Founded in 2015, RazorSecure provides cyber-security for small-scale IoT networks across the UK, Europe and the United States. As hackers continuously target critical infrastructure through these networks, with the aim of control, disruption and theft, the company’s highly configurable solution is easily deployed across systems with minimal disruption. This provides RazorSecure’s clients with robust protection, secure active monitoring and dynamic defence in the event of a breach. Breed Reply first invested in RazorSecure in 2016.
In your own words, can you provide a short explanation of what RazorSecure does?
We basically provide a detection of cyber-attacks for systems that live out on the edge, particularly in the transport sector.
Why did you found RazorSecure?
I created RazorSecure to solve two problems in cyber-security: firstly, the amount of time it takes to detect a breach, since I was seeing a significant increase in the number of breaches at the company that I was working at. It was so difficult to monitor these breaches that it could take up to six months to find out about a penetration since we didn’t have very good detection systems in place.
The second problem we set out to solve was the number of false-positives that cyber-security systems face. That was because when we did try to deploy different solutions for a variety of attacks the alarm systems would go off all the time, even though we hadn’t been attacked. This aspect was key for me.
When did you first hear of Breed Reply?
We first heard of Breed Reply around 2016, when we were introduced to the company by an investor of ours, Enterprise M3.
It can be quite a challenge to find initial funding for a startup. To explain the venture capital (VC) eco-system, there seems to be a reasonable amount of funding for scale-up and follow-on investment.
However, there is a limited amount at seed stage, where it can be quite difficult to find investors who can be quite patient and understand some of the challenges of growing a cyber-security business.
It has been great working with Breed Reply, which provides a range of advice and help across all operations of our business. We have benefited from Breed Reply’s extensive commercial and technological experience, helping us make better decisions and keeping us focused on growth.
Main observations in VC and cyber-security as we start the new decade?
There a few trends that we are seeing generally, particularly around infrastructure since cyber-attacks were not considered when some of the key systems were developed.
That is being driven by new legislation from the EU and in the United States. These lawmakers have recognised that they have gotten on top of some of the data regulations, such as GDPR, but they don’t really have a good handle on infrastructure and critical infrastructure.
Elsewhere, artificial intelligence (AI) or machine-learning technology has seen a large amount of investment. When it comes to quality of the AI products, however, it is a bit of a mixed bag so clients are more warry about it.
What is the US reaction to a UK company coming into its market?
The American cyber-security community has been welcoming and we have noticed that they have a lot of respect and understanding of the UK technology as well as the quality of the solutions that are developed in Britain.
But, because of the federal nature of the US, it’s like dealing with more than 50 different nations when it comes to rules and regulations. Our strategy, therefore, has been to partner with US companies already established in America’s vast cyber-security market.
Going forward, we will potentially look to open an office in the US, namely in Washington DC, giving us better visibility and access to our clients.
What should we expect from RazorSecure in the near future?
We are looking at the three to five-year horizon. We are still a startup and still need to be relatively agile and flexible in what we are doing. We know where some of the development avenues for our technologies are, for instance.
Finally, can your share some key lessons for aspiring CEOs?
The biggest of advice I can give to budding entrepreneurs in the cyber-security space is to specialize and to go into a niche area where you can differentiate yourself with the huge market of cyber-security. The move should make the niche ‘winnable’. When we look at the transport cyber-security markets, we, relatively speaking, have a limited number of peers and rivals.