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Cyberhedge: translating cyber-speak into CFO

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“If the primary asset of your company is oil, gas or minerals, you will probably spend a lot of time and resources on protecting it, right? Studying the geology, politics, the technology, and taking steps to make it more secure. But what happens if your primary asset is data? I started asking around and it didn’t take long to see that there’s really no standard approach to protecting “data as an asset”. That was our niche,” explains Ryan Dodd, founder of Cyberhedge, a Luxembourg-based start-up focusing on cybersecurity.

“By combining data we’ve gathered on over 5000 companies with real-time financial modelling, we can instantly assess your cyber-management performance against your competition, as well as the resources dedicated to cybersecurity relative to the risk, which we also quantify. The result is a financially prioritized action plan to help reduce the amount of cyber value at risk. This goes beyond just technical recommendations, and we will spell it out in the right way. Management often doesn’t speak cyber, so we speak CFO and translate our cyber assessments into relevant value metrics in a language that management understands,” he adds.

In 2015, Ryan, originally from Oklahoma, was an institutional shareholder in companies whose data and software code was the primary source of their value. Frustrated by corporate boards’ inability to clearly report to him and other shareholders on how their executives were managing and protecting their companies’ valuable data, he began creating financial models to help ‘hedge out cyber risk’. These models were the first step in creating Cyberhedge.

Cybersecurity is a very real and immediate risk in today’s business environment. Why? “Partly because it’s invisible, but also partly because we’ve never paid enough attention to security as a strategic issue. Everyone talks about the digital transformation, about technology powering value, and we spend vast amounts on IT systems and digitalisation, but how much have we spent, collectively, on protection? Not enough. It’s very insecure.”

Ryan set up shop in Luxembourg, at the heart of Europe’s financial system. “Europe is leading the way when it comes to cybersecurity and we wanted to be close to the decision-making, to have a good understanding of the regulatory environment,” he explains. In 2018, an important equity investment from the Luxembourg Future Fund, backed by the EIF, allowed Ryan to build up his team, doubling his staff numbers. “We were able to build up our data science lab in Luxembourg and develop our product further. Now we can offer instant analysis and relative positioning for our clients across Europe and the US. With time, people are becoming more aware of this issue and we are in a good position to grow. Starting up a business is never easy, especially when you put everything you have into it, but if you have a deep conviction about your view or your idea, you can keep moving forward even in the toughest of moments.”

Company: Cyberhedge

Type of business: ICT, finance

EU financing: Luxembourg Future Fund (LFF)

Financial intermediary: Luxembourg Future Fund

For further information abiout EIF intermediaries in Luxembourg, please refer to:
http://www.eif.org/what_we_do/where/lu

 

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