You have to take the punt when you can prove your Kiwi technology will sell globally.Andy Prow, RedShield Security
two-degrees of separation is utterly gold dust,” says Andy Prow, CEO and
co-founder of RedShield Security.
provides ‘security as a service’ and Prow is currently focusing on taking on
customers across the globe.
literally entering the next phase of RedShield,” says Prow, whose company won
the innovation category at the inaugural CIO100 awards in New Zealand.
proved the technology in New Zealand. We now have a first set of large
international customers. It is now time to replicate and expand.”
He is working
with the New Zealand Trade and Enterprise Beachheads’ programme, which helps
Kiwi enterprises enter overseas markets, and also engages with KEA, the global
online expat community of Kiwis.
“We can arrive in London, and we will know someone who knows
someone,” he says on the vital connections these networks can bring.
He does not
name the customers due to commercial confidentiality, but states these are in
the UK and the United States, where they are also setting up subsidiaries.
To scale to
that level, the company has found strategic partners for both locations.
the perfect customers, we have to find the perfect delivery partners at the
same time,” says Prow.
Help your customers understand their ROI with you every day. This is critical for a SaaS offering, where most customers can turn you off in 30 days.Andy Prow, RedShield Security
describes RedShield as a New Zealand company. “We are still a Kiwi business and
I use the trusted brand of entrepreneurial Kiwis.”
taking the product global, “We utterly made sure the New Zealand operations
were running beautifully. I have to be confident with the team here in New
Zealand that we can start our global business, without disrupting what we
underscores the importance of moving fast, and to do this the company had to
back its own initial trips overseas. They met with prospective
customers – who also became their first international customers – during these
trips, and continued the conversations remotely.
“Too often we
have the strategy nailed down perfectly before we leave. For me, that was too
slow,” he states.
need to back what you are doing, make the jump and see where it goes. You have
to take the punt when you can prove your Kiwi technology will sell globally.”
Spotting a global opportunity
RedShield works to shield high-value, vulnerable web-apps and websites from
“It is a
world-first service to be targeting 100 per cent vulnerability mitigation,
using its unique ability to be able to create individual shields for every
security flaw that exists in our customer’s apps,” Prow claims.
As a concept,
RedShield was an innovation born in 2012, on the back of the RedEye business he
and his partners founded in 2009.
RedEye as a
system, scanned websites and web-apps looking for security flaws.
of our customers were unable to fix these flaws rapidly, if at all,” he
Some of the
reasons for not fixing their flaws included lack of knowledge, no access to the
source code or, most commonly, issues found in older systems that no longer had
a budget to enable a fix.
Timing was an
issue even for customers with the skills and budgets, he points out. “Often, it
takes weeks or months to fix security flaws – whereas hackers can create
exploits in days.”
market really needed was an effective, immediate defence option,” he says.
“This was not a NZ only problem, but a global opportunity.”
Choose the road to success
phase of success or failure was to create RedShield v1.0 as a hardware and
software platform locally, says Prow.
In 2013, two
pilot customers came on board. Both of them had more than 100 public-facing
vulnerabilities, some of which were critical.
of shielding, both customers were brought down to zero issues,” he says.
benefits we achieve for our customers are an immediate defence layer on their
highest value online assets,” he states. “We also give them full visibility of
attacks that they come under, with correlation on the likely success and impact
of the attacks if RedShield was not in place.”
In November 2015, RedShield was also awarded a position on
the New Zealand Government’s Telecommunications-as-a-Service
Via TaaS, RedShield will become a
key provider to Government for secure application publishing services,
protecting its websites and applications from attacks and privacy breaches,
across both internal networks and those publicly available.
Object lessons for tech entrepreneurs
taking on a major project that could provide new services or revenue streams, Prow
advises to start with this concept: “Understand your customer’s problem deeply.”
release of your system, ask, ‘Does this actually provide what they need’?”
It is also
important to have a mechanism to constantly measure and report on your success
and value to your customers, he states.
understand their ROI with you every day. This is critical for a SaaS offering,
where most customers can turn you off in 30 days,” says Prow.
“If you and
your customers can not easily define and see your ROI, then you have a
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