Global Head of Information Security and Compliance at AppLovin
As AppLovin’s Global Head of Information Security and Compliance, Jeremiah Kung has more than 20 years of experience leading cybersecurity, data privacy, and risk management programmes.
Holding a number of roles at financial institutions before joining AppLovin in May 2022, Kung earned a Bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Davis, before joining Visa in 2002, where he was part of the growth of the cybersecurity programme from a small, pre-IPO company to a global, publicly-traded entity everyone recognizes.
“I was very lucky to get a job there as an information security engineer. I then built my career over 13 years to leading multiple teams across the world,” he explains. “It was very interesting to have a team in Singapore, as well as being based in California and having a team on the east coast. It was nonstop, and it was challenging trying to manage the various regions all at once. I didn't get much sleep, but I learned a lot and felt I got ahead of the curve in managing a global remote workforce.”
From Visa, Kung joined with Capital One based in Chicago, which he explains was one of the few banks globally committing to 100% in the cloud.
“Visa, at the time, wasn't really pushing hard to go to the cloud,” Kung comments. “They were still on a waterfall model. Capital One was doing agile sprints every two weeks. I really started to learn that trade as I dug in, and it was very surprising.”
After a role as SVP of Global Information Security at Bank of America – when COVID-19 hit – Kung moved to a role at EastWest Bank, one of the few banks in the world to offer China UnionPay cards.
After a number of years working with financial institutions, Kung joined AppLovin in 2022, where he was particularly attracted by the opportunity to work in a faster-paced environment.
“I wanted to do something that was a bit faster-paced and to break outside the silo,” Kung explains. “I did a stint at the Bank of America for a while and I remember some management preferred only talking to managing directors or higher -- I remember not liking that. At Bank of America where there are 2,600 people in the information security team, you start to wonder how efficiently everyone is being used.”
“At the same time, the innovations weren't coming as quickly as I’d have liked,” continues Kung. “They were doing some amazing things. But for me, I wanted to go back to the Silicon Valley-type of approach, which is, ‘let’s try it – if it doesn’t work, fail fast, move forward, and build something else’, which has been really refreshing.”
Joining AppLovin has, for Kung, been particularly inspiring, giving him the opportunity to work for a business with leadership that built it from the ground up.
“Rich Fairbanks is the original person who founded Capital One, and he’s still there actively leading. Here at AppLovin, I not only have Adam Foroughi, who's the founder and CEO of the company, still being hands-on, but so is the CTO, CMO, head of operations, etc. They've all been here, they’ve built it from the ground up and to see that energy inspires me and makes me want to work harder.”
With the cybersecurity world constantly evolving, staying up to date is critical.
“The biggest challenge is not knowing what you don't know,” he concludes. “If a vendor releases an entirely new product and I had no security views on that, I don’t feel like I’ve done enough to help our company be safe and secure. This is a scenario that keeps me up at night.”
“And, not wanting to slow the innovation with multiple controls. The business is busy building and thinking outside the box,” Kung says thoughtfully. “I walk that fine line all the time.”
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