Data security software is a tough business segment, because products are generally only noteworthy when they fail. Here’s the story of one entrepreneur who’s out to change that.
If you think about it, most of the big news about data security highlights failings, from data breaches at consumer brand companies (Home Depot, Marriott, Target), financial firms (JPMorgan Chase, Equifax), and healthcare companies (Anthem, Premera) to giants of the Internet (Ebay, Facebook, Google).
But a company called Secured2, and its founder, Daren Klum, is out to change that. The company is newsworthy not for any failures, but because it’s so confident in its protection that it’s the first company in the industry to offer a cyber security warranty: indemnification against losses caused by a data breach up to $5 million, backed by Lloyd’s of London.
Here is Daren’s story.
Secured2 was built to modernize today’s encryption systems that are failing us, and develop a new security paradigm that protects data beyond encryption. Secured2 is the first quantum-resilient security in the world; and as IBM recently announced, quantum computers can break any encryption in seconds.
So the days of encryption securing data are over. And Secured2 is uniquely positioned to be the first beyond-encryption and quantum-resilient security in the world. It’s also (as noted above) the first security solution that offers a cyber liability indemnification warranty backed by Lloyd’s of London.
Year founded: 2014
Funding rounds: Bootstrapped the first couple years; have raised capital from friends, family, and St. Thomas Norris Institute $3.5M in our series seed round.
Current size: We have a team of 7 people; 64,000 downloads of our email security application; and over 340 companies using our platform.
Webbiquity: What inspired you to work on a solution to this particular problem?
Daren Klum: Given my background in high-performance computing with my company LiquidCool Solutions, I saw the growing problems associated with today’s security solutions. It became very apparent to me that today’s solutions simply were not enough and that hacks would get bigger, more costly, and put our entire country at risk.
Sadly, my predictions came true—and far worse than I ever imagined. To me, Secured2 is about protecting my kids, my family, and my friends. As well, the country I love.
Webbiquity: What were the most effective channels or methods for you to get the word out to prospective customers when you first launched your product?
Daren Klum: We live during a time when so many marketing tools are at our disposal for free, and where you can share ideas in microseconds with millions of people. Early on, like most small underfunded startups, you beat the drum on social media (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter). And then you buy Google Ads, search ranking, and keywords.
Now, we are moving into more professional editorial through PR and using a local agency to roll out our marketing strategy.
Webbiquity: Finish this sentence: “Knowing what I know now, if I were starting over today, what I would do differently is…”
Daren Klum: That’s a great question.
I would have done a better job delegating tasks to other people instead of trying to do everything. It’s something I have to work really hard at doing because I’m such a perfectionist. I always want things done right, done to perfection and done this very second. If others don’t go at my speed, I just do it myself.
Thankfully, my business partner and co-founder is exactly the same way as me so we have found a rhythm that really works well.
Webbiquity: What’s the most important advice you could offer to an entrepreneur starting out today?
Daren Klum: If you are an entrepreneur, the single most important advice I have is to “divorce the technology and marry the market.” If you don’t marry the market, you will not make money. And there are very few companies I know that can survive without money.
By focusing on the market, you will do things with your product to make a market happy. You will be in constant contact with the market and this will lead to your goal, which is SALES! Nothing happens until something sells, and sadly a lot of high-tech entrepreneurs get lost in the wilderness building technology and forget about the most important thing: customers, which leads to revenue.