This year has been a year of interesting challenges.
Like most other folks, COVID had a material impact on our year. Not just from our ability to build a team during Melbourne’s lockdown (some of whom have never met in person), but also our customers and prospects pivoting to solving their own COVID related problems – companies redeploying staff and budget to solve working from home challenges, universities with no international students, companies going into administration.
You name it, we’ve seen it. Our cybersecurity colleagues have had a tough year.
It’s important for all of us to celebrate our wins. And it’s only when you look further back from the ongoing two week sprints, over the course of the year, that those wins become more apparent.
Here are some of ours.
Accelerated Defence Cyber Training Range
The Australian Defence Force engaged a consortium of companies led by Fifth Domain, including Cydarm, to conduct a remote, fully online training program to teach and evaluate the cybersecurity operations skills of ADF personnel.
Cydarm’s case management platform was used throughout the training to coordinate team activities, provide oversight and support performance reporting. Custom dashboards were built to support performance reporting and assessment.
This year we launched a domestic reseller program to enable distribution across Australia. Cydarm has had strong demand from Australian organisations wanting a sovereign supply chain and local support.
Through the reseller program we have already acquired a major government department, with more to follow in the New Year.
Cydarm has doubled its headcount over the last year, to eight people, with another due to join in January 2021.
We have added significant technical depth to the team, which has helped in delivering the new features in the platform, detailed below.
Hosted environment enhancements
Back in 2019, in response to customer demand, Cydarm launched a hosted service in a sovereign secure cloud.
One of the key benefits of having your core security operations technologies hosted by a trusted vendor, is that it is segregated from your organisation’s network in the event of compromise of your network.
In 2020 we continued development of our hosted service, onboarding new customers, and adding better orchestration and a disaster recovery environment.
Earlier in 2020 we signed a customer with a requirement for multi-tenancy, in order to handle complex information management requirements.
A key requirement was for the customer and their external stakeholders to be able to login and jointly manage incidents where needed, while maintaining strict need-to-know and segregation between external stakeholders.
We successfully re-engineered the Cydarm platform to enable multi-tenancy, so that customers can now manage multiple stakeholders through a common interface, while maintaining mutual confidentiality of stakeholder identities and data.
Addition of Service Levels
Another feature requested by our customers was the addition of Service Levels, so that SOC response time objectives and agreements can be monitored.
Cydarm gathered feedback from numerous customers and prospects about their requirements, and incorporated that feedback into the build.
Cydarm has had playbooks for some time. A more recent change was to add ad-hoc tasking into the platform. The feedback from our customers was that there were instances where playbooks could not capture the dynamic nature of some incidents.
Being able to task activities on the fly, and track their completion was critical to addressing novel cyber threats.
COVID & working from home
Like for most other businesses back in February, the eventual impacts of COVID were difficult to foresee. But we made the decision to have our staff work from home quickly – keeping the team safe was a priority.
Working from home for the last 9 months has been tough. Coordinating a new team on a new product for a new startup while working from home during a COVID induced recession has been the challenging times we’ve had.
That we’ve managed to generate growth and new features over that time is testament to the dedication of our team.