Area cybersecurity company’s growth requires new location

A Dayton-area cybersecurity company recently relocated within the region to accommodate its growth.

Secure Cyber Defense moved from Miamisburg to 201 Tyler Way in Moraine.

“It’s about the same square footage,” said founder and CEO Shawn Waldman. “The difference was that it (the Moraine location) had closer access to the interstate. It has generator access, so we have a security operations center that now has a full-time generator.”

In addition, the company found the new space “heavy on the amenity side” with features like an on-site gym, a coffee bar and access to around a dozen collaborative workspaces.

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Founded in 2015 with three employees, Secure Cyber Defense is “a cybersecurity company for business” and has grown to include 22 employees while doubling its client base, which now stands at 180 organizations globally, Waldman said. It typically serves clients with between 250 and 1,500 employees, he said.

“It’s our job to work with organizations on their cybersecurity hygiene and then, at the same time, provide proactive and reactive cybersecurity services to them 24/7,” he said.

The company primarily serves manufacturing and aerospace industries because of its proximity to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Waldman said.

“We service a lot of government contracting companies,” he said. “We do a lot of state and local government, so a lot of cities, counties and townships, school districts and financial institutions.”

As the need for comprehensive cybersecurity protections and monitoring has increased, so has Secure Cyber Defense’s business, Waldman said. '

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Last year, the company started searching for space that would allow for its continued growth while also accommodating its high-tech business and workforce. After an eight-month search, it partnered with Tyler Technologies in Moraine for space that met the criteria for its new headquarters. Secure Cyber Defense also worked with Moraine’s economic development team to identify funding opportunities to make the move there, securing a $70,000 grant from the city, Waldman said.

Renovations lasted four months and allowed the new space to accommodate up to 20 additional staff members, he said.

The company has found that organizations initially don’t hire cyber security firms because they assume they have no need for that level of protection or believe they have enough of it to begin with, he said.

“The third (reason) is just the fear of the unknown,” he said. “So (they’ll say to themselves) ‘I’m just not even going to bring it up at all because I’m going to assume it’s too complicated and too expensive, so I’ll just ignore it.’”

The consequence of that inaction can be “stifling,” Waldman said.

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“There’s a whole litany of things that go downhill,” he said. “You’ve got lawsuits and you’ve got digital assets missing. You’ve got the downtime. If it’s a ransomware incident, you’ve got the payment to some criminal actor. You’ve got reputation destruction, so, you know, an organization’s reputation is on the line.

“Probably in the last three years, we’ve responded to about a dozen full breaches and we’ve seen at least a dozen companies in their darkest hour and it’s incredible what happens.”

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