CyberFox Sees Growth Since Launching Last Year
‘We‘re the go to for a lot of these companies that come to us, and I would say a lot of the growth is from identifying some really, really good security tools and being able to take them to the next level, as we thought we could,’ says David Bellini, chief executive officer of CyberFox.
After seeing fast growth since it launched last June, identity access management vendor CyberFox’s message remains the same: They’re going to take MSPs to the next level.
“It’s going to be simplified,” CyberFox CEO David Bellini, who is also a co-founder of ConnectWise, told CRN. “We’re really servicing that MSP market and their customer, who is a small-medium-sized business. We’re the go-to for a lot of these companies that come to us, and I would say a lot of the growth is from identifying some really, really good security tools and being able to take them to the next level, as we thought we could.”
In 2022, Tampa-based CyberFox brought together identity access management security companies Password Boss and AutoElevate under a single brand to give MSPs a one-stop destination for security solutions.
“We’re not going to save you from every security threat out there, any vendor that says that quite honestly is full of it,” Adam Slutskin, chief revenue and strategy officer for CyberFox, told CRN. “We are part of the solution and it’s going to be layered.”
CyberFox has about 2,000 partners since launching last June. When Password Boss and AutoElevate were combined to create CyberFox, it launched with just a few hundred customers, according to Slutskin.
CyberFox generated more than $5 million in revenue in 2022 and expects to hit $11 million in sales and at least 3,500 partners by the end of the year, according to Slutskin
“Adam’s team came to me with a simple proposition for a specific problem I had. I needed to multiply my techs and get maximum value to free me to grow the business,” Angel Rojas, president and CEO of Brandon, FL-based MSP DataCorps Technology Solutions, told CRN. “Their AutoElevate solution automates a specific workflow that was costing me thousands of dollars in labor each month. Overnight, the wasted labor was gone. Very few products deliver such a quick result and communicate their value in the way that AutoElevate does.”
And going forward, Slutskin said CyberFox is developing additional tools and creating their own IP.
“If we can provide easy solutions that are highly cost effective that will mitigate the disaster from ever occurring, that we‘ve done our job,” Andy Bensinger, CyberFox CTO, told CRN. “We elicit that feedback and ask our partners, ‘What can we do to put you in a better position and to not have that terrible phone call that you just got ransomware?’ We aren’t the sole solution, but if we can easily and affordably enhance that and improve the quality of life for the MSP, we’ve done a good job.”
CRN spoke with Bellini, Bensinger and Slutskin to discuss CyberFox’s rapid growth, making MSPs more secure and where they want to go in 2023.
CyberFox says it’s seen 3x growth since launching last year. What do you attribute that growth to?
Bellini: All of us have been in the MSP ecosystem for a long time. Cybersecurity is really, really under supported in these small-medium-sized businesses that the MSPs are servicing, and the threat landscape is becoming larger and larger. So we really felt like we‘re in the right place at the right time. We understand the MSP channel and all the MSPs intimately. The original founders of both Password Boss and AutoElevate came to us and said, ‘I need to get to that next layer. I need to get that next step of growing this company.’ We were able to identify some really good security products and then take them to that next level. We’re the go to for a lot of these companies that come to us, and I would say a lot of the growth is from identifying some really good security tools and being able to take them to the next level, as we thought we could.
Slutskin: It’s based on need in the space. Three years ago, cybersecurity was not at the top of any surveys of what was keeping MSPs up at night. Now if you look at the last three years it‘s at the top of the list, and that’s not going away anytime soon. The MSP has a need for the right tools that are not complex and are priced accordingly, and we feel that we answer all of those. Because of the growing focus on cyber insurance our solutions are part of a stack of solutions, not the only solutions, that line up directly with cyber insurance.
You talked about how three years ago security wasn’t at the top of people’s minds. That’s due to the pandemic, right?
Bellini: It highlighted it, because every single network got spread through everyone’s house. It increased overnight and increased the threat landscape by threefold. Because of that, it became a really, really big deal.
Slutskin: Another thing too is people were not being very public and sharing the ransomware attacks they were experiencing. It was the dirty little secret. They were scared to talk publicly. If you go to any conference today, people are very transparent. They‘re sharing and that is a dramatic change. On the vendor side, we’re working with them to say, ‘How do we help address that?’ The challenge is no one vendor is going to get you there. We‘re not going to save you from every security threat out there, any vendor that says that quite honestly is full of it. We are part of the solution and it’s going to be layered. That’s what all companies, not just MSPs, are going to have to address.
What is the biggest ask from your MSP partners and how are you addressing that?
