A passion for data privacy, innovation and the environment.
Canopy was conceptualized in 2018 when two veterans of the eDiscovery software and services market, Ralph Nickl and Oran Sears, witnessed the limitations of using eDiscovery technology to respond to breach incidents. Knowing that a purpose-built application would accelerate the identification of the actual people who are affected by data breaches, the two officially launched CanopyCo in 2018.
We are passionate about data privacy and absolute transparency if-and-when non-public information is vulnerable. That’s why Canopy applies AI and machine learning to combat the data privacy risks that come with the digital world. In fact, our flagship Canopy software has already revolutionized how enterprises respond to a corporate data breach and we are blazing a new trail in the field of protected-data discovery and review.
Today, the Canopy application reduces the time, cost, and risk associated with identifying personally identifiable information, including PII, PHI, FERPA, PCI, CCPA, PIPEDA, HIPAA and GDPR data present in breached data. In partnership with Canopy, cyber forensics companies, cyber insurers, law firms and legal service providers can more quickly notify individuals when their identifying information may be at risk following a breach.
Since launching the company, Canopy has expedited 40+ breaches per month and scanned more than 10 million breached documents for potentially compromised sensitive information. In the wake of cyber insurers reporting significant increases in business email compromises, the demand for Canopy's application has grown, and the company has been recognized as a disrupter in the field for its use of machine-learning technology and AI-based methods.
Evergreen values drive healthy growth
Challenge convention to achieve excellence
The usual way isn’t always the best way to do something. That’s why Canopy deliberately challenges convention and forges new paths to excellence.
Continuous innovation and delivery
Canopy is comprised of problem solvers with deep backgrounds in technology. With ongoing input from end-users, our tools are perpetual works of progress.
Passionate and compassionate about data privacy
We are people first, Canopy second. Just as we hold our own personal information in the highest regard, so too do we hold our clients’ sensitive information.
Machine learning for the people
In the wake of cyber security incidents, Canopy uses machine learning technology for the good of the people. Our software ensures the individuals affected by the incident are informed as soon as possible.
Triggering actions from information intelligence
Quickly determining what is at risk is only half the problem. Canopy marries best practice responses to information intelligence.
Good stewards in the digital world and the real world
Canopy is a positive force in the protection of natural resources and the protection of data privacy. We are mindful of our own carbon footprint and the breadcrumbs left by “cookies” everywhere.
Ralph Nickl, Co-Founder and CEO
Ralph Nickl has more than 25 years of experience working with startups to deliver business solutions, software products and consulting services to enterprise, law firm and government clients. With earlier roles spanning technical architect, strategic consultant, and senior sales executive for companies like Accenture and First Advantage, Ralph has directly supported litigations, investigations, and eDiscovery implementations.
As a serial entrepreneur, prior to launching CanopyCo, Ralph co-founded Global Colleague, a boutique eDiscovery and document review company. During this phase of his career, Ralph advised government entities, service providers, and software manufacturers on the application of eDiscovery technology to support litigation, investigations, and public records responses. Ralph’s experience in using technology to find personally identifiable information (PII) and protected health information (PHI) exemptions under these public record laws made post-data breach response for GDPR, HIPAA, FERPA, and similar laws an obvious choice for Canopy’s first product.
When not leading Canopy, Ralph spends his spare time with his family hiking, foraging for mushrooms, and baking bread.
Oran Sears, Co-Founder and CTO
Oran has been in the software industry for more than 15 years and he has worked for companies such as Discovery Channel and Lockheed Martin. As a Certified eDiscovery Specialist (CEDS), much of Oran’s career has involved software solutions for the eDiscovery, litigation support, information governance, and cyber investigations markets. His experience spans everything from implementing large projects to designing an industry-leading eDiscovery suite for which he owns one patent with a second patent pending. Driven by a passion to innovate, Oran repeatedly delivers quality applications and programs that solve real problems for end users.
When not developing software, Oran is actively contributing to his community as the founder and leader of two non-profit organizations. Fully Involved, Inc. provides financial support to families affected by house fires, and Helping Heroes is dedicated to raising awareness and pushing for legislation to assist first responders with dealing with job-related stress such as PTSD. A native Texan, Oran naturally enjoys everything outdoors, from camping, hiking, and boating with his wife and two sons, to smoking BBQ in the backyard.
