrets to be stolen? Furthering my ire was the rising rate and cost of ransomware. For I know, data theft and ransom are only possible when intrusions and compromise go undetected for long periods of time! After all the progress made in cybersecurity, I found myself deeply frustrated and embarrassed by our seeming ineptitude. How as an industry are we still so bad at finding bad actors operating within customer networks and systems?  

My path became clear. Get off the sidelines, get back in the fight!

And so, RADICL Defense was borne. Borne with a mission of serving the interests of the United States by securing companies, who must be better secured. We chose the name RADICL because we intend to take new and novel approaches to solve the hard problems before us. Our mission is to specifically defend companies actively targeted by nation state threats. We choose to serve the SMB market because these highly innovative companies desperately need better solutions, that truly protect their important secrets. We know our mission is challenging. We know radical innovation will be required.

As I embark on this new venture, I am joined by brothers in arms. A brother by birth, a brother by friendship. My co-founder and brother Matt is one of the most talented engineers I have had the pleasure of working with. He brings rare software design and development experience. My co-founder and friend Dave brings a lifetime of achievement, from state soccer champion, to one of the best fighter pilots in the Air Force and the youngest F22 Wing Commander in history.

Our mission is challenging, and the path ahead will not be easy. We seek to bring sophisticated cybersecurity capabilities to a market segment woefully behind. We do this because it must be done. We do this because we can uniquely see it done. We do this to protect our country and the continued promise of America.

Announcing our $3M pre-seed round to fight nation state cyberthreats and ransomware

As a cybersecurity industry veteran and inventor, I am dissatisfied with the current state of technology and the offerings available to small businesses – especially those targeted by nation state threats. I am co-founding RADICL to defend these innovative and important companies, and by so doing, serve and defend the interests of the United States. I’m excited to announce our $3M pre-seed round. Read more about our mission and team below.

RADICL Defense announces $3M pre-seed round to fight nation state cyberthreats and ransomware.

Founded by a proven and experienced team, RADICL Defense will provide military grade cybersecurity to protect advanced industries within the SMB segment.

BOULDER, CO – Nov. 8, 2021 – RADICL Defense, a cybersecurity startup founded by experienced cybersecurity leader Chris Petersen, former Co-Founder and CTO of LogRhythm, announced its $3M pre-seed funding today.

The round was led by Access Venture Partners with participation from the Cyber Mentor Fund and strategic angel investors. RADICL Defense will use the funds to hire additional team members in support of developing its platform and offering. 

Previous early-stage investor in LogRhythm, Frank Mendicino, Managing Partner at Access Venture Partners, said, “RADICL Defense’s mission of protecting the information systems of SMB’s and contractors involved in highly sensitive work in the realm of national defense is critical to the future of our democracy and the global competitiveness of our economy. Access is delighted to continue our decade long relationship with Chris Petersen and his team and proud to help support a company with such an important mission.” 

Small and medium sized businesses (SMBs) supporting advanced industries and national defense are being actively targeted by nation state threats. These innovative companies are realizing intellectual property theft at an alarming rate. These losses impact their long-term global competitiveness and weaken the national security posture of the United States. 

The SMB sector, especially those serving national security interests, need better options. Unfortunately, due to budgetary and staffing constraints, most SMBs lack access to the latest in cybersecurity technologies and are woefully behind in cybersecurity maturity. To defend against advanced threats and ransomware, these businesses need military grade protection they can realistically adopt and afford. 

Concerned with the daunting challenge facing SMBs and impact on US national security, Petersen and his team, David Graff, a retired U.S. Air Force Colonel & defense industry executive, and Matt Petersen, a founding LogRhythm engineer with extensive knowledge of SIEM, founded RADICL Defense in early 2021 and are uniquely positioned to solve for this challenge.  

In 2002, Petersen co-founded LogRhythm, a Gartner Magic Quadrant leader in next generation Security Information & Event Management (SIEM). As LogRhythm’s CTO, Chris led pioneering industry advancements in SIEM, Security Orchestration Automation & Response (SOAR), User Entity Behavior Analytics (UEBA), Network Detection & Response (NDR), and Extended Detection & Response (XDR).  

“SMBs are the engine of innovation in the United States. The inventions of SMBs deserve military grade cyber protection from nation states that would steal them, and cybercriminals that would ransom them. Current options available to SMBs are lackluster at best. RADICL Defense was borne to bring this underserved segment true cyberthreat protection, and by so doing, serve the long-term national security interests of the United States.” 

