Vancouver probably isn’t the first place people think of when the topic of computer security is mentioned, but that’s exactly what downtown firm Wurldtech does as it works with some of the biggest companies in the world. The company, founded in 2006, sprang out of a project the founders undertook for the United States Department of Defense to determine just how vulnerable American nuclear infrastructure was to cyber-attack. Their findings indicated there was a market demand for a company that could address industrial security issues.
“We all live in enterprise space. Infrastructure can make more money by connecting their closed systems to the net, but of course costs are lowballed which leads to vulnerabilities. We decided to come up with algorithms that generate exploits, so that we can see quantifiably what works and what doesn’t,” Wurldtech President and CEO R. Tyler Williams said. From there, the company has gone on to partner with Bell Canada to provide cybersecurity for the 2010 Olympics, and works with the leading names in the oil and gas and energy industries, amongst other infrastructure-heavy clients.
Williams refers to his small staff as some of the best security experts in the world, and noted the toughest part of running Wurldtech is finding people with the right set of skills and drive the job demands.
“We’ve got 15 to 20 of the world’s best hackers here. Our guys have a different take on life than the average Vancouverite, in that they actually enjoy spending 24 hours in front of a computer figuring out a security problem,” Williams said.
The company is “a bunch of white-hat hackers in corporate garb,” he added, and said people who work for Wurldtech have no set hours, and instead simply have a set of deliverables they have to reach within a weekly period.
Williams said going through the venture capital process is tough but serves as a vital way to improve your business plan. VCs have no qualms about shooting holes into a plan they may or may not invest in, and he said listening to their criticism made him hone his plan to the point where it was able to gain funding. He added the company has no plans to go public.
“Companies go public for two reasons, to raise money or so the management can exit. We don’t want to exit and we’d rather see our employees buy their first house. Nobody is here to flip the company,” he said.