Sky News Interview with Theo Hnarakis

Sky News Interview Theo Hnarakis

This is a transcript of the Sky News interview by James Daggar-Nickson with Theo Hnarakis, Chairman of Dropsuite, discussing the growth opportunity for the company as cyber threats continue to put SMB data at risk. Theo says there isn’t a sufficient awareness amongst SMEs about the need for data security. He mentions that the Australian government recently released a paper on cyber security stating that 1 million Australians are impacted by cyber intrusions each year.

SKY NEWS – Dropsuite is a cloud-based backup system for SMBs used in over 100 countries — and is designed for the non-tech-savvy user. They are listing [on the ASX] this week. Here to talk more about it is Dropsuite’s Chairman, Theo Hnarakis, in the studio. I appreciate your time. Look, before we talk about the listing and so-forth, tell me a little about Dropsuite and what you do.

THEO – Thank you James and good afternoon. Dropsuite is a data backup and recovery company focused predominantly on small and medium-sized businesses. Any company of any size with a website needs to backup their data. What we do is we have a provisioning system and a recovery platform that allows this to be done on a seamless basis.

SKY NEWS – What are the benefits for small to medium-sized enterprises for going down this road?

THEO – Most small to medium-sized businesses don’t have an IT department. They rely on their own principles [employees] to look after everything from updating their websites to dealing with their customers. When these SMBs are focused on their day to day activities or their customers, they don’t have the same focus to look after the data they are collecting or the e-commerce activities that are occurring. And what happens is that data, over a period of time, becomes more and more critical, and becomes more and more important for the SMB. Now as this becomes more important, so does the need to protect that data from all sorts of cyber security threats.

SKY NEWS – How big of a challenge is it for someone like Dropsuite to be able to deliver that level of security?

THEO – We’re unique in that we have a world-class solution — And we’ve provisioned that solution in an automated way that SMBs do not even have to think about. They don’t have to be distracted or make a conscious decision about having to backup their data [website database or emails]. This happens on an automatic basis.

We have provisioned the solution with some of the biggest web solutions companies in the world — companies like GoDaddy, the #1 web services company for SMB websites in North America, a company called Crazy Domains, the largest [SMB] website provider in Australia, we have GMO, the largest [SMB] website provider in Japan, Ingram Micro, a large global player — and many, many more. All of these companies are provisioned this service on an automated platform so what happens is that any of their customers who has their domain name, their website, their emails, or anything provisioned — if they elect to subscribe to our backup service — that’s being provisioned on an automated basis too. It’s a set and forget solution.

SKY NEWS – How important is efficiency and peace of mind? Is that why you mentioned that the less tech savvy trend to be the ideal clients for you?

THEO – There are various levels of tech understanding. Let me give you some statistics. 30,000 websites globally are hacked every day. 62% of SMBs do not regularly backup their website data, or even their emails. Dropsuite has grown from 200 customers to over 125,000 customers — and we are growing at an exponential rate. The reason is because more and more of these SMBs are beginning to realize that they need security over their data.

There are two types of companies that exist: Companies that have been hacked and companies that are about to be hacked. What is certain, James, is that cyber security threats are omnipresent. So an SMB needs to have that piece of mind that if they are hacked or when they are hacked that they can recover their data on an automated basis. That’s the secret sauce of our company. In just one click SMBs can recover the data right up to the point of failure.

It might have been a cyber security threat, or some type of software update [gone wrong] or a staff error — maybe somebody made a misjudgement and corrupted the data for whatever reason. I can give you a statistic [gleaned] through some of the companies providing our solution — 40% of their customers ask, on an annual basis, for their data to be recovered. So this is something that is happening all the time. It’s not that larger companies or business can’t get their data a recovered if they are getting it provided through somebody that doesn’t have our solution today, but the difference is it’s costly, it’s time-consuming and it’s not accurate.

The difference with ours [solution] is that through one automated click you get your data recovered because we’re storing all this data in the cloud and it’s secure. It’s encrypted and military grade so basically, any one of our customers can sleep at night knowing that we can’t be hacked.

SKY NEWS – Do you think there is sufficient awareness amongst SMBs in Australia of the need for this level of security around data and backup?

THEO – No I don’t think so. SMBs and Australians in general still don’t have a real appreciation of the cyber threats that are occurring. The federal government just released a paper on cyber security. One of the statistics, interestingly, was that a million Australians a year are impacted by cyber threats. That’s a phenomenal statistic. I think we are complacent about the way we look after our data, the way we archive and store our emails, and it’s only when a hack occurs and this data is lost that the real cold sweat and panic begins.

SKY NEWS – Theo Hnarakis, we really appreciate you joining us. Thank you.

THEO – Thank you, James. And have a good New Year.

SKY NEWS – You too.

Source: Sky News, December 28, 2016 –


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