When responding to demand in the age of cyber attacks leads to rapid business growth
Experiencing rapid business growth right from the get-go sounds like a happy problem to have. However, it can also produce its fair share of challenges.The services of Sydney-based cybersecurity business InfoTrust have been in hot demand ever since their inception in 2014. British ex-pats, and tech experts Dane Meah and Simon McKay, founded the business after identifying a gap in the way cybersecurity services were delivered.
“When it comes to protecting an organisation's environment from cybercrime, implementing solutions in a ‘set and forget’ way is a dangerous strategy,” says CEO Dane. “IT departments were expected to be business enablers and not just techies. That’s where we come in - we bring the expertise in cybersecurity to ensure customers remain secure and more productive.”
This approach worked a treat for the pair who initially met at tech security giant Symantec. The business acquired 300 customers in its first 3 years and now employs almost 30 people, had a turnover last year of $12 million with a forecasted turnover this coming year of $17 million. Clients include tier-1 banks, energy providers and federal government departments.
An organisation armed with a high degree of cyber-readiness is now vital in our rapidly advancing technological world in order to minimise devastating losses. According to a report from the US Center for Strategic and International Studies, cybercrime costs the global economy as much as $600 billion annually, reflecting the massive growth in malicious activity online in recent years.
“We speak to a lot of organisations right after an attack. One such organisation had contacted us following a series of fake CEO to CFO emails, resulting in a series of bank transfers worth over $1 million. This type of attack is rife right now and most organisations are suffering in silence,” Dane says. “InfoTrust engages organisations to deliver a solution that combines people, process and technology. In this example, there was a failure of inbound email security technology, a lack of process to ensure wire-transfers aren’t made following supposed email approvals, as well as a lack of people training to correctly identify fraudulent emails.
“It’s more than just tech – the ongoing touch points we provide ensures our customers remain optimally configured and on course to remain secure. Unfortunately, the fraudsters never got caught and the funds were not recouped. Hackers are not generally caught, so it’s extremely important that preventative measures are put in place.”
Dane and Managing Director Simon, who were still just 29 and 33 respectively when they established InfoTrust, soon found out that running an in-demand business in an emerging area posed a number of challenges. “After 2 years, we had achieved our first strategic plan, having seen exponential growth. We had deployed strong business operational systems, but we lacked the tools to concisely define and communicated the strategic direction.” Dane explains. “After two fruitful years, we struggled to keep everyone rowing in the same direction, meetings had become inefficient and lacked accountability, and we were getting bogged down in the day to day. We started to seek external help and came across the Entrepreneurial Operating System.
“I first read the Traction book and liked the sound of what EOS offered -- a business management system that provides a range of tools, and a the option of working with a professional “Implementer” to help to drive your business forward. We really wanted them to help us to clarify our big goals and work backwards to break that down into short-term and medium goals.”
The pair started working with experienced Certified EOS Implementer Daniel Davis and quickly began to see improvements. “Through the process we created a clear vision and execution plan on-a-page, then became focussed on hiring the right people to go into the right seats in the business. We also developed a better system of financial clarity,” Dane says. “Prior to that we had less visibility around the performance of the business. Now we have a defined budget to ensure the business will be profitable for a third consecutive year. Another major change has been the hiring a leadership team which allowed us to delegate and elevate the business.”
Dane says while Daniel wasn’t the first business coach they’d met, he was the one who made the most impact. “We’d met a lot of coaches and mentors and what I liked about Daniel was that he was interested in the detail of what makes our business unique, and he was able to keep things high level and moving on track. He also shared his own experiences and insights as a business owner, which were very encouraging.”
Now firmly on schedule with a solid plan, Dane says InfoTrust has an overarching goal of being the market leader in the space. “We want to be the most trusted cyber security operator in our market,” says Dane. “We're executing on our plans to expand globally; with the first overseas office now open in South-East Asia, our sights are firmly set on opening in the USA by the end of 2019.
"Finally, we’d like to be an employer of choice. We pride ourselves on our staff and want to attract and retain the best in the industry to InfoTrust.”