Describe the company – the elevator pitch …
Serity is an online audit application designed for compliance managers, Data Protection Officers and business owners to assess and quantify their data protection and cyber compliance according to legislative requirements, recognised industry standards, and industry best practice.
How are you different?
We have made complex legal requirements accessible and understandable to micro businesses and SMEs through the Serity audit language and process. We have made knowing your compliance status a simple, affordable process.
Why will you do well?
We give our customers a tangible report that they can use to demonstrate the status of their compliance. The different versions of this report can be used to present to boards, during complex contract negotiations or to plan the compliance remediation programme. Using Serity keeps the recurring cost of having to ‘prove’ compliance down – instead of hiring in a consultant every year to produce yet another report, you merely renew your subscription with Serity at a fraction of the cost and update sections that have experienced change in the last year.
We listen to our customers and have created an application to soothe their compliance woes. We are passionate about compliance and making achieving compliance maturity easier for micro businesses and SMEs.
Where are you based?
Ireland, as Serity, and South Africa, as POPIApp.
When was the company launched?
Serity was launched in 2019 as an offshoot of our consulting company (ProPrivacy) which has been around since 2017. Our South African distributor signed up with us last year, 2019.
What have been your biggest wins to date?
A distribution deal with South Africa where Serity has become POPIApp to cover the Protection of Personal Information Act there. This is the start of international growth as we are in discussions with a Kenyan distributor, too.
Who are you trying to attract to your product?
Compliance ‘owners’ who are looking to benchmark their status and mature their compliance programme – either the owner of a smaller business, compliance officers or data protection officers. We’d also like consultants to use Serity as a benchmarking and audit tool for their clients.
What tips would you give to others looking to build their business?
The Local Enterprise Office supports have been incredible for us. Join local business support groups and get networking. We’re part of a couple of support groups online and Network Ireland (Cork). Talk, talk, talk at your networking events and groups. The more you explain what you’re doing to others, the more it makes sense to you. And – stick to your plan!
Tell us about your team?
It’s me, Philipa, here in Ireland. I have a comp sci degree where I majored in psychology and robotics/AI Programming. I then went on to do a law degree specialising in electronic and intellectual property law as well as constitutional rights litigation. My business partner, Cole, is based in South Africa. He has a background in botany and computer science. He is responsible for the development of the audit framework application while I do the audit material as well as business development.
What are your plans for the future?
Besides expanding into Africa, we will be translating the GDPR and cyber audits into different European languages and we may consider the US market for the growing data protection and privacy-related market there. The application is subject-agnostic in reality so we can expand into other areas such as health & safety audits or responsible AI development audits. We have the capacity to white-label the application and we do an enterprise edition so really, the sky is the limit.
What are your favourite tech gadgets?
Currently, the robotic vacuum. Have no idea what we did without it! And anything that plays a podcast on the go.
What tech gadgets do you wish you could use to help you?
An accurate speech to text machine. Please and thank you. I’ve obliterated the letters on my keyboard typing out audit questions and answers for the last year or so.
Anything else you’d like to add/we should have asked?
Yes – why does data protection, privacy and cyber compliance matter? Ultimately, data compliance might be what saves your business from shutting down. We are in a global good vs evil fight and each of us is responsible for what we contribute to that fight. Take a ransomware attack for example – you pay the ransom and fund further crime (which is an offence in itself) as well as perpetuating the issue.
If you have achieved maturity in your data protection, privacy and cyber compliance, you likely wouldn’t be in the position where you’d feel the need to pay the ransom. You’d be in a defensible state and prepared for the event. Furthermore, you’d be inspiring confidence in your own people, employees and customers and bolstering your reputation.
The GDPR Principles and What They Mean For Your Businesshttps://t.co/69XBIskMkX
— Serity – Online #GDPR Self-Assessment (@SerityIO) January 28, 2020
How do people get in touch with you?
We’re active on our social media accounts @SerityIO on Twitter and @JustCallMePips if you’re looking for me (Philipa). I’m on LinkedIn (Philipa Jane Farley) or you can email me on firstname.lastname@example.org.
TW: This is a #GDPR post! I'm sure by now most of you have some clue as to the fact that you're supposed to document your processing activities and identify the legal basis under which you process. Pretty much all of us will process under a legal obligation. But which exactly? pic.twitter.com/cped8xbGFT
— Philipa Jane Farley (@JustCallMePips) January 21, 2020
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