Jared & Ravinn
From Bunkers to Business: Launching a cyber startup
Jared is the Founder of Ravinn, a cyber resilience and security business.
Our friends at ADM Magazine featured Jared and his business for their May/June 2020 edition. Check out the full article here and the accompanying podcast below. Jared shares his experience of making the transition from a defence career to founding his own business. He also has some great insights on 'the great curveball that is 2020' and the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Going from being an infantry platoon commander to running a cybersecurity business was definitely not a straight path and not one that I would have anticipated all those years ago, but it's kind of naturally taken me to this point here."
Jared Cunningham's journey from joining the British Army at just 16 years of age to co-founding Ravinn in 2019 has provided him with a forward-focus, one that led him to the programs offered for veterans by The Prince's Trust Australia.
"I was interested in starting my own business, and in 2018 I approached The Prince's Trust about the 'Lead Your Own Business' program. It was a bit like an incubator to help people take their ideas and turn them into a real business. It gave me the tools and the confidence to know that I actually could do it."
"Being with others who are on a similar journey and sharing ideas and worries is a great place to validate ideas, understand the areas that I needed to focus on to get going and to get a foot in the door."
Ravinn is a young company and is facing the difficulties that the novel coronavirus pandemic presents to all of us. Still, Jared feels that the resilience that defence members offer is a strength.
"Most of us will have been in really tough situations before, and although this crisis looks a bit different, our resilience and capacity are still there. Undoubtedly this has affected what I had planned for my company, but it's vital to adapt, to change focus, and look at getting back on track. It's very challenging in retail and hospitality at the moment, but it's important to know that you don't have to do this on your own."
"This was a key message emphasised by The Prince's Trust team. Don't be scared to ask for help and support from others. I've often been guilty of it but call on the team and resources that surround you - family, friends, others running a business. Don't try to struggle through on your own."
With a nearly 20-year defence career behind him and having served in Afghanistan as an infantry platoon commander with the Yorkshire Regiment, the founder and CEO of Ravinn - a Brisbane-based cybersecurity company - understands well the feelings of stress and fear that can overwhelm people during challenging times.
"People are feeling a great deal of pressure at the moment, but it's essential to pause, to think, and then to move on. There are often things that are completely out of our control, so give yourself time to think about the things that ARE within your control - what you CAN do and what you CAN change."
responding to COVID-19
"Not long ago I don't think many of us would have thought we'd see the whole world shut down. This virus has taught a lot of us that you need to be prepared to change, even in good times."
Ravinn has recently been called on to help companies quickly pivot from a traditional model of working in an office space to a work-from-home environment - a scenario that can leave organisations vulnerable.
"We have several clients for which we provide 'CISO' (chief information security officer) services. We're on call when they have an IT security issue, but the current rush to work from home poses a threat. It's easy to set yourself up to work from home these days, but to do so securely is different."
"Over the last month, we've seen a massive increase in deliberate social engineering and phishing attacks. Hackers and criminals are making the most of what they see as an opportunity. They're relying on people making mistakes and clicking on links and can easily fool people into believing an email they've just received is from the CEO when in fact it's been spoofed."
Jared Cunningham began his defence career with the British Army before joining the Australian Defence Force. In 2019, Jared launched Ravinn, a cybersecurity company based in Brisbane.