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Our Philosophy

We found out first-hand how difficult, time-consuming, and expensive assessments can be — and we knew there had to be a better way. We asked ourselves, “What can we do to make this suck less?” We’ve taken our experience and built our philosophy around how to answer that question. That’s why we built ByteChek.

With our extensive experience in SOC 2 and other cybersecurity assessments for SaaS, IaaS, and PaaS providers we have developed a platform to help our clients make their assessment process easier. We built our product, processes, and reports with that expertise in mind. In turn, we created a more integrated and secure product that provides minimal disruption to the everyday operations of our client’s business.

Our early customers are experiencing this philosophy firsthand, listen below:

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Our Licenses & Certifications

The team at ByteChek has various licenses and certifications relevant to our professional services, including the following:

  • Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
  • AWS Certified Solutions Architect-Professional
  • Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)
  • Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA)
  • AWS Certified Security-Specialty
  • AWS Certified Solutions Architect-Associate
  • Certified Information Technology Professional (CITP)
  • Certified Information Privacy Technologist (CIPT)
  • ISO22301 Lead Auditor
  • Certificate of Cloud Security Knowledge (CCSK)
  • AWS Certified Sysops Administrator – Associate
  • AWS Certified Developer Associate
  • AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner

Our Leadership

Our leadership is passionate about making compliance suck less! Our dedication to this philosophy stems from our experience as auditors, partners, and cloud security advisors. We’ve been through hundreds of cybersecurity assessments — responsible for consulting and assessing organizations of all sizes from startups to the Fortune 500. Our leadership team was also part of the working group that helped develop the 2018 version of the AICPA SOC 2 guide and has developed numerous trainings for the AICPA.

AJ Yawn

Co-Founder & CEO

AJ Yawn is a seasoned cloud security professional that possesses over a decade of senior information security experience with extensive experience managing a wide range of cybersecurity compliance assessments (SOC 2, ISO 27001, HIPAA, etc.) for a variety of SaaS, IaaS, and PaaS providers.

AJ advises startups on cloud security and serves on the Board of Directors of the ISC2 Miami chapter as the Education Chair, he is also a Founding Board member of the National Association of Black Compliance and Risk Management professions, regularly speaks on information security podcasts, events, and he contributes blogs and articles to the information security community including publications such as CISOMag, InfosecMag, HackerNoon, and ISC2.

Before Bytechek, AJ served as a senior member of national cybersecurity professional services firm SOC-ISO-Healthcare compliance practice. AJ helped grow the practice from a 9 person team to over 100 team members serving clients all over the world. AJ also spent over five years on active duty in the United States Army, earning the rank of Captain.

AJ is relentlessly committed to learning and encouraging others around him to improve themselves. He leads by example and has earned several industry-recognized certifications, including the AWS Certified Solutions Architect-Professional, CISSP, AWS Certified Security Specialty, AWS Certified Solutions Architect-Associate, and PMP. AJ is also involved with the AWS training and certification department, volunteering with the AWS Certification Examination Subject Matter Expert program.

AJ graduated from Georgetown University with a Master of Science in Technology Management and from Florida State University with a Bachelor of Science in Social Science. While at Florida State, AJ played on the Florida State University Men's basketball team participating in back to back trips to the NCAA tournament playing under Coach Leonard Hamilton.

Jeff Cook

Co-Founder & CFO

Jeff brings his information assurance and public accounting experience to ByteChek as a professional with over 9 years of IT audit and consulting experience and over 20 years of experience in public accounting and auditing. Jeff has worked extensively on SOC in addition to providing IT audit support for traditional financial statement audits. Jeff also has functional knowledge of ISO standards, CSA STAR, C5, FISMA, and FedRAMP.

Jeff started his career in public accounting at a (then) big 5 CPA firm in its financial audit practice. Subsequently, Jeff joined a regional accounting firm in the DC area and worked there for over 12 years, becoming a principal consultant and founder of the firm’s IT Audit and Advisory Group as well as a senior manager in the Government Contract Services Group. Jeff helped issue the first SOC 2 report for the firm resulting in the firm becoming a registered SOC audit provider from the AICPA. Jeff also created procedures and provided training for the firm on risk-based IT audit procedures for financial audits to meet AICPA standards for IT risk.

Jeff went on to join a cybersecurity professional services firm based out of DC, helping to establish their SOC reporting practice and affiliated CPA firm, resulting in the firm issuing their first AICPA-based attestation and becoming a SOC provider. When that firm was acquired, Jeff joined the SOC practice as a principal at the new firm and was responsible for quality control in SOC reporting and was responsible for issuing the firm’s first SOC for Cybersecurity report.

Jeff is also heavily involved with the AICPA, volunteering with development of the SOC and CITP programs. Jeff was part of the SOC 2 working group, helping to develop the 2018 version of the AICPA SOC 2 guide, has developed numerous trainings for the AICPA, and is a prior recipient of the AICPA IMTA Standing Ovation Award for outstanding professional achievement in the IT specialization area.

Jeff is a part of the AICPA CITP credential committee, the AICPA IMTA SOC task force, and the AICPA Eye on Technology task force. Jeff is also a Board Member for Community IT, a Washington, DC based managed service provider for non-profits. Jeff is a prior board member for the Maryland Association of CPAs.

Jeff earned his Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting and a Master of Science in Information Assurance from the University of Maryland University College. He is a lead auditor for the ISO 22301 standard and holds certifications as a CPA, CITP, CISA, CIPT, and CCSK.

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AJ Yawn | Jeff Cook

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