IO Accelerator Stories: CybernetIQ

Dec 14, 2018

Author: Joe Cummins, CEO, CybernetIQ

CybernetIQ is a software development company focused on building the next generation of cyber defense products.  Their flagship product, the Control Layer Assessment Works (CLAW) platform changes the way cyber security analysts detect and defend against threats, by creating a “Google Maps”-like interface to visualize network vulnerabilities. The platform is the brainchild of CEO Joe Cummins, a cyber security subject matter expert and a skilled ethical hacker for Control Systems Networks.

Development of CLAW began when Joe received a grant from Defence Research and Development Canada (DRDC)  to develop a method for conducting risk assessments of Canada’s cyber security posture on a national scale. Later, Joe was made Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Carleton University, where has was given access to a team of students to help build early versions of the product.  “We were lucky, these students were gifted coders with good gaming experience. Our technology is the gamification of cyber security, so product development was a natural evolution of their skills. Some are still with me today.”

CybernetIQ has been operating in stealth mode for the past 4 years, with the objective of building revenue from a local client base to facilitate the ongoing development of the product and the scaling of the company. “CybernetIQ built and sold two other products to help fund the development of CLAW and we take full advantage of the Government programs like IRAP, but that isn’t enough to compete on the world stage” said Cummins.

“The experience (of being in the IO Accelerator program) is amazing. It’s a vibrant community and the people who actively participate in it, benefit from it… I am learning what it takes to build a company from people who have been there, done that.” – Joe Cummins, CEO, CybernetIQ

As many founders can attest, the journey to launch is rarely linear. The summer of 2018 brought with it a period of major transition for CybernetIQ as it became clear the bootstrap sales cycle with the federal government as an anchor client, would not support the planned growth for the company. Joe was faced with a difficult decision but a fabulous opportunity – abandon the plan or take advantage of some of the fantastic local resources available to take the company to a whole new level.

It didn’t take long for CybernetIQ to find a new path forward. Being accepted in the IO Accelerator program was a key milestone giving CybernetIQ a home and a structured approach to scaling the company. “The experience is amazing. It’s a vibrant community and the people who actively participate in it, benefit from it. We all understand what one another is trying to achieve. There’s a kinship there. These are people who have faced the same challenges and can learn from each other. I am learning what it takes to build a company from people who have been there, done that.”

CybernetIQ is actively raising a seed round of financing to scale the team and bring the product to a wider North American market. With several paid trials underway and candidates for executive positions being considered, CybernetIQ is well positioned for its planned success, while they focus on helping customers solve their cybersecurity challenges.

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