A Dublin-based tech firm called Edgescan has developed a platform that helps organisations navigate the confusing world of cybersecurity, identify weaknesses and shore up their defences. It is now plotting a global course.

“The problem, in the broader sense, we solve at Edgescan is cyber security weakness detection,” explained Edgescan’s CEO Eoin Keary.

“Many organisations are faced with a wide array of threats and it’s challenging for them to keep pace with maintaining a secure posture. Given the rate of change in cloud and modern development techniques, systems are always changing and change may introduce risk. We help our clients keep pace with constant change from a cyber security perspective.”

“Having an amazing tech platform is great but don’t forget about sales and marketing”

The Dublin-based company’s product is a software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform that enables firms to access it over the internet.

“Edgescan is a SaaS which delivers continuous full stack vulnerability intelligence, visibility and alerting coupled with validated vulnerability information. It is delivered from the cloud and our clients enjoy the visibility and intelligence Edgescan delivers relating to vulnerabilities in their networks and web applications. Edgescan helps our clients keep aware of vulnerabilities requiring attention and measure improvement.”

Eoin Keary is the company’s founder/CEO. He was on the Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP), a global web security think-tank, board of directors and is a software security expert based in Dublin.

Keary decided to found Edgescan in 2011 as he thought he could solve the problem of continuous, enterprise-level vulnerability detection better than it was currently being addressed.

At the time of founding, he did not see how traditional approaches to cybersecurity could scale and keep pace with the pace of modern system development and hence Edgescan was born. Keary was joined by co-founder Rahim Jina (COO) in 2013 and the company has grown steadily since.

What are your impressions of the start-up ecosystem in your region and in Ireland in general?

Regarding Ireland as a whole, the energy and enthusiasm is there, the ideas are flowing but I believe there could be more government support for indigenous start-ups. Foreign direct investment (FDI) companies appear to get more love and financial support. The tax system for start-ups to share equity and retain staff is also not very attractive. Retention of staff is very challenging given FDIs have much deeper pockets to entice staff. In saying that organisations such as Enterprise Ireland are great and very supportive. Enterprise Ireland do a great job assisting companies like Edgescan with exporting and breaking new territory.

Are you raising funding at present?

Traditionally we did not think we needed funding. We have grown to a company of 50 staff with multimillion export revenues but in very recent times we have engaged with some investment firms to help us expand rapidly into North America, the EU and Asia.

What are the biggest mistakes or lessons you have learned so far?

  • All start-ups should know their value, don’t undercut the value of what you do.
  • Having an amazing tech platform is great but don’t forget about sales and marketing.
  • Staff are the most important thing you have, be nice to them and encourage them to grow.
  • The client is king, help the client get value out of your solution, love your clients!
  • Don’t take funding too early as you may regret it. There is always a good time to take funding, you’ll know when that is.

What advice do you have for fellow founders?

Believe in what you are doing. We all suffer from “imposter syndrome.” There will be great days and days of pure hell and stress, but it beats having a boss (your clients are the new boss).

What technologies or tools does your team use to stay agile?

Our development methodologies are agile and sprint based. We deploy new updates to code and services weekly. Configuration and patch management is performed using software defined governance. Sprint teams have a lifespan of two weeks on average and everything is broken into two weeks blocks of delivery. Our usage of Amazon Web Services (AWS) has helped us with staying nimble and scalable such that we can keep pace with change.

Written by John Kennedy (john.kennedy3@boi.com)

Published: 25 July, 2019

Pictured: Eoin Keary and Rahim Jina, Edgescan co-founders.

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