Larry Yon wants to protect you while you’re surfing the internet. The longtime cybersecurity executive started CyberAlliance, a company focused on securing the connection between people and businesses on the continent of Africa.
Recently, Yon spoke to rolling out about being in the tech industry and his dedication to diversifying it.
What initially got you interested in the tech industry?
I was a point guard in basketball. It’s natural for me to create teams, be in a nucleus [and] able to distribute … I think it’s part of my personality to gravitate toward being a part of a group. I’m the only child, so not having brothers and sisters naturally makes you want to be a part of a big family. For me, that’s where it all started — making big families. On the business side with my work, [I do this by] helping Black businesses here in the U.S. engage on the continent [of Africa] and vice versa … We’re creating big families and making connections … connecting people that are typically disconnected.
How exactly are you working with the continent of Africa?
[With] my cybersecurity company, we’ve created a cyber risk assessment that’s designed to create global trust between businesses here in the U.S. and businesses on the continent of Africa. In the next few weeks, I’ll be launching a project called Be Direct, where I’ll be identifying Black executives and Black entrepreneurs here in the U.S., then giving them access to training, and … placing them on the corporate boards of businesses on the continent of Africa. [We’ll] match them with companies on the continent of Africa that are high-growth businesses looking to grow across the continent and globally.
Why was it important for you to connect with the continent of Africa?
[It is a] passion project. No, I may not have been born on the continent. I was born in a small town in North Carolina. Technically, I’m not African by birthplace. I’m African because “Africa was born in me,” as the quote says, so that’s where it came from. I am passionate about people having options. I think being able to help Black people in the U.S. engage with the continent of Africa and help people on the continent of Africa engage with their brothers and sisters here in the U.S. is a great opportunity to achieve that.
Where can people connect with you?
They can email me at [email protected] They can reach out to me on Instagram @TheLarryYon2 because I’m the second.