A few months ago I was presented with an opportunity to co-found and build a security services company with a pair of amazing partners. After two decades in cyber security for business, I spent time soul searching as to what I could do that would have the biggest impact on this dynamic industry rife with so many interesting problems to solve.
Universally, the challenge isn’t technology. There are also millions of well intentioned, knowledgeable and hard-working people fighting tooth and nail to keep companies, governments and individuals secure the world over. Large enterprises have significant teams of security professionals that are able to build systems and processes, educate users and keep the tide of cyber chaos at bay. For the most part, they can take a hit and keep on going.
Smaller businesses are stretched. As an entrepreneur, I recognize the immense effort required to build a product or service, ship it, find and retain customers and make payroll.
I’m a huge fan of how many tools there are to make it easier than ever to start, run and scale a business.
Cyber security is hard. Many of the technologies and services are designed to address small, specific niche problems specifically for large enterprises. Prevention technologies (endpoint security, firewalls) scale down nicely to smaller businesses, but security monitoring still represents a profound gap. Smaller organizations struggle with, “who watches the stuff,” – monitoring for signs of attack, intrusion and/or failure. It’s both a technology and people problem – smaller businesses simply don’t have massive teams of cyber security professionals.
The IT industry as a whole is rapidly moving to a blended SaaS/DevOps model, so it’s strategic to extend that mindset to security monitoring. We’ve built a cloud-based analytics stack, a security operations team and are dedicated to serving smaller businesses in a cost-effective and effort-effective way. Our initial focus is on serving companies adopting and building services on cloud platforms. Why? Vendor supply agreements are forcing them to up their security game. They are equipped to adopt new service models and onboard to our technology platform. And they are innovators, looking for smart solutions that can support them as they break down boundaries and venture forward.
How we do it and the culture we want to build is as important as what we’re doing. Continuous improvement (and the associated learning mindset), innovation, creating a positive environment and experience for staff and clients, and celebrating success form the core of our value system. With those values at the forefront, we can build the right team and have a strong and enduring influence on market dynamics. Our approach will always be collaborative and focused on engagement, so we can work with clients, partners and the community to share best practices and opportunities to learn.
I am anticipating an incredible journey, working with my partners and team to make the type of impact that we envision. I truly believe that addressing the needs of smaller businesses is a critical step in improving cyber security overall.
I am truly excited for what the future holds – for Kobalt, for the clients we serve, for our team members that will contribute to our impact and for the growth and evolution of this industry that I’ve been dedicated to and passionate about for my entire career.
If you’d like to stay in touch with us as we work to solve security for small and mid-sized organizations, please join our mailing lists, attend our free lunch and learns, follow us on twitter and LinkedIn.
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