Martin Borak, VP of Finance
Drawing upon previous experience as CFO, Treasurer, Controller and Director for various U.S. and international companies, Martin Borak is responsible for all financial matters at CanopyCo LLC. Martin has financial, management, operational, and strategic planning experience spanning diverse business environments, including large public companies and top 50 financial institutions, venture capital-backed startups, and turnaround situations. He is a proven leader in corporate finance, M&A, demanding environments such as private equity, and complex high-growth companies that require organizational savvy. Martin has been recognized for his creativity, strong technical ability, leadership and motivational skills, as well as sharp business fundamentals.
Martin earned his MBA from Duke University, graduating in the top 10 percent of his class, and received a BA with high distinction from the University of Virginia. He is a member of the Phi Beta Kappa society. In his spare time, Martin enjoys his varied musical tastes, cooking, and his beloved Washington Nationals.
Caroline Gifford, Customer Success and ISMS Manager
Caroline joined Canopy’s team in 2020 to fulfill the role of Customer Success and Information Security Manager. With over a decade of experience in the corporate risk management and legal field, Caroline is responsible for maintaining and enhancing Canopy’s information security program. In addition, within the customer success role, Caroline acts as liaison between customers and the product development team to foster an environment of collaboration and learning where application users know their opinions and experiences are vital to the continued joint success of Canopy and its partners.
Caroline resides in Ft. Worth, TX with her husband and two children. In her spare time, she can be found cheering on her daughter and son in all that they do from the ball field to the school theatre.
Alanna Dent, Data Mining Analyst
Alanna Dent guides Canopy’s Data Science team on the linguistic characteristics of PII from around the world. Alanna holds a Master’s Degree in Terrorism and Political Violence from the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, where she gained tremendous experience in data mining for terrorism research. Prior to earning her degree, Alanna spent two years in Zambia in the Peace Corps, where she taught English, among other subjects.
Alanna is fluent in Russian and holds a Bachelor’s degree in International Studies and Russian Language from Trinity College. She studied abroad in Moscow, Russia with Middlebury College at Russian State University for the Humanities and at The Davis School of Russian at Middlebury College. Despite not having studied in a technical area, Alanna has proven that the skills required to learn new languages can also be applied to technology.
Alanna enjoys traveling. She has been to 44 countries and her life goal is to live in a van by the river, and to be able to work from anywhere in the world.
Brenda Mahedy, VP of Marketing
Brenda Mahedy is a senior-level marketing executive with nearly two decades of experience driving the marketing strategy and operations for legal technology-oriented businesses. Drawing upon a background in eDiscovery, litigation software, and trial technology, Brenda is now helping Canopy to solidify its position as a global leader in data privacy technology. Brenda has repeatedly built and directed marketing departments, defined and supported go-to-market plans, driven communications strategies, and provided creative direction and content development for industry-titans and startups in the US and abroad. Previous posts include Opus 2, Thomson Reuters, ZyLAB, LiveNote and American Lawyer Media.
Among other professional achievements, Brenda was honored by Women in eDiscovery and ACEDS with the “Women Who Have Pioneered eDiscovery” distinction, she received the “Most Innovative Content Award” from the International Legal Technology Association (ILTA), and she was nominated for the “Award of Excellence” at Thomson Reuters. When not heads-down helping innovative companies grow their businesses, you will find Brenda on the tennis court or Airstreaming around the western US with her husband, teen, tween and chocolate Lab.
Dave Ruel, Senior Product Manager
Dave Ruel has 20+ years of experience working in both startup and mature companies alike. Dave started his career in printing technology and transitioned to legal market in 2009. Since then, he started an iOS app development firm and worked for companies covering the entire EDRM workflow from collection and data processing to review and production. Along the way he has held positions as cloud-based services manager, hosted application administrator, project manager and product manager. Dave was CEDS certified in 2014.
Dave joined Heureka Software as a senior product manager and helped expand the product’s capabillity outside of E-Discovery with the inclusion of data classifiers for unstructured data. He loves working working in high tech environments and helping clients solve complex problems through software and visual analytics.
When not working at Canopy, Dave enjoys all things outdoors including biking, hiking and camping.