CybSafe: Oz Alashe

With cyber security an ever pressing global issue, a former lieutenant colonel wants to help safeguard employees from hackers by changing their behaviour

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Name: Oz Alashe
Company Name: CybSafe
Location: London
Date Launched: 26/04/17
Twitter handle: @CybSafe

Tell us what your business does:

CybSafe uses behavioural science to address the human aspect of cyber security. We provide cyber security awareness training that focuses on better protecting people from cyber threats, both at work and at home. The product uses a cloud-based platform grounded in psychology and behavioural science, which has been built to address the ‘human factor’ of cyber security.

CybSafe’s intelligent software harnesses collective lessons across the cyber security community in a low-cost per-user subscription to help businesses of all sizes improve cyber security behaviour and reduce cyber risk both internally and within its supply chain.

Our software is GCHQ-accredited and helps business to mitigate cyber risk with greater certainty, greater impact, and more cost effectively.

Where did the idea for your business come from?

I believe that people are important. I believe that the way we regard and address the human aspect of cyber security can have a disproportionate impact on the security of businesses, people and families in this country.

Having worked with major organisations to reduce cyber risk, I understood that online behaviour at work and at home posed the most significant threat to business security – people don’t always realise that what they do online can result in them becoming a victim of a cyber-attack.

Education is so important – but only if it leads to change. If a company’s employees learn how to improve their security-related behaviour, the employees will be more secure and so will the business.

I am passionate about using tech to help reduce societal threats to stability and security.

How did you know there was a market for it?

My experience at Torchlight Group and working with businesses to tackle their cyber security threats highlighted the issue businesses have addressing the human aspect of cyber security.

Rather than being a ‘tick-box’ process where employees didn’t retain information long term, there was a clear need to develop a platform based on behavioural science that would result in a clear change of behaviour.

What were you doing before starting up?

After retiring as a lieutenant colonel from the British Army and UK Special Forces. I joined Torchlight Group, where I helped global organisations and governments mitigate complex cyber threats.

Have you always wanted to run your own business?

I’ve always wanted to be the master of my own destiny – but I can’t say that this has always equated in my mind to running my own business.

However, the more I see of business, the more I feel that my brand of ‘purposeful’ business is something I’m not willing to compromise on.

How did you raise the money?

We were fortunate enough to have secured several high-profile clients and contracts with a growing pipeline and an ever-obvious need for cyber security solutions for business. We engaged with several potential investors when we realised we needed additional funding to develop and scale in line with CybSafe’s potential.

Describe your business model and how you make money:

CybSafe is a SaaS product. Our business model is based on a low-cost per-user subscription basis. Businesses can sign up on a yearly basis online.

What challenges have you faced and how have you overcome them?

Identifying and recruiting talented people who buy into our attitude, ethos and purpose has sometimes been difficult. Being open and upfront about what we are hoping to achieve and the way we are going about it has helped.

What was your first big breakthrough?

Securing a high street bank as a CybSafe customer.

What advice would you give to budding entrepreneurs?

Be clear in your mind why you are doing what you are doing. And make sure that those that work with you understand, buy-in too, and embrace it.

Where do you want to be in five years’ time?

We want to be helping as many people as possible to be more secure online. We believe that will mean significant growth and multi-jurisdictional engagements but we are just taking it one day at a time and giving it all we have.

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