Mission: Protect Nanny’s Computer

About a year ago I took on the role of CEO of one of the hottest emerging cybersecurity companies in the world. We were already embedded in critical infrastructure, large enterprises and organizations around the globe.

About 2 minutes after my 79 year old mom told me how proud she was, she said “What about my computer?”

Good question I thought. Of course I first evaluated the likelihood of my mother being targeted by state actors, organized criminal enterprises, or both. The risk seemed fairly low. What valuable information did she have on her desktop anyway?

But then reality set in. My mother could easily fall victim to the numerous types of attacks that she’s not even aware of and if her computer was in fact breached, it would mean long hours of work by me to retrieve her data, set up a new machine and restore the information that was valuable to HER.

A year later, AppGuard released a new product for small businesses called AppGuard Solo. This was designed for businesses of up to 100 people to purchase our software online, install it themselves, and have it up and running in an hour. Most small businesses don’t have a dedicated IT staff, and even more can’t survive a cyber attack.

Our product managers claim is that it’s easy to install.   But as Gerard Butler said in the movie 300, “we’ll put them to the test.”   The true test for me would be if my Mom could install it, and I received fewer than 10 calls in the process, it would be a major success.

So I did what any other good son and CEO would do. I delegated this to my 13-year-old son, the most tech savvy and patient person in our family. He would shepherd Nanny through the install and handle Level 1 support. The question now was how often would this escalate to Level 2 (Me).

Two days later I received an email from my mom. “Thank you so much for AppGuard. But, how do I know it’s working?” That told me two things. It was easy to install and it’s not interfering with her normal computer usage.”

Bottom line - if my mother could install it, any business owner could do the same. Businesses of all sizes, and grandmas everywhere deserve the same level of protection as our largest enterprises.  In my opinion, everyone’s personal information is “valuable” and worth protecting.


Jon Loew


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