Censornet is the leading force in innovative and automated cloud security that offers robust, consolidated solutions for businesses and organisations. From the point of user access to deep granular transparency and control, Censornet’s security suite helps organisations embrace the potential of the cloud without compromising security or limiting users.
Ed acquired Censornet in 2014 and has since grown the business from a five person company with a handful of customers to a near 50 person business with over a 1000 customers in 40 countries.
Talis first invested in the company in 2015. We sat down with Ed to discuss the growth of Censornet and his varied career: from his military background to his impressive track record of founding and scaling cybersecurity companies.
YOU ACQUIRED CENSORNET AND BECAME CEO IN 2014. WHAT CHANGES HAS THE COMPANY SEEN UNDER YOUR LEADERSHIP?
We have grown from a 5 person company with a handful of customers to a near 50 person business with over a 1000 customers in 40 countries.
Multiple product advances have seen our product evolve from a single web security solution to a fully integrated cloud security platform, offering web security, email security, CASB and multi-factor authentication. We’ve also made big advances with our AI driven Autonomous Security Engine connecting all the products on the single platform and providing autonomous response without human intervention.
HOW HAVE YOU SEEN THE BROADER SECURITY LANDSCAPE CHANGE THROUGHOUT YOUR CAREER IN THE SECTOR?
In the early days of my security career most malware was written by “script kiddies” showing off their skills, aggravating but ostensibly harmless. This has evolved to Cyber Crime becoming a multi-billion dollar industry and is now driven by highly organised criminal gangs and state actors. Cyber Crime is growing at an unprecedented rate as the world becomes increasingly more connected by technology, new and mutated versions of established attacks spring up all the time, slipping through the cracks, hence the need for agile and easily adapted security tools to pick up what the big players might miss.
YOU’VE GOT A GREAT TRACK RECORD OF FOUNDING AND SCALING CYBERSECURITY COMPANIES. HAD YOU ALWAYS IMAGINED BECOMING AN ENTREPRENEUR?
Making a difference in the world has been one of my main objectives in life. Becoming an entrepreneur has given me the ability to craft and deliver solutions to really make a measurable and tangible difference in the world.
YOU PREVIOUSLY WORKED IN THE MILITARY. HAS THIS EXPERIENCED INFLUENCED YOUR CAREER IN CYBERSECURITY?
My military career taught me resilience which I think is one of the key attributes of an entrepreneur. You have to expect a lot of knock backs building a start-up but you can’t let that phase you. You need to pick yourself up, improvise, adapt and overcome.
WITH DATA BREACHES BECOMING COMMONPLACE, COMPANIES ARE WISING UP TO THE CRITICAL ROLE THAT CYBER PROTECTION PLAYS WITHIN AN ORGANISATION. WHAT SECTORS DOES CENSORNET SERVE, AND HOW HAS THIS CHANGED IN THE PAST FEW YEARS?
Censornet was originally very focused on the Education sector and over time we have broadened our scope to service commercial organisations. We now have a strong customer base in all sectors of business, from Finance to Manufacturing and all other sectors in between. We see ourselves as fairly sector agnostic as the threats translate across multiple industries, that being said we have areas of our solution that solve specific problems for specific industries.
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE BIGGEST MILESTONES YOU’VE REACHED IN YOUR TIME AT CENSORNET AS CEO?
We’ve grown our sales from an average order value of £1000 back in 2015 to an average order value of £25,000 now. Back in 2015 we were a single product company delivering web security and now we deliver a sophisticated AI driven cyber security platform that integrates not only web security but email security, CASB and multi-factor authentication, all through a single interface.
The team has expanded from a handful of members to a 50+ strong workforce across key departments such as Sales and Marketing, Development and our Leadership Team. Included in there are some key hires and industry heavyweights to continue to guide Censornet into the future in the best hands possible.
WHAT’S YOUR VISION FOR CENSORNET IN THE COMING MONTHS AND YEARS?
The vision is for Censornet is to become the go to provider for integrated Cyber Security in the mid-market. We are on the path to become a true market leader for those where lack of budget and sheer manpower run the risk of compromising an organisations security.
IT’S NO SECRET THAT CYBERSECURITY IS BECOMING AN INCREASINGLY CROWDED MARKET. WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO ENTREPRENEURS STARTING OUT IN THE SECTOR?
Cybersecurity is a crowded sector with over 3000 vendors and a lot of overlap. If you’re going to start a cyber company you need to be hyper focused on the problem you’re solving and you need to be able to articulate very succinctly why it’s better than what exists today. Differentiation needs to be front and centre when starting out and organically this can evolve over time but staying true to your initial vision is key.