Neill Feather is the chief innovation officer of SiteLock, a Scottsdale-based provider of website security. (Photo by Mike Mertes, AZ Big Media)
SiteLock celebrates 10 years of innovation
It’s an extraordinary feat when a company makes it to its 10-year anniversary, which is why Scottsdale-based SiteLock spent the month of May looking back and ahead in celebration after hitting the 10-year mark.
SiteLock was established in May 2008 and didn’t have an official “office” location until the company worked out of the old game room of its sister company Nextiva in 2009. A pool table served as a desk for employees as the company worked to break down barriers to cybersecurity for small businesses, says Neill Feather, president and CEO of SiteLock.
“There aren’t a lot of folks building products specifically for small and medium size businesses, and that’s where we felt like we had the opportunity, to provide a service for an under-served market,” Feather says.
Even today, there aren’t many cybersecurity companies tailoring affordable solutions to small businesses, he notes. But through the years, SiteLock has worked to protect many small business websites while educating small business owners who may not see the importance of cybersecurity for their business.
SiteLock started by offering a way for companies to find out if their website has been compromised, Feather explains. The firm’s development team expanded from there by finding ways to discover vulnerabilities that could lead to a website compromise to proactively blocking attacks and fix site weaknesses automatically.
“The one thing we’ve always wanted to do is make sure (SiteLock) is providing the service that (small businesses) require and need for security,” Feather explains.
Since SiteLock was founded, the company has expanded to over 250 employees with plans to hire another 100 employees this year, Feather says. SiteLock’s team has went from securing a handful of websites in its early days to over 12 million websites globally.
In 2017, SiteLock made it onto the Deloitte Technology Fast 500 list for the third consecutive year. The list includes 500 of the fastest growing technology, media, telecommunications, life sciences and energy tech companies in North America.
SiteLock also acquired Patchman, a Dutch web security startup, in 2017.
SiteLock was initially founded as a part of UnitedWeb, a group that owns many technology companies. This April, SiteLock was acquired by Boston-based ABRY Partners, a private equity investment firm.
In a statement released after the acquisition, Feather states that acquisition is “a testament to our culture of innovation and dedication to building a reliable platform to protect organizations across the globe.”
ABRY Partners will support SiteLock’s innovation of new products, states Brian St. Jean, partner at ABRY Partners.
Over the years, the SiteLock team learned to grow and scale a business with many mentors along the way such as Tomas Gorny, the founder and CEO of Nextiva, and Tracy Conrad, the president of Nextiva, Feather says.
One challenge SiteLock continuously worked on was staying ahead of the curve in the cybersecurity world, Feather mentions. Over the years, he and his team worked on finding the next thing customers wanted from SiteLock or what the industry demanded.
They’ve also had to work on educating small business owners who may not be tech savvy enough to understand the importance of securing their website, which was often the only forward-facing IT asset of the company.
SiteLock wishes to secure every website on the internet, Feather says, and the company means it.
“We’re at about 12 million now, and we’ve got a long way to go,” to secure the entire web, he says. So, SiteLock will continue to broaden its portfolio of services as it moves forward.
Feather says he’s excited for what lies ahead for SiteLock.
“I think there’s still so much opportunity to grow our business and help protect our customers and provide an even better quality of service and broader range of solutions,” Feather says.