Maxime Alay-Eddine (Cyberwatch): “The cybersecurity market is ripe”

As part of our “They’re doing the data” feature, Maxime Alay-Eddine, president and co-founder of Cyberwatch, agreed to review the past year and the major marketing issues of the beginning of the year.

BigData.fr : One word to define the year that just passed?

Maxime Alay-Eddine: Maturity. We see that Covid has forced and accelerated digital transformation, we had to open up remote access to allow people to continue working. This is also true for cybersecurity. Many people realized that cybersecurity should not be put on the back burner. Most organizations have realized that their information system is a critical asset to their business that needs to be protected. We therefore have less and less need to explain our business, our value, or our approach. The evangelization phase is less and less necessary because there is a real awareness of the market. In vulnerability management, i.e. the management of security flaws that affect products used by all employees, there has been a considerable evolution.

Does that mean you’ve seen new customers come in?

We had a lot of new customers in 2021 but also in 2020 because the market is now mature. Companies are no longer asking the question of relevance. They ask themselves: which tools should I choose?

On the marketing side, does this mean changes?

Yes, we’ve had to hire extra people to handle the demand, but it’s a new load we can handle. We’ve doubled the size of our company. We are now 25 employees.

What strategies are you putting in place to preserve your corporate culture in this environment?

We allow and encourage telecommuting, but we want to maintain a presence in the office, even if it’s not necessarily for work but for activities. Seeing each other is essential to federate. Often, young graduates and especially developers ask for 100% telecommuting and do not understand the interest of coming to the office. However, in order to create and maintain a company culture, but also for the well-being of the person, it seems to us essential to maintain a presence, at least occasionally, and to create links.

Have you changed or adapted your marketing strategy because of the context?

We have not changed our strategy. The trade shows, such as the International Cybersecurity Forum in Lille and the Assises de la sécurité in Monaco, continued in our sector. The only major change was to have masks made with the effigy of our company! As for the face-to-face meetings in companies, which facilitate exchanges, I think that trade shows are important for the ecosystem to meet and discuss.

What about remote? Have you organized anything? Webinars maybe?

We’ve held webinars, but it’s not necessarily related to Covid. It was more related to current events. For example, we held a webinar when the Log4J vulnerability was disclosed. It was an event that got a lot of media coverage, so it was a real curiosity. We organized this event in a format that was not necessarily commercial but rather educational.

What are the major milestones of your roadmap at the beginning of the year?

We are working on analyzing security settings on Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace environments. These are widely used tools, and very easy to implement in the enterprise. On the other hand, they are full of complex settings, where the slightest mistake can generate significant risks. For example: it is very easy to make mistakes in the settings for file sharing because a large number of options are activated by default. We therefore add mechanisms that check if the state of the art of these configurations is respected or not.

Do you encounter any particular difficulties?

The fact that people see each other less is a real obstacle. It becomes difficult to meet people, especially since there is a real fatigue linked to digital technology, to screens. We find it in companies, we also find it with prospects. It is up to us to be more impactful during online presentations: the attention of our interlocutors has officially become a rare commodity.

A word for 2022?

Growth. We want to do twice as much. In sales but also in employees.

Interview by Amandine Durand

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