Cybercrimes cost small and medium-sized businesses billions of dollars every year, and cybercriminals are only growing more sophisticated. Fortunately, business owners also have a defense that’s getting stronger by the day: the security experts at Huntress.
The fast-growing company employs some of the world’s top digital forensics specialists to help its customers stay ahead of evolving threats. Today, this is more essential than ever: Coming out of the pandemic, many businesses have moved to hybrid or remote work — opening them up to vulnerabilities on employees’ home networks and personal devices — and added new digital services for customers, putting more valuable data in their hands.
A ransomware or phishing attack can devastate a business of any size, compromising critical data, disrupting operations and causing financial losses. But larger enterprises have deep pockets and dedicated teams to protect themselves; Huntress offers support for the companies that have neither.
“We protect small and medium businesses that don't have the resources or access to scarce cybersecurity talent,” said Chief Product Officer Nadya Duke Boone. “With so many businesses watching their spending even more carefully these days, having a solution that's not just effective but affordable for small and medium businesses puts us in a great spot to continue accelerating our growth.”
“Having a solution that’s not just effective but affordable for small and medium businesses puts us in a great spot to continue accelerating our growth.”
In two years, the company has more than doubled its headcount to nearly 300 employees and grown its customer base from 25,000 organizations to 110,000. Today, it protects more than 2 million endpoints: devices like desktop computers and laptops that are typically considered the weakest links in a network's security.
Fresh off a $60 million Series C raise, Huntress is looking to further scale its team to help enhance its existing security products and provide 24/7 detection and response for an expanding network of customers and partners.
“As Huntress provides solutions for more and more small and mid-sized businesses — and as the number of endpoints we protect grows — we need to bring on more team members to continue innovating and expanding that protection while fine-tuning and optimizing current features,” said ProductOps Manager Rachael Smith.
A Boost From Channel Partners
Central to Huntress’ model are its partnerships with more than 4,000 managed service providers: the IT specialists that businesses rely on to manage and monitor their systems so they can focus on what they do best. By adding Huntress to their security stack, MSPs can offer their clients peace of mind knowing a team of experts is working in real-time to find, analyze and remediate threats, including those that sneak past security tools.
“What Huntress does for the managed services community is unmatched, and I am beyond grateful to be a part of this fantastic journey,” said Kellie Luth, a manager on the channel account management team.
Luth acts as an advocate for the customer community, listening to their needs and bringing this feedback to the team so Huntress can develop new features and functionalities and deliver comprehensive, customized security solutions.
NEW MICROSOFT 365 OFFERING
Among the company’s newest offerings is a managed detection and response solution for Microsoft 365. With 382 million users globally, the suite of cloud-based tools is among the most common targets for phishing attacks and identity compromise, but Huntress’ technology and human expertise keep cybercriminals out and businesses’ assets, inboxes and customer data protected.
Equipping Employees for Individual Growth
To make good on its mission of outsmarting hackers, Huntress prioritizes ongoing learning and skill development for every team member, no matter their role.
Smith, for one, was initially hired as a support professional in the company’s ThreatOps department but saw an open position in product and engineering and wanted to make the leap. While the job description aligned with her skillset, there was one preferred skill she did not yet have: the ability to program in Python.
Huntress provides all employees access to the online learning marketplace Udemy, so Smith signed up for a course before interviewing for the position.
“I poured myself into the course, and by the time I started the new job, I had been able to learn the programming language at a high enough level to become PCEP — a certified entry-level Python programmer from the official Python Institute,” she said. “The value of Udemy has been tremendous for me.”
Through Huntress’ unlimited personal development resources, she’s also taken courses on organization, document management and confidence to help develop her skills as a manager, which she said has been invaluable as her team and responsibilities have expanded.
Growth isn’t just a matter of adding to headcount — systems and processes have to evolve and structures have to be in place to ensure teams stay on track.
Currently, Huntress is focused on filling out the leadership bench for its product management and engineering teams. “We grew the teams quickly last year and now are circling back to make sure they have the right level of management support,” said Boone. “We’re also hiring engineers to round out and complement our current teams and skill sets.”
During this period of rapid expansion, there are particular qualities she looks for in new hires: “When you're growing a company quickly, I've learned you often need to hire not for the current role, but someone who is ready for — or close to ready for — the next role,” she explained. “Need a director? How quickly will that role need to be a VP? Need a manager? Hire someone who is fast approaching the director level. At all levels, you need people who are comfortable both wearing multiple hats and then putting some of those hats away when the company grows and people specialize more.”
“When you’re growing a company quickly, you need people who are comfortable both wearing multiple hats and then putting some of those hats away when the company grows and people specialize more.”
Luth’s trajectory at Huntress is evidence of this strategy: Within 10 months, she was promoted from senior partner success manager to her current role, where she and another manager oversee 13 direct reports, most of whom have been hired within the past year.
“I am beyond grateful for the opportunity that Huntress has provided me in my career growth,” she said. “This promotion has allowed me to gain new perspectives, become a strong leader to my direct reports, and continue the growth path for my career plan.”
A United Front Against Threats
Coordinated attacks demand a coordinated response, which is why Huntress keeps communication flowing throughout the organization. Sharing knowledge is essential for the company to stay agile and keep one step ahead of hackers as they innovate and commercialize their operations.
“We work with low walls between disciplines,” said Boone. “We believe good ideas are everywhere and the best products come from teams who work together to deeply understand our customers, experiment, build, validate and run our products.”
So although the company looks for exceptional individuals to add to its team, it also prioritizes collaboration skills and the ability to coach and help develop more junior employees.
“The engineering team’s mentoring program allows our developers to share their strengths with one another,” said Smith. “It’s a really great way for our team to intercommunicate valuable knowledge and expertise.”
Huntress recognizes that the only way to fight back against cybercriminals and continuously outpace threats is to tear down silos. Small and medium-sized businesses may not have the individual heft of larger corporations, but together, they comprise 99 percent of the economy, and there’s strength in the collective.
As Boone said, “It's been great to be on a team that is playing to win and genuinely playing as a team to protect the businesses that need it most.”