My Digital Shield adds assurance protection against breaches

Security-as-a-service provider My Digital Shield recently launched an assurance program to cover its small business customers in the event of a breach, with a major mobility initiative likely the next to roll out.


Andrew Bagrin, My Digital Shield’s founder and CEO

My Digital Shield, a Wilmington DE-based security-as-a-service provider, launched its small business-focused cloud service two years ago, seeing a market for providing enterprise-grade security priced right for the space. Two funding rounds later, the company is seeing good growth, and has been extending its offerings. They recently added an assurance program to provide protection in case of a breach. They also indicated that more initiatives are on the way.

“Our core market is 25 employees and down,” said Andrew Bagrin, My Digital Shield’s founder and CEO. “Every year we continue to grow at a good clip. The product has also evolved quite a bit.”

Bagrin, whose pedigree includes Fortinet and Check Point, said that the company needs to tailor both its approach and its message for the small business space.

“We are doing things differently,” he said. “We are all security and network architects, and are used to doing security in a much different way. We looked at the small business space and saw the others serving the market were flawed in design and architecture. We continually listen to the market and what their needs are, so we can better position and sell our services.”

A key element of that is My Digital Shield’s virtualization of the customer’s complete perimeter with OmniShield to provide protection for all the customer’s sites.

“We have virtualized the box with OmniShield,” Bagrin said. “That’s a new concept. It is your perimeter for unified threat management [UTM]. You will always be protected by that same perimeter. It removes geography restrictions.”

Bagrin indicated that communicating their message to the small business market can be a challenge.

“Being able to get our message out properly can be difficult because it can be difficult to explain what we do,” he said. “That’s why we say ‘we use OmniShield’ as opposed to ‘we are a UTM that’s cloud based,’ and have to explain the full benefit of that.”

That’s only one of the challenges in the small business security space, Bagrin indicated.

“Everyone is so busy in security, and there’s so much money. There’s great temptation to move up into the enterprise. No one wants to fight for a $100 a month subscription. They want to close a deal where they can get a million dollar check. It’s certainly easier to build a business if you do sell to the enterprise, and make a million dollars on a sale. Closing 10,000 deals at $100 a month doesn’t have the same impact.”

From less than 10 partners at launch, when they also sold through their website (at a higher price than through partners) My Digital Shield, now has around 800 partners today, and they are the company’s sole route to market.

They also have a strong Canadian presence. The company’s original offices and funding were Canadian and their development offices are in Vancouver.

“We probably do 75 per cent of our business in the U.S., and 25 per cent in Canada,” Bagrin said.

My Digital Shield’s most recent enhancement was an assurance program in case of a breach, which they rolled out on July 1.

“We worked with Assurant for a long time to develop a cyberbreach assurance program, which is now baked into the product,” Bagrin said. “It provides up to $50,000 in coverage for all commercial V-Shield subscriptions, in the event of a breach.”

While the 2016 study by the Ponemon Group, which focuses on breaches, calculated the average cost of a breach at $4 million dollars, Bagrin pointed out that’s an enterprise metric with no relevance to the small business market.

“In the SMB, the average cost of a breach is $38,000,” he said.

Bagrin said that the Assurant announcement has been the company’s big one so far this year, but others are on the way.

“Mobile support is coming, making sure that all mobile devices are connected behind OmniShield,” he said.