Roar: Bringing cybersecurity expertise to the masses
Liongard, a Station Houston member company, launched the private beta release of their first product offering, Roar.
Station Houston Members Joe Alapat and Vincent Tran have a longer history than most startup co-founders. Friends since 4th grade, they worked together to build and sell an IT service and software development company before launching their newest endeavor, Liongard. Liongard automates the identification of critical security weaknesses across the modern IT landscape to safeguard customers against security incidents and data breaches.
After seeing companies rapidly adopt an increasing number of complex hardware, applications, and cloud services, Joe and Vincent set out to automate the gathering of security intelligence from the growing list of technologies used by IT and the Business. (Think Office 365, Google Business, Amazon Web Services, and other third-party software). Roar, Liongard’s Continuous Security Intelligence Platform, fills the gaps in subject matter expertise required to configure these systems securely. It then prioritizes critical action items into a single dashboard, enabling IT staff to manage technology at scale.
“What we’re doing now is merging analytics software, IT management, and subject matter expertise to make that information actionable,” says Vincent. Joe adds, “We’re using our experience to address cybersecurity because it is one of the most significant challenges facing businesses today.”
“Something that Blair (Garrou, Managing Director of Mercury Fund) and several other Station mentors have told us is, ‘Joe, this is a good idea. But you need to stop designing the product in the dark if you want to achieve product-market fit. Take it to the customers to validate your assumptions.’ So in late 2016, we changed our thought process and met with potential customers to listen to their challenges, modify our approach, and validate our proposed solution before we had the product ready,” he continues.
This level of engagement with potential customers is still happening. To support this process, Liongard accelerated Roar’s progress through two-week sprints — an agile development process that uses direct customer feedback to quickly improve products.
“When a customer asks for something important, we can reasonably get it back to them in two to four weeks. Customers have a sense of gratification when we build something they helped us design – it’s amazing how simple that sounds, but most people don’t do it. For us, it’s been the ultimate way to find product-market fit,” says Joe.
Liongard announced the Beta Release of Roar in late January 2017 and began formal testing with several companies to enhance the product and prepare for the initial production release. The release of Roar in July 2017 to the general public will be Liongard’s most significant milestone to date. The product continues to improve based on customer feedback, as Joe and Vincent see endless applications ahead for their technology.
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