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A Kiwi playbook on going from IT inspiration to a global digital business

Divina Paredes | June 27, 2016
For Andy Prow, CEO and co-founder of RedShield, the next step beckons - taking the ‘security as a service’ business global.

RedEye as a system, scanned websites and web-apps looking for security flaws.

"However, many of our customers were unable to fix these flaws rapidly, if at all," he explains.

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."

"What the 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

The first 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.

"Within days of shielding, both customers were brought down to zero issues," he says.

"The key 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 (TaaS) panel.

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.

For CIOs 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."

"With every 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.

"Help them 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 long-term problem."

Source:CIO NZ


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