Blog Posts

How Did RealCISO Come To Be?

By: Akash Desai

Prior to founding RealCISO, Brian Haugli was Chief Information Security Officer at a Fortune 500 company. It was abundantly clear to him, like his peers, that small businesses that were a part of his enterprise’s supply chain were a cybersecurity weak link.

58% of small businesses were optimistic that cybersecurity attacks would not be leveled against them in 2020. But, according to the Ponemon Institute, the chance for experiencing a data breach are 1 in 4. (By way of comparison, the chance of having your tax return audited is 1 in 100).

So what gives? Why the lack of interest in addressing cybersecurity within small and mid-size enterprises?

500 miles away, Brian’s co-founder Akash Desai was running a mid-size SaaS enterprise. Even though his organization invested heavily in cybersecurity (he had to with his enterprise government and financial services contracts), he knew well why executives like him hated thinking about cybersecurity:

·      There were 20,000+ spot solutions and products for the cybersecurity

·      Every pitch was FUD: fear, uncertainty, and doubt

·      Cybersecurity spend kept escalating, but he never felt safer at night

·      The only way to figure out what to do was to hire expensive consultants to tell you, but even then, how do you tell who is good?

It was little wonder smaller organizations keep kicking the can down the road. That is, until they started losing deals because they couldn’t prove their security to their customers. Or they experienced a breach (disgruntled employee stole data, ransomware hit, or a phishing email made accounting wire money out).

So when Akash and Brian got together, they knew instinctively that the way to make small and mid-size enterprises invest in cybersecurity was to give them a simple, inexpensive tool to:

·      Quickly understand their cyber posture (no rocket-science)

·      Understand what KEY things to concentrate on fixing (nope, not everything!)

·      Get pointed to curated products and solutions to fix gaps

·      Oh, and get pricing and understand ROI without sales guys hustling them

They needed to build – TurboTax for cybersecurity.

Today, with 331 customers, RealCISO is being evangelized by enterprise Chief Information Security Officers, IT service companies, other cybersecurity consultants, law firms, and industry associations. Because they understand (as we do) that if you make cybersecurity simple, it gets implemented.