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Karl Gumtow

Karl Gumtow

Karl Gumtow

CEO

CyberPoint International, LLC

Karl Gumtow and his wife, Vicki, started CyberPoint International, LLC in their Baltimore condo in 2009. They had plans and, importantly, money set aside.

Their cybersecurity company has grown fast and wide; the global company now has 220 employees, said Karl Gumtow, the CEO.

A key part of building a business, he said, is relationships.

The couple considered naming their company One Degree, denoting the small radius within which they expected to hire a staff. But Gumtow said it’s better that the company reached out further, leading to highly skilled, competent workers.

He describes CyberPoint International as a “constellation organization.” There are many bright stars that occasionally realign and move around, depending on the work.

Gumtow said he prefers this organic structure over a stricter hierarchy. Each summer, he starts working on a plan for the coming year and announces it in October, when the company celebrates its anniversary.

Employees make suggestions and ask sometimes pointed, sometimes anonymous questions through a suggestion box. The Gumtows answer them all through an internal company blog.

CyberPoint International protects financial information, communications, intellectual property and records. This year, the company won a $6-million contract for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, part of the Defense Department.

The company recently launched a new product called CyVaR, or cyber value at risk. It’s an algorithm-driven system of calculating the worth of portfolios and the danger of a possible cyber attack — similar to a credit score.

Rapid growth can lead to growing pains and cultural evolution in the workplace, but that’s natural, Gumtow said. “What won’t change are your values,” he said.