West County Labs is a California-based disabled veteran-owned small business that supports the digital safety needs of under-resourced organizations through direct consultations, professional education, and research. We implement effective risk mitigation strategies, develop accessible curricula, and design low-cost security tools tailored to the needs of non-profits, journalists, academics, and small businesses.
West County Labs was founded in December 2020 by Steve Trush during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Seeing small businesses and community organizations struggle to make ends meet while moving to online marketplaces, Steve saw the lack of digital safety assistance for people was placing them at even greater risk of criminals, natural events, or technological failure. Whether through losing data, customers, or peace of mind, the costs in terms of money and time could be devastating for under-resourced organizations.
About Steve Trush (Owner & Director, West County Labs, LLC)
Steve has been involved in securing people and technology for the last two decades in government, academia, and the non-profit world. Before founding West County Labs, Steve was Deputy Director at UC Berkeley’s Center for Long-Term Cybersecurity Citizen Clinic where he taught and designed defenses against cybersecurity threats to politically-targeted organizations and communities. As a veteran of the United States’ military and federal agencies supporting international security initiatives, he learned how mass surveillance systems are abused and how beneficial digital innovation can also be exploited.
Steve has a wide range of experiences from studying the risks of data collection networks in rural areas of India and Myanmar to performing technical evaluations of the City of Oakland’s information systems for potential violations of Sanctuary City policies. He has taught activists, journalists, and public defenders on safety from cyber attacks, online harassment, doxxing, and disinformation and has spoken at various conferences including RightsCon, National Institute For Computer Assisted Reporting, National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE), and the Internet Freedom Festival's Organizational Security Village.