What is Frankly Speaking?

I’m Frank Wang, and Frankly Speaking is my weekly(-ish) newsletter where I give my “frank” thoughts on various cybersecurity (and sometimes broadly engineering) topics. Most tech content is now flashy and lacks substantive technical and business opinion. People state facts but hold back on their opinions. I think that’s not cool and prevents progress in the industry. I’m an engineer by training, so most of my content will skew that way.

Frankly Speaking has 1-2 articles a week. I alternate between 1 free post and 1 paid post, meaning you have to be a paid subscriber to read all of it. All the guest posts are free! You can become a paid subscriber with the button below:

Why should I pay for Frankly Speaking?

In short, to support me and keep me going! It’s only $10/month, which is equivalent to buying me a coffee (in SF).

I started this newsletter as a hobby, and I find time weekly outside of my day job to write it. I am also passionate about all the topics that I bring up because I do believe it will help improve or at the very least, spur important conversations in cybersecurity and engineering.

I also am lucky to have a good network in cybersecurity and have regular interesting conversations with various cybersecurity executives and professionals. Since it’s not feasible for me to meet everyone and share everything I learn, I use this blog as a medium for that.

If you find this content useful (and I hope you do), please consider paying for a subscription. Many of my subscribers find it useful for their professional development, so here are some tips/help to expense your subscription.

Expensing a paid subscription

(Idea borrowed from Pragmatic Engineer so shoutout to George Orosz)

Here is an email template that you can send to your manager as a way of justifying the subscription expense as a professional development cost.

Who is Frank Wang?

I’ve doing cybersecurity for almost 15 years. I am currently the lead security engineer and first security hire at Headway. Before this, I was the first security engineer at dbt Labs. In my past life, I spent 3.5 years as an investor at Dell Technologies Capital, where I focused on enterprise infrastructure startups, specifically security, AI/ML, and cloud infrastructure.

I did my PhD at MIT where my research focused on protecting user data in large-scale, distributed web services. Out of boredom, I blogged about interesting research projects and started a cybersecurity summer program called Cybersecurity Factory, where I incubated 14 early-stage companies. 

If you want to hear more of my random thoughts, follow me on Twitter with the button below:

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I won't share your email with 3rd parties. After all, I did do a PhD in security and privacy. You can learn more about my past life on my website

What do you write about in Frankly Speaking?

My background in VC, academia, and startups spur me to write about a variety of topics. These are some examples that provide a good sample of my work.

  1. Analyzing the Reddit Hack: I analyze the Reddit hack and describe some improvements to security operations that could have prevented it.

  2. How Zscaler fails: How Zscaler became a successful company and some headwinds that might cause the company to lose market share.

  3. AI is a blessing to security: AI is actually a great development for security and why we should embrace it rather than be scared of it.

  4. Breaches are inevitable: Breaches will happen, but security’s job is to limit the damage.

  5. Security is easier with engineers: How security engineering reduces friction between engineering and security operations and why security organizations should be more engineering-focused.

Hope you enjoy!

Disclaimer: Opinions expressed are solely my own and do not express the views or opinions of my employer or any other entities with which I am affiliated.

The intention of this site is purely for entertainment purposes only, and is not meant to constitute professional advice. Subscribers who purchase a paid subscription on this site are merely purchasing access to the author’s journalistic opinions.

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Security engineer. Recovering VC and academic sharing random thoughts on security.


Early stage security and enterprise investor. MIT CS PhD. Stanford undergrad. Cybersecurity Factory founder.