Meet the Luminaries: Paul McCarty from SecureStack
Paul McCarty is the CEO and Founder of SecureStack, a cybersecurity business recently named by Forbes as one of the top 20 cybersecurity startups to watch in 2021.
SecureStack is the winner of two Advance Queensland Ignite grants, and the team has recently moved into Cohort Innovation Space at Lumina. We spoke with Paul about life at Lumina, collaboration and why he chose to move his US-based brand to the Gold Coast.
What’s SecureStack all about?
We Secure Your Cloud! The SecureStack platform is an innovative way to help your IT teams work together more collaboratively. Our Software as a Service solution lets those teams embed security, standardisation and scalability directly into your environments easily, which means they can quantify and deliver secure and robust solutions that meet compliance requirements more quickly.
I understand you’re originally from the USA, what was the appeal in moving to Queensland to launch SecureStack?
It was really just the right time and the right place, plus Queensland is so small business-friendly which put us on the front foot.
How long have you lived on the Gold Coast for?
I’ve visited the Gold Coast since 2005 but made the move in January 2016. I’ve been at Cohort for a few months now and I love it.
What are some of the benefits of living and working on the Gold Coast?
The laid-back lifestyle is pretty awesome. I love being so close to the mountains and beach; it’s a pretty unique locale. I fly a lot, so it’s very handy having an extremely efficient international airport so close to where I work and live.
How have you benefitted both personally and as a business by being surrounded by like-minded entrepreneurs?
It’s great having a group of founders here on the Gold Coast that I can talk to about fundraising, customer acquisition or to bounce new ideas off. Other businesses at Cohort are so relaxed and approachable and I’ve made good friendships with the teams at Kynd, Refactor and AutoGuru.
Have you had any collaboration opportunities at Cohort?
We’ve had early talks with IntelliHQ and another startup with the goal to start collaborating. Our technology is well suited to build foundations for cloud-enabled environments, and we’ve had great success with this model in Canberra and are now wanting to do it here at home as well.
When and why did you apply for an Ignite Grant?
I received my grant in 2018. At the time I had a product and an idea of how to take it to potential channel partners but no way to fund that.
What have you put that money towards and how has it benefitted your business?
Honestly, a lot of the money went on trips to go visit potential partners to pitch the idea of SecureStack. It was a long hard grind getting to the right people but fast forward a year and because of that hard work, we have partnership deals with NTT Global, Thales, The Missing Link, and others.
We are all well aware that the online safety of children, in particular, is a big issue around the world. What are some ways you believe this can be managed and is this something SecureStack is looking at?
We are involved with a project that is funded by the Australian government which is aimed at protecting children’s data and privacy in the educational system. Companies want access to this data for any number of reasons, and many companies are happy to sell the data that they’ve collected on customers to make additional revenue streams. As a society, we must realise that the data that we have about Australians, and especially minors, is protected and has strict limits placed on its storage and use. Many businesses aren’t aware of data privacy laws and expose that data, or similarly protected data via advertising campaigns, marketing vendors, CRM tools and other ways that end up leaking that data.