When we launched SecAlerts we expected cybersecurity professionals working for IT-oriented companies would be the ones to mainly use our service. After all, a friend and former co-worker who is a fintech information security consultant, was one of the first to use SecAlerts and loved what we offered.
"SecAlerts is the kind of service that industry professionals love - smart, lean and practical," he wrote to us in an early email.
However, life has a habit of not doing what you thought and it's been a twisting, turning ride since SecAlerts ventured off into the world, like a bright-eyed teenager leaving home for the first time.
Sure, cybersecurity professionals working for IT-oriented companies have signed up, but it turns out that businesses from a variety of industries have discovered our vulnerability alert service, which has been pleasing to note.
We've also received great feedback. While we're fast asleep in our part of the world, SecAlerts is 'out there' making all sorts of inroads. Many a time we've woken to a surprise email or a swag of signups courtesy of a mention somewhere, usually in a cybersecurity blog.
These little 'injections of affirmation' have acted as great motivation. This was especially the case when we awoke to an email in late 2020 that opened with: "Your vulnerability tracking service caught my attention and I’d like to set up a call next week to discuss further."
At first we thought it might be a scam but some investigation work confirmed the email's author was a cyber analyst with one of the world's biggest cyber insurers. Needless to say, we hit 'Reply' and set up the call. We can't say too much about the "who, what, when, why" of what's happened since that email, other than we hope to share some good news with you all in the near future.
The beauty of that email was that is was totally unexpected. Up until then we'd been targeting all sorts of cybersecurity professionals and, while we were aware of cyber insurance (every business needs it these days), it wasn't on our radar. Cyber insurance was there to deal with the consequences of an attack. We may well have come around to the insurance industry over time, but that email hurried up the process and took us off on one of life's happy little side roads.
Cyber insurer aside, we're still embarking on getting users onboard via our own means. What's that old saying about putting all your eggs in one basket?
We've tried various approaches but it's a slow and laborious process, so we're now looking at sponsoring one or more cybersecurity blogs (without mentioning names, you probably subscribe to them). We've even contacted some of the blogs' previous sponsors to get their feedback about the response they received. Everyone we've contacted has replied and been really giving with their responses, with some even including stats resulting from their sponsorship.
Bloggers, understandably, talk up their social media numbers and the like, in order to sound impressive. But having X-amount of social media followers doesn't always equate to all of them seeing what you have to offer (as some of our research has shown). We now have to weigh up our options and decide which will give us (hopefully!) the most bang for our cyber-buck.
It's all a learning process and until we get the SecAlerts crystal ball back from the workshop, it's a case of "watch this space".