Alertsec makes sure a lost or stolen laptop can’t be hacked if someone has physical access to the computer. The best way to do that is to encrypt the hard drive. More or less all Fortune 500 companies have installed laptop encryption. But for a small or medium size company, that doesn’t have an IT department of their own, laptop encryption can be quite difficult to manage. Alertsec helps companies get Full Disk Encryption as a service. This means that even if you don’t have an IT department you can get cutting edge security for your laptop, as we provide support and helpdesk 24/7.
For compliance reasons (HIPAA, SOX, PCI etc), anyone that hosts sensitive third party information, such as health records or financial information, needs to protect this information to the highest level of security. That is, in plain text, encryption.
Alertsec helps health clinics, CPAs, financial advisors, power plant engineers with this.
BusinessInterviews.com: What inspired you to launch your business?
Ebba Blitz: Prior to the launch of Alertsec, the general idea we leveraged for the business was that the more information we store in the cloud the more we need to protect our endpoints. If someone has physical access to your laptop a perpetrator could have full access to all your files, network and anything stored in the cloud. To protect yourself you need to have Full Disk Encryption, FDE, installed.
The challenge, however, is that individuals and SMBs don’t always have the skills to manage encryption. The organization might be using a plethora of laptops and operating systems, and it’s hard to be up to date with latest versions of IT security if you are not specialized. We developed a technology to manage encryption for our customers and provide them with helpdesk and support for upgrades, password resets and hardware recovery over the cloud.
BusinessInterviews.com: Do you have any recent success stories that you’d like to share with our readers?
Ebba Blitz: There is a lot of discussion right now about the fear of hacking the power grid. Engineers working in the field need to secure their data in order to prevent a hack. We signed a deal with a Canadian Power company for a few thousand laptops. We are really proud that they chose us and that we were able to get them up and running so quickly. It was a great team effort and we’re all very committed to the task.
BusinessInterviews.com: What issue does your core product help solve and how so?
Ebba Blitz: We help small and medium size businesses get the same level of endpoint security as the Fortune 500 companies. Alertsec provides SMBs with Full Disk Encryption as a service. So, from a technical standpoint, there’s no reason companies should jeopardize their customers’ data. When the decision to encrypt is made, we take care of the rest!
BusinessInterviews.com: What has been your biggest challenge as a business owner and how have you met that challenge?
Ebba Blitz: The biggest challenge is educating customers about the purpose and need for encryption. We had the same challenge when we developed Pointsec (an encryption technology that was later acquired by Check Point Technologies). At that time encryption was very new. Now, it’s a must-have for large enterprises.
As cybersecurity threats are trickling down to SMBs we are convinced that most of them will have Full Disk Encryption on their laptops in a few years.
In the future I also believe that most individuals will deploy encryption as well because of the sensitive nature of health information that we store on our personal computers.
BusinessInterviews.com: What’s the most exciting thing on the horizon for you?
Ebba Blitz: We want to play an important role in securing sensitive information, mainly in healthcare and finance – by protecting the endpoints in a network. Ultimately, I’d love to see Alertsec making a difference in protecting individuals from identity theft!
BusinessInterviews.com: Where do you envision your company in 5 years?
Ebba Blitz: In five years we will be the natural choice for any SMB or individual who needs to protect their endpoint with encryption.
BusinessInterviews.com: Have you had any mentors or role models that have influenced you? Describe the impact.
Ebba Blitz: I’m a daddy’s girl and have always seen myself as him. He put me in coding class when I was 10 years old(in the eighties) because he thought that girls must learn how to code. (I can’t say I was ever that hooked though…) He was an early believer in STEM education for young girls. He moved to America with my mom to start his own IT business (Compass Analysis Inc.) and has been a great sounding board for me. He’s always challenging me and very supportive – a nice combination of sweet and tough love!
BusinessInterviews.com: Do you consider yourself successful and by what means do you measure success?
Ebba Blitz: No matter what I achieve I always feel I should do more to be better. I am always working towards having a work-life balance, but being the CEO of a growing company requires time and dedication. So apart from the business and my family, there’s not room for much else right now. For relaxation and meditation I play bridge in tournaments sometimes and when I retire I’ll be doing a lot more of that!
BusinessInterviews.com: How do your competitors view you?
Ebba Blitz: The market is big and growing, but there aren’t many competitors in this field. It would be great with more competition, since it’s a heavy job building a new security space. Right now I feel like we are the only ones educating the market on why encryption is vital for security and that encryption-as-a-service exists.
BusinessInterviews.com: What advice do you have for other entrepreneurs and business owners? What do you wish someone told you?
Ebba Blitz: Running your own business is not a sprint, it’s a marathon. It’s important to plan other things in life, as well, to have the strength and durability. Try to make room for something completely different from what you work with. Did you know that Einstein cracked the theory of relativity when he took a break from his work and had a bath? I sing jazz, play bridge and go out running – that’s my outlet. I also love taking a good crack at mending broken things around the house. It’s like meditation to me and sometimes these breaks help me get a new perspective.
BusinessInterviews.com: What’s the biggest risk that you’ve ever taken and how did it turn out?
Ebba Blitz: The biggest risk I’ve ever taken was moving from Sweden to the US, leaving behind the comfort of home and moving to an unknown territory – just getting the paper work in order was quite an undertaking. Raising a family simultaneously while we’re building a business takes a lot of energy. It has been the best decision! Palo Alto is an incredible place to live. We love the climate, sunshine and also how people are open and engaged. And everybody’s interested in business here – I love it!
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