Christchurch-based digital identity specialist WebSecure has become a wholly New Zealand owned and operated company.
The development follows a deal was announced earlier this week that will see WebSecure’s larger Australian sibling, WebSecure Technologies Australia, acquired by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Australia.
Founded in 1999 by Kiwi Carlton Duston and Australian Stewart Sim, WebSecure Technologies Australia built its business implementing and managing digital identity and privileged access management (PAM) solutions.
The company eventually became one the biggest local resellers for leading US vendor CyberArk, which allowed organisations to track and manage privileged access permissions and activities across their IT topographies.
The co-founders jointly established a New Zealand operation in 2006, replicating the Australian model and local reseller partnerships with CyberArk, SailPoint, Digital Guardian and Netskope.
Following the agreement to sell WebSecure Technologies Australia to PWC, Sim has relinquished his shares in the New Zealand business, with ownership now split between Duston and newly promoted New Zealand sales director James Burns.
“Operating as an independent Kiwi-owned company puts us on a stronger footing to support our growing customer base and in-country technical headcount,” said Burns, who has been with the company since 2015.
WebSecure has ten employees and is looking to add at least five CyberArk specialists and further invest in training and technical resources to support local growth. Customers include banks, telcos, government, and service providers.
Plans to broaden WebSecure’s focus beyond the enterprise market to New Zealand’s larger small-medium sector were also afoot, Burns said, but this hinged on the development of an as-a- service offering.
The company still has a small technical team in Sydney, continuing to support Australian customers using MailMarshal email security – a line of business that did not form part of the sale to PWC.
Burns said the COVID-19 pandemic had been a springboard for digital identity and privileged access management.
“Work often starts on the inside with the people who hold the keys to the kingdom – IT administrators," he said. "If hackers can get their details, they’ve got access to servers, databases, customer credit card details – everything.
"Much of our focus is helping organisations to establish a chain of custody, auditability, and security for their administrative functions."
Recent high-profile data breaches and investment in infrastructure to support digitally presentable credentials and compliance in high-trust activities were driving demand.