Marin County cybersecurity firm Blokworx learns to manage growth for scale
Marin County managed computer security firm Blokworx has been seen a boost in business in the past few years after high-profile cyberattacks and data breaches.
And that was made more critical in the pandemic with the rapid shift to remote work — with employees connecting to networks and home or elsewhere with unknown security settings — and continuing on with emerging hybrid in-office and off-site schedules.
“Solutions in the past one and a half years have matured to protect the end user,” said Robert Boles, founder and CEO. “Traditionally, the airport and coffee shop and hotel were high-risk areas, and that risk has become blended in with everywhere workers are these days.”
The Larkspur-based firm this month rolled out a package of extended protection and response services, called Worx XDR. The goal of these services is to allow companies to detect and fix data security problems with their data network “endpoints,” which are devices or software interfaces where employees, customers or vendors connect.
Founded in 2007, Blokworx is going through a growth spurt. It has 18 employees now and is hiring another three. Most of the workforce is distributed across the country, but the company is gearing up to go back to physical monitoring centers, like the Reno, Nevada, facility it had before the pandemic. Another center is planned in Dallas.
Blokworx returned for a second consecutive year to the Inc. 5000 national list of fast-growth companies, placing at No. 3,861 with 128% revenue growth from 2018 through 2021, the magazine’s ranking criteria. It ranked No. 3,192 last year.
But revenue growth this year is on track to be up by at least 25%, more than in any of the previous years. Sales last year were $4 million.
A key driver for the growth this year is a new approach to marketing and sales. Up to this year, Boles was the only salesperson for the business, but now the company has two, led by a marketing executive.
On top of that the company is focusing on management systems that will help the company operate consistently as it expands, the way the engineering team works methodically to protect systems and solve problems, Boles said. It has worked with a EOS Worldwide consultant on adapting that organization’s Entrepreneurial Operating System, or EOS, to how Blokworx operates.
“When a company is small and there are not a lot of people, they are in startup mode where people see something that needs to be done so they just just do it and move onto next thing,” Boles said. “That doesn’t solve problem but just the symptom. As the business matures, (the) need to solve it but also create a process so the next person coming along does not have to reinvent the wheel (is needed).”
Jeff Quackenbush covers wine, construction and real estate. Before coming to the Business Journal in 1999, he wrote for Bay City News Service in San Francisco. Reach him at email@example.com or 707-521-4256.
Corrections, Aug. 25, 2022: Blokworx is a managed security service provider, but it doesn’t make software. The new extended protection and response services produce is called Worx XDR. Sales in 2021 exceeded $4 million.