#CES2021 – We Are Ready!
Yes I indeed think we are ready for CES. At this virtual event we will showcase Zolder.App. I am convinced that this solution is a game-changer to the cybersecurity industry. It depends on who you are and what your role is as to how I need to explain this, because the ‘changing the game’ happens in a couple of ways. So let me simply elaborate on all of them.
By the way, if you were just looking for more info on our solution, I suggest you click onwards to the landing page: https://zolder.app.
Game-Changing for Customers
First of all, the most important viewpoint is that of customers. In my cybersecurity career I have mostly dealt with large enterprises. Including the largest and world-leading ones in The Netherlands. To be clear: a large enterprise in the EU is any organization with over 250 employees. Everything below that is considered SME. And the SME makes up 99.8% of all enterprises in the EU, covering 60% of added gross value.
Working with big brands and complex organizations was all fun and games, but as a business owner I have always been looking for ways to give proper support to small & medium businesses as well. That really wasn’t possible, as cybersecurity services are generally very tailor made and labor intensive. And I know – from working with partners/competitors – that I wasn’t the only one: there simply is no proper security service offering available to small & medium businesses. Too expensive to get a good expert in that will help you fix problems.
And so most SME’s rely on generic IT suppliers to – at best – cover security as a side offering. The result is not surprising. in December 2020 the EU published a report stating:
Over two-thirds of companies, in particular SMEs, are considered ‘novices’ in cybersecurity, and European companies are considered less well prepared than companies in Asia and America.The EU’s cybersecurity strategy for the digital decade, Brussels 16.12.2020
Personally I consider this situation – the “Cyber n00biness of SME” – to be a global challenge, as it undermines any perceived solution coming from digitalization to solve other global challenges at all. If we can solve climate change, pandemics, famine or bifurcation with robotics or what have you, but the organizations driving that innovation are not capable to protect these innovations, we will fail.
Zolder.App changes this situation because it is low-cost and easy to understand. The latter might seem irrelevant in this viewpoint but it is the only way this solution will work. As for business owners of the smallest companies require simple language and explanations with their cyber solutions. Huge dashboards and drill down tables really do not fill that need.
The low-cost feature of Zolder.App of course is the bigger ticket here. For only 20 Euro per month, a business can get on-board. And that is an actual service with actual world-class cybersecurity experts providing actual protection. That’s so cheap that one might think it can’t be good, but they will be surprised. The reason why we are able to do this, is because of hyper-scale…
Game-Changing for Scalability
For the same reasons as set out above, managed security service providers (MSSPs) generally have a hard time scaling their solution. This stems from the old days in which every company had it’s own server room or data center, thus company-specific infrastructure. Supporting such environments as an MSSP results in tailor-made services and labor intensive processes. Once your service organization is setup like that it will be very hard to transform it to make use of the possibilities of the future. After all: employees performing human labor are not automatically able to write code to rule themselves out, nor do they want to.
At Zolder we had the opportunity to start from scratch. And we decided to fully embrace that opportunity to tackle the scalability problem. And so our customer is one that uses Microsoft 365 for office automation. We will support other cloud providers later on, but for the sake of this argument consider it’s all M365. What this allows us to do is build an infrastructure that connects to 1 cloud service, create security content (a bunch of scripts) to assess and monitor that service and then apply it to all customers at once.
So if we – or others, like MITRE ATT&CK – discover a new attack tactic, we build scripts to cover it. Test them in our own tenants, apply them to customers that signed up for early testing, and then roll them out to all others. This is 1 effort supporting all customers whether we have onboarded 1, 10, 100, 1000 or 100000000. The amount of work is no longer depending on the amount of customers, but on the amount of threats we need to protect them from. That’s game changing, as it allows us to rethink positioning.
Game-Changing for Marketing
Marketing? Yes marketing. You see, what we have to sell is expertise. The SERVICES part of the cybersecurity industry has grown used to the idea that this expertise can be monetized either by providing professional or managed services, that’s basically it. I don’t believe that ground belief is in-line with the promises of digital transformation we are in. There’s a lot more we can do with expertise, it however might still need to be invented.
So one of the focal points in talking to my co-owners of how we wanted to setup Zolder was to stress that first and foremost we would need to be experts. And do expert things. So we do what we love most: we research digital stuff, we blog about it, talk about it and podcast about it. In doing so we get into contact with interesting and interested people and they might come up with new ideas in which we could help out and monetize our expertise. That actually already payed off and so have we been able to get to this point without any external investment AND have a couple other ideas under our sleeves.
For Zolder.App in particular we are able to take another positioning approach. Again for all the reasons above, basically all MSSPs are built on the value discipline of Customer Intimacy. Not surprising as they need to have outstanding customer services and relations to be able to properly support the customer-specific situations they’re dealing with. This way of working of course requires even more human labor and makes these services unaffordable for SME. And so to game-change that situation, we would need to take the opposite route, being a mix of Product Leadership and Operational Excellence. The latter obviously is proven by the low-cost feature of Zolder.App, and the proces-automation as the enabler for it. But the cybersecurity expertise we’re bringing to the table is genuinely world-class. Furthermore the way Zolder.App provides actionable advise is a very important feature as well, unparalleled even. And so the quality of our solution gives it a bit of product leadership taste as well.
Point being: can a service be marketed in any other way than customer intimacy? I believe that digitalization allows us to do so. You only need the capability to make use of the possibilities of the future and get rid of old habits. Like we did 🙂
Come to think of it. I guess what we are launching requires a new term. It is not a managed service. Not a software-as-a-service. But actually it is a Service-as-a-Software. Let me elaborate on that in the next blog 😉 Stay Tuned!