On the up · 27 September 2016

A business raising awareness of cyber security – there’s no “silver bullet”

anish-joe
Anish Chauhan and Joe Trodden, an Entrepreneurial Spark enabler

Cyber security company Equilibrium Security has been running since 2012, and aims to set itself apart from its competitors by offering a more bespoke approach to digital defences. We quizzed founder Anish Chauhan to find out how he operates his business differently to his competitors.

Equilibrium Security is a fast-growing cyber security company based in the centre of Birmingham. Equilibrium aim to protect a business’s most important asset: its data. Using industry-leading, enterprise-class security vendors including Cisco & Check Point. They tailor solutions and ensure that the balance between security and the flow of the business is maintained.

The business offers a very individual approach to its customers, and will consider an organisation’s specific security requirements. For example, if a company has a project coming up where employees will be issued devices such as iPads, how will that effect their network security? Does the client have any specific concerns, or standards they need to be compliant with?

Equilibrium Security does re-sell cyber security products, but according to Chauhan it’s not the business’ bread and butter. Sometimes, it’s not about purchasing new solutions, but how to make use of older ones. “If they’ve already got [a product] but they’re not making the best use of it we can work with them and map out a security roadmap with them,” said Chauhan. “It is very bespoke.”

The business was founded in 2012, and since then “without a shadow of a doubt” there has been growing demand for cyber security services. “High profile breaches like Talk Talk or Ashley Madison certainly bring what we do to the forefront of people’s minds,” Chauhan said.

Unlike some of its competitors, Equilibrium has not pinned its success on highly targeted sales teams and aggressive sales techniques, and instead has built a company with a reputation of prioritising “security and integrity.” One of the ways it manages this is by not aligning itself with any particular vendor – there are partnerships in place, but Chauhan is adamant that if a product isn’t the right fit for a customer, it will openly say so.

“We don’t try and pull the wool over the eyes of the customer,” Chauhan said. “Our growth has come through our recognised expertise”.

Indeed, the business’ offering is quite high-end, and carries the government’s ‘Cyber Essentials’ badge of approval. The typical client can range quite a bit, but it counts among its contracts jobs from police forces, NHS Trusts and local councils – as well as other big name brands.

In this way, up until now, most of the business’ work has come through word of mouth and referrals from partners, and the business has seen steady growth. However, over the course of the next 12 months the company is looking to vamp up its marketing to attract new clients.

As part of the new marketing drive, Equilibrium will be hosting some events with its partners to promote awareness of cyber security threats. The events will feature demonstrations such as live hacks.

Chauhan acknowledges that in recent years’ people have realised cyber security protection is necessary, but still don’t always  understand what’s involved.

“The key thing is knowing there isn’t a silver bullet. An organisation might think, well if I buy this product from Cisco it’s going to solve my problems – it’s just not the case. It’s about taking that product and integrating it effectively into the workplace.”

“The threat landscape is changing all the time,” he warned, and what a client read six months ago may no longer be relevant. This is something Equilibrium always works hard to remain on top of by reading up on the subject and attending various events and seminars.

In addition, Equilibrium has signed up to Entrepreneurial Spark, which Chauhan believes has helped improve his focus: “Being both the director of the company and being the technical person who does the button pushing as it were, it’s quite easy to lose focus

“Meeting with a mentor once a fortnight just gets you back on track and makes sure that you’ve got the business growth in mind constantly.”

For Chauhan, the key to growing Equilibrium will be expanding in a sustainable way – growing with demand in a stable manner, and not letting too much happen at once and getting out of control. Slow and steady wins the race, and in the months to come Chauhan will be “mapping out potential success”.

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ABOUT THE EXPERT

Letitia Booty is a special projects journalist for Business Advice. She has a BA in English Literature from the University of East Anglia, and since graduating she has written for a variety of trade titles. Most recently, she was a reporter at SME magazine.

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