Bellini: The biggest ask is them saying, ‘I want to have all my customers be secure, but I can’t afford to charge them $3,000 a month to do it. Can you do it for $300 a month, I’ve got 30 employees.’ The big ask is, ‘Can you get us 80 percent of the security that we need for $30 per user per month.’ They’re saying, ‘Yes, we understand we need to be much more secure. We do recognize that our insurance premiums are going up for cyber insurance, and we‘re willing to pay more, but it has to be reasonable. We’re a small business, we’re not a Fortune 500 company. Service us with tools that get us 80 percent of the way there.’ I say 80 percent because that‘s pretty good coverage. One hundred percent is almost impossible. You can make a laptop 100 percent secure but that laptop becomes unusable. They’re looking for inexpensive security tools that are reliable.
Slutskin: Our ask there is give us a chance. Take a look and let us show you how we‘re doing that. We’re not just a bunch of money guys that created a bunch of tools so we can just go get some money. We‘re very committed to the MSP space. I think that’s why people generally trust us as being a big part of the community. We‘ve always done it the right way. We want to create products that are simple to use, cost effective and that will add value, and pretty fast value which I think is important.
What do you think your biggest challenge will be this year and how do you plan on addressing that?
Slutskin: We’re always cautiously optimistic. I think the biggest challenge will we be feeling any effect from the bigger markets. Will there be a recession? Now the challenge with that is our ecosystem, the MSP channel in particular, when the bigger companies feel it, it actually bodes pretty well for us. They’ll make cutbacks there and then they need the MSP ecosystem to help fill the gaps where those cuts are made.
Bellini: We are watching in real time cybersecurity premiums go up overnight. Last year it might have cost them $3,000 for the whole year. This year it’s $12,000. That has been a stressor that’s happening where everyone says, ‘How do I get to a lower premium? If I could put a password manager and I can put in least privilege management then I can get my rate down to $9,000.’ That‘s something we’re getting pressured on pretty quickly and we‘re trying to get in and help with that.
You saw 3x growth last year, where do you think you’ll see the most growth this year?
Slutskin: I think through the expansion and enhancements of the core products that we do have. A couple of these additional products that we‘re going to roll out will be free for existing customers. It’s our way, and we have always believed in that loyalty, of saying thank you to all those partners that have given us this chance to get us to this point. We‘re now over 60 employees and through that ability we will continue to mature and share everything that we’ve learned and make that impact. We‘re going to more events than ever and, just like the other vendors, it gives us a chance to get in front of them. Our products are very good solutions and are getting widely adopted. We can’t thank our community partners enough. I say that in every post I ever make, and I mean it genuinely. We want to continue to enhance what we have rather than just buy 100 more things to try to get more revenue. We think we‘ll drive more revenue by just continuing to make the products we have better and better.
You mentioned having 60 employees. Are you hiring right now or are you being cautious given the economic climate?
Slutskin: We’re hiring, but I wouldn’t say we’re gangbusters. When we bring on a partner, we’re in no rush. We’ll bring on the right partner that can help us with being a part of our board and that growth. I think we have a pretty good path. There’s always the unforeseen that could be out there and you don‘t know and you guard for it, but we hired a lot of the people since we’re self-funded. We did stuff probably that other companies wouldn‘t be able to do in the early stage. We built the foundational team very fast and now we want to let it catch up. We’re looking to hire talented development people right now, we‘re looking to bring on some additional operations people and we’re always looking at more junior revenue people that we can start into our company so we can train them up. So while we don‘t expect to grow five times, we will grow as needed. If we feel that there’s an area lacking that we need to beef up so that our customers experience is great, we will do it in a heartbeat. But we think we have the foundational team in place that we need to grow for certainly the next year.
Where do you want CyberFox to be a year from today?
Bellini: You want to have a direction but some of it is following what comes out… like what is going to happen in the broader market with a recession? Are we going to have a recession this year? That’s going to change just how fast we approach our goal. Do we slow down a little bit or speed it up, because one advantage of a recession is we‘re a less-expensive solution. We could actually end up doing really well, so you’ve got to kind of feel it out. That’s the advantage of being a little smaller, we‘re able to zig zag really quick, and I will tell you that we’ll watch that. Generally though, we‘re looking to add more inexpensive security tools for our MSPs and their customers.
Slutskin: On the growth side, we’re working with more and more partnerships and integrations. So I think the message is: stay tuned. You’re going to see us in a lot more places. We have some really exciting announcements with partnerships that are going to make a lot of MSPs very happy. We continue to work on increasing our integrations, which is something that they ask us about a lot. We love being a part of this ecosystem and we look forward to doing some really great stuff for the channel.