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Patreon fires entire security team

Patreon fires entire security team

Patreon fires entire security team

SAN FRANCISCO – Professionals in the IT and cybersecurity world have raised their eyebrows after Patreon quietly fired their entire security team this week.

The news came following a LinkedIn post from a former Patreon security team member on Sept. 8. “So for better or worse, I and the rest of the Patreon Security Team are no longer with the company.” Emily Metcalfe wrote. “As a result I'm looking for a new Security or Privacy Engineering role and would appreciate any connections, advice, or job opportunities from folks in my network. #OpenToWork.”

Fortunately, Metcalfe’s post was met with sympathy and the support of several security professionals across the tech industry offering support and employment opportunities from companies like Fortinet, Discord, Blue Origin, and Comcast among others.

That will probably do little to settle the nerves of Patreon’s over 6 million patrons and hundreds of thousands of creators whom the company handles financial transactions for. Security Systems News reached out to Patreon for clarification shortly after the news broke about what had precipitated the shakeup and whether it could be linked to a more problematic issue like a company hack or data breach.

“To answer your question, this was not in response to any incident but I can confirm we let go of five employees who worked in security operations,” Patreon’s Interim Head of Communications & U.S. Policy Lead, Ellen Satterwhite, wrote in correspondence. “As a global platform, we will always prioritize the security of our creators' and customers’ data. As part of a strategic shift of a portion of our security program, we have parted ways with five employees. We also partner with a number of external organizations to continuously develop our security capabilities and conduct regular security assessments to ensure we meet or exceed the highest industry standards.”

Though the statement doesn’t elaborate on why the company chose to eliminate their in-house security team it does seem to confirm that Patreon is now relying on outsourced third-party services to protect their data. To put that in perspective, Patreon’s post-money valuation in 2022 was $4 billion and has raised an estimated $2 billion for its Creators. That capital is now an even more attractive target for malicious third parties.  

Patreon however, remains optimistic. Per Satterwhite, “The changes made this week will have no impact on our ability to continue providing a secure and safe platform for our creators and patrons.”


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