About RADICL Defense:  

RADICL Defense is a pre-seed stage company mostly operating in stealth. The company is founded and backed by experienced senior leaders in cybersecurity and national defense. RADICL Defense protects the national security interests of the United States and its allies by securing advanced industries within the SMB segment from nation state level adversaries, while also keeping them safe from ransomware and other high-impact cyber incidents. The company is headquartered in Boulder, Colorado and actively hiring. To learn more and review career opportunities visit: www.RADICL.io

Letter to LogRhythm

To My LogRhythm Family, 

I write this letter to my LogRhythm family, – the great collection of people who across the years built an amazing company powered by product innovation and an outstanding company culture, deeply focused on customer success. 

It is hard to believe more than two years has passed since I resigned my post as Chief Technology Officer. What a hard decision that was. While hard, I have no regrets. I was able to spend time with my father as he battled cancer and be with my grandfather during his final days. Also, after 16 years of all-in effort, I was tired, and so was my family. Having time to recharge my batteries and give more time to Beth and the boys has been an incredible blessing. 

Of course, it didn’t take me long to start thinking about what was next. Those of you who really know me, probably guessed I wasn’t ready to retire. You were right. Upon much reflection, I came to realize at the core I am an inventor, a builder. And what I enjoy building most is great software that solves hard problems that need solved. And so, I have decided to embark on building another company. 

As I turn full focus towards my next venture, I feel a need to close out one last item from the incredible chapter of my life that has been LogRhythm – saying thanks to all of you! 

What we built together as a team was special and rare. We built a company that felt like family. We truly cared about our customers and their success. We innovated and created incredible product. We advanced the careers and opportunity of the thousands of employees, partners, and customers who joined in our mission. We had fun together. 

LogRhythm will always be in my heart and part of my being. You give me the gift of a lifetime and incredible memories. Following are some my personal highlights: 

Ringing the Bell! 

Our team-centric, customer-centric culture was rooted in our ringing the bell ceremony. Of course, those of you who were there in the days know it wasn’t a bell or a gong – it was the $15 triangle that Phil and I could afford at the time. Regardless, the “bell” rang loud as we celebrated as a team every customer we earned. We rejoiced and recognized that each customer was a “team” effort, not an individual effort. Each customer required engineers to build the features they valued, marketing to make them aware we existed, sales to consult with them, and services to deploy and make their experience successful. Once our sales volume picked up and we could no longer celebrate in person, we revised the tradition and it became the “virtual bell”, and those emails continued to encapsulate the spirit of LogRhythm, the team of LogRhythm. 

Telling the Founding Story 

As the company grew, we made the wise decision to share the founding story with every new class of employees. I will forever cherish welcoming each new class and sharing how Phil and I started LogRhythm. As a founder, it was incredible to see the new employee class size grow from 10 a quarter, to 20, to 50. It was surreal indeed. As amazing was the incredible collection of talented people we had attracted. We valued diversity and had people of all types joining the team, bringing incredible backgrounds and experience. The continued telling of our story helped cement our “why” with every new employee who joined in our mission. 

New Hire Introductions  

Each quarter, we would have our company meeting. We would gather in person and across the globe to get an update on the business. Andy would share our performance for the past quarter and various execs would provide updates. This transparency itself was awesome and unique! However, what I most enjoyed were the new hire introductions and anniversaries. As part of the meeting, we would ask each new employee to say a few things about themselves. Some quarters this was almost 100 people! Regardless, we took the time to meet everyone as a team. What I always enjoyed hearing most were comments like the following:  

“I joined LogRhythm because I heard it had an amazing culture. I have been here two months, and I can tell you, they were right! This is an amazing place to work!” 

This was incredible to hear, and important to hear. These unsolicited testaments to our culture, meant as a leadership team, and a broader team, we were staying true to our values and our culture was strong! 


As part of our company meeting, we would also celebrate Anniversaries. Phil, Andy, and I would take turns recognizing the tenure and accomplishments of employees who had reached tenures surpassing 3 years, and eventually 5, 7, and then 10! As part of this ceremony, we would look back at the employee’s path through LogRhythm. I loved recognizing and celebrating the path and success of you all. I especially loved seeing how the business we had built had enriched your lives and opportunity. For many who joined LogRhythm, their professional paths were already set upon success. However, for others, LogRhythm forever changed and accelerated their career trajectory and opportunity set. This was amazing to see and celebrate! 

And all the Other Times… 

While these are some of my favorite memories, there are so many other amazing events and times we shared as a team: Tube to Work, Logtoberfest, the Biggest Logger!, Golden Nugget Awards, President’s Club, Sales Kick Off, The Whiskey Club, Beers at Boulder Brewery, White Elephant gift exchange, Halloween Costume contest, and more. What an amazing ride and experience it was! How blessed I am to have shared these experiences and been part of such an amazing culture and team.   

Thank you!