What was your background before founding Naq Cyber?
I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Law and a Master’s in Public International Law with a specialisation in International Humanitarian Law (IHL), which is more commonly known as the law of war. That sounds completely different to cybersecurity I know, but there’s a logic to it.
During my Masters, I focused on IHL in relation to children’s rights. This landed me my first job after university, where I focused on child protection as well as the implementation of the GDPR throughout our software and other business processes. This was my first introduction into privacy law, which wouldn’t have been my first choice, but in turn it has got me to where I am today; the CEO of a cybersecurity startup. I’m even able to use my knowledge of the law of war with regards to cybercrime tactics to understand the attacker’s motivations and how they work.
What is Naq Cyber?
Naq Cyber is essentially a small business’ information security officer. Our solution is an online platform specifically designed to ensure technical protection and legal compliance of SMEs. We are there to help small businesses protect sensitive information and systems. We focus on four key areas: Education & Awareness, Compliance & Documentation, Digital Security and Incident Response.
We target small to medium sized businesses in the professional services sector.
They are often in possession of a wealth of personal information from clients, employees and suppliers, but they don’t know what to do or where to start when it comes to securing that data.
With our solution, we aim to make cybersecurity easy and accessible for our customers, who have been extremely underserved in the current market and sometimes feel overwhelmed when it comes to cybersecurity.
Our current customer base is very diverse; we work with lawyers, accountants and marketeers to name a few. Our customers can choose between one of three monthly subscriptions to our platform, allowing them to find a solution that suits their specific size and needs.
What was the catalyst for launching Naq Cyber?
My cofounder, Chris, had been working for large companies mostly in the defence sector for a number of years as a cybersecurity contractor and as such, he was working with an English accounting firm. One day, he asked his accountant what he did to secure his information, and his answer revealed that he knew he had to do something about it, but didn’t really know where to start. That, combined with my knowledge of privacy law and implementing the GDPR in a small business, is how we came up with the idea for a complete cybersecurity solution for SMEs that really tackles their problems holistically.
We were so excited about being able to help small business owners and take away some of the worries, and we knew that there’d be a massive need for a product like ours.
How has the business evolved since its launch?
At the end of July 2020, we were one of six startups to be selected in the NCSC Cyber Accelerator program hosted in Cheltenham, UK. This was an amazing opportunity for us and the catalyst for launching the business. The accelerator program enabled us to define our value proposition, come up with a pricing strategy and detail our technical plans before we started developing our platform.
Late last year, we came up with our – to use startup lingo – “moonshot idea”; our ultimate goal. We want to include a marketplace as part of our platform, on which we will offer additional products and services from an extensive partnership network at a discounted price. Our platform will then be truly complete, helpful and even intelligent, as we will be using artificial intelligence to make suggestions to our clients for what add-ons they might need. We will be a one-stop-shop for cybersecurity and IT, making the process of securing your business easy and manageable.