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Stein ’15 balances running start-up and academics

As if the obligations of senior year weren’t sufficiently demanding, Ethan Stein ’15 puts mere academic complaints into perspective by balancing the role of CEO with a triple major (in computer science, film and interactive media and Near East and Judaic Studies).

The 22-year-old Upper East Side native came to Brandeis seeking the archetypal campus experience. Since then he has relished in the sense of Jewish community that Brandeis fosters, with a student body “reaching to new highs of achievement,” says Stein. Yet Stein’s academic focus is only part of what takes up this busy senior’s time.

As stated in his Jan. 15 feature in BrandeisNOW, Stein recently launched the company CyberSecurityPlan, a startup that aims to ensure businesses have the framework to keep clients’ confidential information protected. The company focuses not only on firewalls, but also on the front and back end of security platforms. CyberSecurityPlan provides infrastructure and framework to regulate not only who has access to information, but also how that information is disposed when it is no longer needed.

This wasn’t Stein’s first appearance in BrandeisNOW. In May 2013 he was featured when he teamed up with high school friends to make a film titled “Wordsmith,” which ended up winning the Boston Student Film Festival.

This is also not Stein’s first experience with a startup enterprise. Several years ago, he launched EventLeaf, an online company focused on transforming the experience of hosting and attending events by helping manage the financial risk, promotion, marketing and organization and administration inherent to planning of ticketed events. Since then he has also involved himself in Good St., a charitable “community of good people coming together to do good things for the world. Every. Single. Day.”

It was following a conversation with Stein’s uncle (New York based attorney Michael Rosenblatt) that the concept arose to sell cyber security plans at a better price. His startup aims to revolutionize the cyber security and telecommunications market by giving businesses the framework to help organize and protect themselves through infrastructure. CyberSecurityPlan also offers audits for website vulnerably, as well as a Watchdog app to provide instantaneous notifications about security breaches. The innovative idea caters to any business with confidential information, which, in this age, is a nearly all encompassing qualification. This includes information ranging from social security and credit card numbers to health records.

The company’s initial development took place predominantly last summer, allowing Stein to complete the bulk of planning and execution before returning to Brandeis to begin his senior year. Since then, CyberSecurityPlan has blossomed from providing solely cyber security plans, to a one-stop option for all cyber security and telecommunication needs. Despite allotting time during the semester to overseeing aspects of company, Stein is careful to remain focused on his studies, leaving most of the managerial responsibilities to his uncle and co-founder. As Stein points out, first and foremost, “I need to graduate.”

In addition to his uncle, Stein works with world-renowned Israeli developer and cyber security expert Eitan Magid. With offices across the globe, Magid was most recently involved in the renovation of Madison Square Garden, as well as rebuilding the Affordable Care Act’s website (healthcare.gov). Stein considers himself “very lucky to call [Magid] a colleague and a friend,” saying, “There is no one else I would have trusted to do our website. He is not only the website designer but also helping us grow our company to what we had envisioned of it and more.”

As Stein points out, the issue of cyber security could not be more relevant. The company website states, “The European Union issued a mandate recently that any U.S. company doing business via Internet with a European company must have an implemented cyber security plan!” Following in the Sony controversy, it wasn’t only European nations taking notice of the necessity for such safeguards. Rather than a hack as it is popularly believed, Stein attests that the Sony information leak was caused by an insider. Had a cyber security plan been in place and implemented, an overseer would have been alerted that unqualified personnel had been granted access to clandestine information.

Following graduation, Stein plans to fully immerse himself in his company, and devote all his energies to helping his business reach its full potential. Recently, the Jewish People’s Choice Awards nominated Stein for Business Person of the Year for his embodiment of entrepreneurial-mindedness, leadership and contagiously constructive energy. The website calls Stein “the most qualified young Jewish entrepreneur on the Upper East.” His presence will be surely missed at Brandeis following his graduation in May.

Despite his many responsibilities, Stein remains an active member on campus, especially within his role as a UDR, and may be reached at ethan@cybersecurityplan.com.

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