This founder is on a mission to protect small businesses from cyber threats

James Risley

Cybersecurity is an issue around the world, but it often takes a local approach to protect an organization from digital threats. Toggle Industries is a Colorado Springs startup that helps local businesses stay in front of cyber threats and respond when attacked.

“A lot of the challenges that we see, especially here in the Colorado Springs market, is that a lot of the small and mid-sized businesses are not aware of the risks that are posed to them on a day-to-day basis,” said Toggle founder Joseph Cheung. “Our mission and our goal here is to try and educate our community in not only the benefit in cybersecurity, but most importantly the risks that are posed to them.”

Cheung said that one of the biggest issues his team faces is that businesses think hiring an IT pro is all they need to stay secure. Toggle works in conjunction with IT teams to secure networks, providing expertise that the standard IT professional may not have.

So far, Toggle has worked with small and mid-sized businesses, professional organizations like those for doctors and lawyers, and even some naval entities. One area the company has seen a lot of interest is protecting against ransomware.

This nasty form of cybercrime involves the hacker encrypting vital data so the owner can’t access it, and then requiring payment before providing the encryption key. Often, this happens to small businesses that aren’t well-equipped to handle these situations like corporations are.

“It is our job to not preclude the smaller businesses,” Cheung said. “Working in cybersecurity, we have a huge emphasis on asking why only the corporate elite have access to the pie-in-the-sky cybersecurity? We want to make sure that every single person has access to high-level cybersecurity. Because when something happens to those individuals, who's going to step up to them? Is it going to be GeekSquad?”

Colorado Springs is a hotspot for cybersecurity companies, with the National Cybersecurity Center based in the city, but Cheung said that no one else in town is competing directly with him. The focus on solving cybersecurity problems at a local level helps it to stand out among the crowd of companies catering to larger clients.

Toggle isn’t just serving Colorado Springs though — Cheung has contractors across the country that can jump into action to serve small businesses in need. So far, Cheung has bootstrapped the effort and plans to stay that way unless the perfect investor approaches him.

Image via Toggle

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