By Jim Finkle
(Reuters) - Silicon Valley computer security startup vArmour has hired former senior U.S. Department of Homeland Security official Mark Weatherford as its chief cyber security strategist.
Weatherford, who served as President Barack Obama's first Homeland Security deputy under secretary for cyber security, started on Monday at the maker of software that secures traffic across data centers and cloud platforms.
"Think of him (Weatherford) as long-range recon that allows us to get strategic insight into the direction customers are going over the next 18 to 36 months," vArmour Chief Executive Tim Eades said in an interview.
Weatheford said, "I wanted to get back to being part of a team that was delivering something operationally." He served as a principal with the Chertoff Group consultancy since he left the Department of Homeland Security in 2011.
At Chertoff, he advised Fortune 500 companies on security and helped Silicon Valley security startups with product and marketing strategies.
During a 26-year career in the U.S. military, Weatherford led the Navy's Computer Network Defense Operations and the Naval Computer Incident Response Team. He has also held senior security roles with the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) as well as the states of California and Colorado.
Mountain View, California-based vArmour, which began selling software about a year ago, has raised $42 million from investors including Highland Capital Partners, Menlo Ventures and Citi Ventures.
Its software allows businesses to see and secure network traffic across far-flung networks that include corporate data centers and public cloud services.
(Reporting by Jim Finkle; Editing by Richard Chang)