Otavio Freire
President, CTO and Co-Founder
SafeGuard Cyber



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Otavio Freire is the President, CTO and Co-Founder of SafeGuard Cyber. He first joined the company in 2014. SafeGuard Cyber provides end-to-end digital risk protection. Built on leading-edge technology but grounded in simplicity, the SafeGuard Cyber platform is a single solution to detect, prevent, and defend against threats in all your digital channels.

Previously, Freire was a chief technology officer and co-founder at OpenQ and before that a director of technology at Heartbeat Digital. Earlier in his career he worked with Oracle as a technical consultant.

Freire earned an MBA from the University of Virginia – Darden Graduate School of Business Administration and an undergraduate degree in civil engineering from Universidade Federal da Bahia.



  1. Otavio Freire is the President, CTO & Co-Founder at SafeGuard Cyber, responsible for developing and innovating the company’s security and compliance platform and providing global enterprise customers with visibility and protection across social media and digital channels. Otavio is an entrepreneur and executive with extensive experience in R&D, product development, business development, and engineering for cybersecurity and risk-based systems. He possesses rich experience in social media applications, internet commerce, and IT, serving such industries as the pharmaceutical, financial services, high-tech, and government verticals. SafeGuard Cyber, the company Otavio cofounded with CEO Jim Zuffoletti in 2014, detects threats and automates compliance for more than 50 digital applications that have become essential in today’s work-from-anywhere business environment. The technologies that SafeGuard Cyber protects include Zoom, Slack, Microsoft Teams, LinkedIn, and WeChat. SafeGuard Cyber’s agentless platform architecture and security model, which was developed by Otavio’s team, is a key differentiator. Its ThreatCortex risk engine, powered by Machine Learning and AI, uncovers hard-to-identify threats such as social engineering, malware, and compliance risks in hard to visualize cloud application locations. Modern and at-scale attack detection and prevention will dictate which DRP providers will lead the pack, and Otavio is positioning SafeGuard Cyber at the front of the industry for securing third-party cloud communication applications. SafeGuard Cyber provides configuration, MITRE ATT&CK mapping, and SaaS delivery to deliver improved detection, faster investigations, and flexibility to its customers. This approach means its platform is portable to any device on any network and is designed to be invisible to the end-user. Since moving to remote work, this architecture has helped SafeGuard Cyber’s customers gain unprecedented visibility into risks, no matter where their employees communicate and whether or not they use VPN. While an employee’s social or mobile chat account may represent a vulnerability to the organization, many of these accounts are private. Because of this privacy consideration, Otavio’s team developed the industry’s first TotalPrivacy capability, which masks all message contents for digital communication channels while still surfacing security risks for SOC teams. No other DRP combines this level of security with data privacy. Otavio is recognized in the Who’s, Who in Cybersecurity by Onalytica and has served as an expert advisor to major government organizations in the EU and the United States. His 2019 uncovering of a massive misinformation campaign against EU member states was reported upon by The Guardian and received global attention, propelling him to the forefront as one of the world’s most trusted cybersecurity experts. That work led him to be invited to provide briefings to the EU Parliament on disinformation operation tactics that threatened the EU elections and eventual posts as an Advisor to the European Commissioner for the Security Union and Security Advisor to the European Union External Action Service. Otavio has also briefed staffers of the US Senate on Digital Risk and advises Fortune 100 Enterprises and well-known political office holders on digital security. Otavio’s expertise in uncovering cybersecurity threats has been reported by the Washington Post, BBC, LeFigaro, Politico, Epoch Times, NBC, Forbes, Bloomberg, and major cybersecurity magazines. He has also served as a contributor to the Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Dark Reading, and many other publications. Otavio serves as a Visiting Guest Lecturer at the University of Virginia School of Engineering and a Visiting Assistant Professor at the Darden Business School. He possesses an MBA in Business Administration and Management from the Darden Graduate School of Business Administration at the University of Virginia, a Master of Science in Management Information Systems from Bowie State University, and a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from Universidade Federal da Bahia.

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