Why business is booming for Wellington startup CyberCure

Why business is booming for Wellington startup CyberCure

Cyber security consultancy founded by four ex-PwC colleagues.

L-R: Sarah Williams Julian Bruce-Miller, Tessa Anton, Craig Tweedie (CyberCure)

L-R: Sarah Williams Julian Bruce-Miller, Tessa Anton, Craig Tweedie (CyberCure)

Credit: Supplied

Wellington-based cyber security and privacy consultancy CyberCure is gaining momentum through its values-based approach to business. 

The company was founded by four ex-PwC colleagues in 2022. The reputation of its founders, alongside a sharp focus on core values, has led to a strong base of clients within its first few months of operating.

These clients include government agencies, large private organisations in the energy industry, large consultancies, legal and large tertiary education providers.

Chief executive officer Tessa Anton, chief operating officer Sarah Williams, chief financial officer Julian Bruce-Miller and chief information officer Craig Tweedie are the co-founders and equal shareholders of the business, each with their own roles to play in the company. 

“We all wanted to step out from the shadow of the ‘big four’ and start to really focus on clients and adding value … and bringing our skills into organisations to genuinely help them build good cyber practices,” Williams told Reseller News. 

The co-founders’ skill sets and experience in cyber security range from data governance and sovereignty to privacy, digital identity, architecture, threat analysis and incident response. 

This cross-section of skills gives CyberCure a unique view of emerging and evolving trends in the space – something that Tweedie said is one of its key differentiators. 

A focus on thinking outside of the box to stay “ahead of the curve” as leaders in emerging trends is a pivotal focus for the company as it grows. 

“In cyber, it’s easy to stay with what you know,” he said. “It’s hard for people who are in a rut to think outside of the circle. We need a new way of thinking about things.”

The personal reputation of its founders blended with a values-based approach to business has proven to be a perfect mix to generate market interest. 

CyberCure’s impressive book of multi-sector clients that initially began through personal networks has grown to include clients gained through word-of-mouth recommendations, Tweedie said. 

“We’re growing like a big mushroom cloud now, we’re at the phase where it’s exploding,” he said. 

They are targeting “anyone who needs us,” he continued, but with a sharp focus on connecting with clients who share the same values to facilitate the most mutually beneficial experience. 

“If someone came to us wanting to just tick the boxes, we would probably say, 'That’s not really us.' Our value is that we want to add value to you, so we expect the same from our customers as well.

“You have a service you want to provide for someone, you need a cyber partner to give that assurance and due diligence to your customer – we will do it.”

Another key focus for the company is championing women in security, both through its female leadership and by driving skills development for women. 

“Tessa and I really wanted to push female leadership in cyber security, with the support and backing of Craig and Julian who’ve come along for the ride,” Williams said. 

“We are four people that wanted to promote gender equality and encourage women’s participation in building this inclusive industry, because we have noticed over the years that people hold biases and stereotypes about women in this industry, and they still do.”

CyberCure has taken on its first intern and plans to reach out to both universities and high schools to find young women interested in cyber security careers. 

“We’ve already started with our first intern, so by the time she comes through into the junior phase, hopefully we will have picked up someone else and we want to keep that rotating constantly,” Williams said.

While the internships won’t be exclusively for women, the focus is on addressing a significant gap in the industry to encourage more women to take up cyber security roles and be taken seriously by industry peers. 

“Currently 25 per cent of practitioners in security are women, and they say it’s going to be 30 per cent in five to six years’ time,” Williams said. “It’s not really enough, and there is no reason for it except that women have felt insecure about moving into an industry that has been so male dominated.”

It also helps to address the skills shortage felt by the industry by creating new training pathways for interested people. 

“We want to get that mill going of training people up, giving them a good basis and either they can stay with us, or they go and do their thing and we’ll support them wherever they go,” Tweedie added. 

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