INTO THE CYBER-WAR FRAY
In the second instalment of our Hi-tech heroes series, Concentrate talked to Andy Prow, Founder and CEO of RedShield, the company that won both the best product and best service categories at the 2017 Hi-Tech Awards.
If you were choosing a global market niche to target, cyber-security would have to be one of the hottest, but also the most competitive. So fraught has the security of our digital systems become, that the United Nations recently added ‘cyber’ as the fourth domain of war after land, sea and air.
Into this battle has waded Kiwi tech company RedShield, taking a highly innovative approach to help distressed businesses while differentiating themselves in a crowded market.
RedShield describe their offer as ‘web-application vulnerability remediation as-a-Service’. Customers pass their web-traffic through RedShield’s online service, which ‘shields’ any vulnerable applications.
At first glance, this sounds a bit like a fancy firewall for large companies. RedShield understood that they needed to offer something more, characterising their offering as “software with a service”, says founder and CEO Andy Prow.
“Most SAAS (software as a service) is accessibility and licence, you buy and you drive it. If we took the same approach with RedShield it wouldn’t work, there needs to be an expert component for RedShield to go live and stay live. Without the service, we are just another cyber-security tool that a customer isn’t really getting enough ROI (return on investment) from because they don’t know how to apply it.”
Gartner recently pointed to application shielding as one of the biggest problem spaces in the cyber-security area, says Andy, validating something they identified over six years ago. “The cyber-security space in the US and UK is becoming bigger every day, in New Zealand it’s a problem but the level of attacks isn’t the same – the fraud claims, the amount of data stolen simply isn’t at the same quantum.”
“Complex enterprise applications are a slow-moving beast battling against a fast-moving attacker (cyber-threats). A new threat comes out and you have 20 million patient records at risk, and you’ve been told it will take a year to fix it, what do you do?”