My name is Jeff Neithercutt, and I’m a CISSP, and CySA+ certified Cyber Security and Law Enforcement expert with a successful 18+ year career and key strengths in investigations, incident response, cybersecurity, risk analysis and mitigation, and technical problem-solving. I was born and raised in Northern California and got my BA at CSUH and my Master’s Degree at National University. I spent over a decade as a Police Officer and 911 Dispatcher in the SF Bay Area, and am currently working as a Senior Consultant for a firm in Sacramento.
What exactly does your company do?
Alister Inc. is a company my wife and I founded that has several verticals in the Blockchain Space. She runs the company, and I help with technical writing and advising from time to time. Our main vertical is called Blockchain of Evidence and is a patented Blockchain overlay that adds integrity to any evidence-based supply chain by collecting and storing information about the evidence that is typically ignored. For instance, when a medical claim is filed, a blood sample may be taken at the local doctor’s office and submitted to the lab for testing. There are several pieces of information about that process that could be collected and added to an immutable blockchain ledger to allow the blood sample to literally speak for itself. This is true in Police Evidence processing as well, where they are still using a 300-year-old pizza box and scotch tape solution to “book” evidence upon which someone’s life, career, or livelihood may rely. To be able to establish exactly who touched that piece of evidence, when, where, how many times, what temperature it was, latitude and longitude, weather conditions; all of these things may affect the validity of the evidence throughout its life-cycle, but they aren’t collected because it’s too “time-intensive.” Our app and web portal collect and process this data automatically and add it to an immutable block with an image of the evidence showing proof of state and physical condition at the time it was gathered.
What were the biggest challenges you have faced, and how did you overcome them?
The loss of my Father in 2015 was a huge challenge for me. Helping my family recover from that helped me feel I was doing something to offset that loss. Figuring out who you can trust in a work environment has left me vulnerable to some very painful betrayals in my work experience, but you also meet some amazing lifelong friends, and you have to focus on doing work you feel is valued and valuable so that you can fall back on that if your friendships aren’t working for you at the time.
What piece of advice do you wish someone had given you at the start of your career?
Close your mouth and listen as much as possible. If your mouth is open, you may be wrong, make a huge mistake, or offend someone. By listening more, you can’t do any of those things. I’m a talker, and it’s been a hard lesson to learn.
Who are your biggest influences and people you admire, and why?
My father was my biggest influence, and I admire him more than anyone else in my life. It’s funny, I look back now at my career and life trajectory, and I’ve mimicked him and his without even realizing I was doing it. Almost to the exact number of years, both failures and successes have shown clear nexus to his life and events. He lived his life with honesty and integrity and didn’t let others’ lack of integrity bring him down. I wondered for some time why he worked as a private consultant for so many years, but what I’ve learned is that working in large groups of people can be very challenging, particularly if those around you are disingenuous or feel challenged by your successes and accomplishments. He never let those who would try to tear him down get the upper hand, and I’ve tried to do that as well, with varying success.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are?
There are several people who supported me as I learned and grew in my career. Several who took a chance on me when I was still learning or had suffered a setback. Those individuals will always seem heroic to me for being willing to look past my flaws and potential setbacks to see the powerful and successful speaker and teacher I became. We all have heroes in our lives that have promoted us at a time when we felt vulnerable or small, but I’ve had so many I’m having trouble picking out just one. I had a Sergeant who summed it up best, as all of my mentors and heroes have lived their lives this way, he said, “Do the right thing, for the right reason.” I’ve tried to live by that mantra even when those around me were definitely not.
What do you see as your greatest success in life?
Establishing a set of jobs and careers that made it possible for my wife to stay home and raise our visually impaired daughter on a one-to-one basis. This enabled our daughter to be incredibly successful, and I’m so proud of her! She’s in her fourth year of a very competitive college. She earned the right to attend, and despite her medical challenges and treatments, she gets up and goes to class every day, or at least she did until Covid-19 made all her classes online. But she still attends every class and gives it her all, and I’m so proud of her for that!!