How We Built A Venture That Tackles Data Security In Home Offices
Working from home and worried about the security of your information? Here’s how we built homebase completely remotely, a venture solution for remote workspace security.
A Safe Space For Your Work Data
Since the Covid-19 pandemic hit in 2020, working from home has become the new norm and — in many cases — is here to stay. While it has its ups and downs, remote work comes with various challenges: from distractions, a lack of a proper separate ‘work’ space, to the lack of privacy — there are plenty. Recent studies have shown that organizations worry most about the lack of physical security in a remote worker’s workspace. Other concerns include controlling risks that arise without physical security at home and protecting sensitive data, especially when accessed from an unmanaged endpoint.
It’s clear to see that these pose real reservations, also as reports show how remote work environments affect companies’ compliance risks and other security and data breaches, such as GDPR. The majority of the surveyed companies expected that remote work would increase the time to identify and contain a data breach and untimely increase its costs.
From Concern To Idea To Solution
While more of these concerns kept popping up, we at MING Labs were approached by a tech firm for a software system that should ensure that client’s data would not be abused with employees working from home. Together with a partner company specialized in software development, we took on the journey of creating this solution, being in charge of business strategy and product design. Our tech partner would then focus on the biometrical authentication part.
That was the very beginning of homebase, a dynamic authentication solution that secures employees’ remote workspaces. It’s specifically designed to close a security gap that many companies might not even be aware of, based on a concept called “continuous authentication”. In other words, homebase represents a biometric authentication SaaS solution that periodically verifies users after they log into their secured system in a remote workspace.
The Beginning Of homebase: Building A Venture Step By Step
But first, let’s have a look at the steps of the venture building process in more detail.
01 Discover and validate the pains and needs: Identify the real problem. The need to create a solution for home office data security came directly from the customers of our partner tech firm, which means that they were facing real problems every day. So we talked to each of these customers to understand their needs and to define the problem in more detail. How does their current solution fail their expectations? Why are they in need of such a software tool? What problems can it solve? And how much value will it bring to their organizations? What surprised us was that all companies addressed the need to secure information and data in their authorized system particularly after users have logged in.
It then became very clear which problems our yet-to-be-built product should solve:
How can companies implement measures that go beyond the first authentication to make sure sensitive data is not put at risk at an
employee’s laptop in a remote working environment?
Your take-home message is this: When building a venture, take enough time to properly define the problem space, as this forms the essential basis for your solution. Reach out to people to understand their problems first-hand to avoid building your product based on assumptions.
02 Build the MVP. Equipped with the software and the biometrical technology, we then quickly built up the first version: a basic feature tree for the product and backlogs for further development. Before we even finished building the product, many customers were already excited to check out the first beta version of the software. Not long after, we sold the first MVP to one of Europe’s leading BPO companies to secure the remote workspaces of their call center agents — with a huge potential to roll out homebase solutions to their customer service centers around the globe.
Our experience shows that it’s worth building quick and easy first versions of your product so you can present them to customers for further feedback and iterate based on their comments. That way, you can improve features much faster that really matter to the users and remove any unnecessary attributes.
03 Find product-market fit and prepare to scale. We then dove deeper into the market and identified the recent tech development for remote workspace security. Having collected frequent requests from our customers, we re-shaped our product vision with a roadmap to grow and develop. This vision includes providing prime Work-From-Home security solutions to large enterprises and SMEs and securing various workspaces from unauthorized access while designing human-centered features that protect users and gain their trust.
Challenges & Outlook
While we’ve helped many entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs build over 20 startups and more than 25 corporate ventures to date, this was the first one we built purely remote. With members from tech, software and design teams spread across Europe and China and never having met in person, we still managed to build homebase from scratch. This made us save office space and travel costs, helping us go green on the go, and focus all our efforts on the most important features. Looking ahead, our growth vision paves the way for homebase’s upcoming milestones. To properly scale in the DACH region, we aim to secure seed funding to build up a professional team with in-house developers. And with remote workspaces forming an important part of the future of work, ensuring their security will most likely turn from a nice-to-have into a necessity.
MING Labs is a leading digital business builder located in Berlin, Munich, New York City, Shanghai, Suzhou, and Singapore. We guide clients in designing their businesses for the future, ensuring they are leaders in the field of innovation.
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