Nicolas Germiquet, the Initiative Manager at Cybero, shared with us the platform's story and how the team started to build a security ecosystem in Switzerland for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). Cybero is providing SMEs with easy-to-understand analysis tools, that make companies aware of where they stand in the cybersecurity spectrum. Later on, they will take the necessary measurements for improvement.
In this way, Cybero contributes to preventing cybercrime and actively helps to protect Swiss businesses from decreasing cyber risks. Cybero is an initiative of the Swiss Mobiliar Services AG.
Nicolas also shared some of the challenges they faced and how working with HuggyStudio and using no-code tools accelerated the platform's ongoing development.
It all started when Nicolas came back from Silicon Valley, Unites States, after a field trip about Data Economics. The team started to analyse a new methodic system and began to interview Swiss Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).
Over the weeks the idea became more concrete and polished, and Cybero was the main conversation and bet on the table. “At the beginning, I remember saying ‘oh no’, because I knew that the topic of cybersecurity and SMEs were complicated, as everyone knows about security topics, but no one has the money nor time for this”, says Nicolas.
After that, Nicolas and the team joined the Kickstart Intrapreneurship Program —an initiative from the Impact Hub in Switzerland— which is designed for corporate teams to ideate, validate, test, and scale their products or services. The Cybero team received coaching and support to reach their milestones faster.
It was during that program, that Nicolas met Daniel Abebe, the co-founder of HuggyStudio, the agency that would start collaborating with the team to build the first Minimum Viable Product (MVP). There was not much capital or human resources available but they had to build a product in less than 10 weeks.
”The idea to join the Kickstart Program was to iterate quickly and further develop the project. We spent much time thinking about what we wanted to do and how. But in 6 weeks we had the first MVP built”.
Some features that Cybero could build during the Kickstart Program program with the support of HuggyStudio were:
“I was impressed to see how SMEs came back to the platform themselves to do our Cybero Check and get a dedicated risky profile with the appropriate measurements. It works very well with that! We believe the platform got some maturity and it can pretty much change how people understand the topic and take action on it”, reflects Nicolas.
For Nicolas, the main motivation and drive to continue leading Cybero are to bring awareness about the cybersecurity topic and increase resilience inside organizations.
“The idea is to set the foundation on awareness. Currently, that is missing, and that means people are not ready to increase their cybersecurity. For some companies, it could be costly to take small steps on cyber risk issues. However, we want to help them with knowledge and tools, so that they can make better-informed decisions on the subject" highlights Nicolas.
“Taking conscious decisions”. For Cybero, the matter of cybersecurity is not “if something will happen” to a company, the question is “when it would happen”. That's where Cybero takes the lead on preparing SMEs so that if cyber attacks happen, they are well-positioned to protect their company and bounce back as soon as possible.
“With Cybero, we want to support and consult people, and offer them different tools and products. We want to build a community of SMEs and IT providers, and have one place where people can find everything on the cybersecurity topic. The goal is to reach SMEs, which is where we see a great need for this structure. Companies don’t have time or money, nor the awareness to take on the topic for their businesses”
Cybero also offers cybersecurity-awareness training for employees inside Swiss Small and Medium Enterprises with the program Cybero Learn. With Cybero Learn, employees will receive regular video modules in their mail inboxes, to learn more about the topic and be better prepared against cyber attacks.
Besides supporting SMEs and bringing them awareness about the cybersecurity topic, Cybero also offers IT service providers around Switzerland to join the platforms and benefit from it. Through Cybero’s IT Provider portal, companies can find suitable and competent IT service providers for different needs.
There are many advantages once IT service providers register on Cybero:
As Cybero is an initiative of Swiss Mobiliar Services AG, Nicolas needed to do some work to spread the message about the project to all involved stakeholders from the company. He made them notice the traction and relevance of the product and got extra months to continue growing it.
“I had to show the stakeholders that there is potential and that we have received good feedback during and after the Kickstart Intrapreneurship Program. Even though I had no resources left, I could push the idea further and I used all possible ways to comply with the topic”, remembers Nicolas.
Inside the company, the timing was perfect to continue developing Cybero. According to Nicolas, the interest was there and he could bring already some learnings. His motivation also played a key factor in the success of the project. “The topic moved me. If you go to the stakeholders and you believe in your product, people will also get enthusiastic about the idea”.
”Cybero provides knowledge, tools, and expert partners for SMEs and IT service providers to deliver the best cybersecurity for customers. All in one place. The topic of cybersecurity is complex, that's why we strive to simplify and democratize the topic so it's accessible to all”.
From the beginning of the project —October 2020— until June 2022, cybero has reached the scaling phase and these are some of the achieved milestones:
Cybero started collaborating with HuggyStudio by the end of 2020 when the project was at the initial stage. Cybero has been one of the first largest customers of HuggyStudio.
”In the first months, we were able to do many things with HuggyStudio. Within a few weeks, we were able to build the first MVP and collect early customer feedback. The experience was very good. HuggyStudio is a team that works with you, not for you. We have constantly challenging and long discussions and they are very motivated and interested in the project. They are open to giving their opinion and that’s exactly the type of people and partnership to further push Cybero”.
HuggyStudio supports Cybero in two main areas:
In the beginning, Cybero iterations took place once a month. One week was only for iterations and then two weeks to test and validate with the customer what to improve and so on. “We noticed that from the inquiries and comments from the customers, we needed speed, and you can't just do something once a month otherwise you'll lose people”, explains Nicolas.
The first six months of the project continued that way. Nicolas had meetings with the stakeholders to review the budget, and suddenly the team could change to do 2 iterations per month, and, with that, “it was a very good rhythm for a year and a half, where we did a lot of iterations and tests”.
After almost 2 years of ongoing support and collaboration, Cybero and HuggyStudio have developed a new format to work together. “Now we have a 6-week cycle. At the beginning of those weeks, we say what needs to be done and how much time we have to do it. Until now, it has been well received by us and all stakeholders involved. We can constantly deploy new features”, clarifies Nicolas.
”No-code tools were ideal to use when working on the first clickable prototype. After that, we needed to interact with real data and information, and Bubble was the best suitable platform to make it happen. We were faster and it was cost-efficient”.
Currently, there are various scenarios where Cybero can develop in the future. From creating integrated products at Mobiliar to building a new structure / schema of the platform. For Nicolas, his “personal goal and hope is to push the project and go as far as I can… and always have fun!”. In his eyes, while having fun, the team can provide a service to people, build trust, and achieve great things.
“Together we are stronger, I always say that. Cybero's motto is: alone you can’t achieve complicated things”.
Nicolas Germiquet has worked for over 10 years at Mobiliar and he continues to enjoy the flexibility provided by the company. From splitting his work days between the headquarters office and his home; to how valuable it is for him to meet with teams of innovators daily.
“Everyone works on their project, but we always meet and if you have any questions you can always go to the people to get feedback. It's a great environment to be part of! I also value the trust I am given. People have full trust in me and everyone believes in the project. I'm very independent”, says Nicolas.
You can also build your digital product with HuggyStudio! The team specializes in launching new products with no-code, at a fraction of traditional development's time and costs.