Digital Shadows' 6th Anniversary

Alastair Paterson | 17 May 2017

It’s amazing to think that the idea James and I began working on from a kitchen table in London in May 2011 has now become the global cyber security company, Digital Shadows. The last 6 years have at times felt like a blur. We both feel privileged to have been on a journey full of challenges, excitement, ups and downs and remarkable progress for the firm.

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Rewinding to 2011 and our original inspiration for Digital Shadows, we recognized that the world was changing dramatically as companies adopted the cloud, social media and mobile devices for huge business benefits. From a security perspective, it was no longer going to be enough to focus solely on the network and the perimeter when much of the relevant, sensitive data was now being held outside the confines of the corporate boundary and faced new threats. We could see a range of new digital risks including data loss, brand and reputational damage, and cyber threats amongst many others, and no solution in sight. 

Classic startup/VC wisdom is to focus on a single area and be the best at that, which could have led us to focus on one of the risks/consequences of the boundaries disappearing around companies. Instead, in working very closely with our early clients we realized that part of our strength was in the breadth of the issues and data sources we covered: Third party risk, customer data leakage, fake and misleading social media profiles, code and credential compromise amongst many other issues – they were all important. So, we eschewed the traditional advice and set out to build a comprehensive solution to managing digital risks beyond the boundary. While there is always more to do and we are constantly improving, we are proud to now protect over 100 leading companies in 14 countries worldwide and to be scaling faster than ever before.

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The last 12 months have been particularly exciting for the company. We’ve opened new offices in London, Dallas and San Francisco as our employee count has doubled to over 130. Amongst them are key members of the leadership team like Daniel Moskowitz as CFO, Alex Seton as VP Business & Corporate Development and most recently, Dan Lowden as CMO. Our revenues have grown faster than ever, with 2016 marking our 3rd consecutive year of triple-digit growth. It’s been a pleasure to see how diverse the market is for Digital Shadows, with clients in a huge range of industries and new geographies such as the Middle East and Asia Pac to join our home markets of the USA and Europe. We hear from our clients that the three main aspects of our service are:

  • The ‘human in the loop’: We provide a full service including analysts on our side that apply specialist expertise and verify incidents before they are sent to our clients, eliminating false positives and work for our clients. Most companies that we have encountered prefer this approach over having to hire more employees to do this on their behalf, having to procure and use a set of tools, sifting through false positives and using yet more portals. There is a high total cost of ownership in this hard-to-hire market.
  • Broad coverage: The coverage we provide is broader than anything else available.  Most companies don’t want to build their own solutions or try to integrate 4 or 5 point products, so knowing that we have the widest coverage of data sources in scope is a key priority, especially when many know we are trusted by global banks, stock exchanges and critical national infrastructure. 
  • The relevance of what we provide: We strive to only tell our clients the things they care about and can do something about. Uniquely, our analysts provide our clients with a recommended mitigation for every client incident we send them.

Our customers are everything to us, and so James and I do our best to check in with as many as we can to get their feedback. Alongside our product team, we do our best to really understand the problems our clients face so that we can continue to innovate in the right direction. Our recent new UI launch and leading mobile app store coverage resulted from some of that feedback. We have more exciting new announcements in this regard over the coming months.

Finally, we are proud of the exceptional team we have assembled and the culture they have created. That’s what makes the company what it is. For several years we have codified our culture into a set of values defined by the team themselves that we have used to inform decision making and hiring. These values are enclosed below. 

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Thank you for reading this far. To our clients, thank you for all your support and feedback over the years for which we are extremely grateful. To our employees – James and I look forward to our anniversary celebrations later today and we will be raising a glass to all of you – happy birthday!

 

Digital Shadows: Our Values

Do the Right Thing

We are an ethical company operating with respect, empathy and equality. We respect everyone’s security, freedom and privacy.

Anything is Possible

We encourage innovation, independent thinking and team work.

Trust and be Trusted

We trust our people to make the right decisions and assume best intentions. We deal in facts, not fear.

All about the People

We have a diverse, inclusive, fun and spirited culture that nurtures exceptional talent for the long haul. We make the world safe for our clients and our community.