How Keyfactor found its niche in keys and certificates that give organizations peace of mind
Across the world, companies are more complex, faster-paced and connected than ever before. But as cloud technology and other advancements spread across industries, corporations and small businesses alike have more security threats to worry about than they ever have. To keep those companies safe, Cleveland’s Keyfactor has become a trusted source for organizations that need peace of mind.
“We provide cybersecurity software and critical infrastructure for businesses, whether it’s an enterprise securing their network or those who design and manufacture devices,” said CEO Jordan Rackie. “We create and manage unique identification credentials for non-humans. Everything is connected today, and it’s not just humans who are sharing and accessing information; it’s connected across devices, machines and workloads. Just as a human has a way to identify themselves with a username or biometrics, devices have to identify themselves so they know what they can and cannot share.”
Those identifications, called keys or certificates, are crucial to infrastructure in a variety of fields and applications. Keyfactor’s software creates and manages those keys and certificates, a necessary step for things that fly, drive or operate on an important network. With Keyfactor on their side, companies need to worry less about people accessing those networks, outages or other security breaches. And with such a critical focus, the company’s work makes them invaluable to their clients.
“In just the three years I’ve been here, I’ve experienced so many examples of our customers being so thrilled with the results they’re getting,” Rackie said. “I’ve seen multiple times when prospective customers have come to us and shared the challenges they’re facing in their businesses, from outages to breaches, and they don’t want to have that happen again and lose sleep over vulnerabilities in their network.”
Keyfactor was founded way back in 2001 as Certified Security Solutions. The company started as a consulting firm, and found that existing software wasn’t available to manage companies’ needs. They began offering private cloud infrastructure service and management and have grown into a “globally prepared enterprise,” with more than 400 employees and offices in Ohio, Georgia, California, Sweden, Spain, Germany, France and Australia. Even the COVID-19 pandemic helped boost the company’s growth, as work-from-home concerns gave companies even more security to think about.
“When the pandemic hit, we didn’t know what to think at first,” Rackie said. “But we quickly realized that the demand for what we provide and the need to secure devices was only growing. Our responsibility to our customers only accelerated because one of the many use cases is protecting remote workers. You have all these devices that once sat behind a VPN or firewall that are now sitting in someone’s house and you have to secure those devices so that a bad actor can’t get in. That use case has given us a growing demand in that market.”
Now, as they continue to eye further international expansion and even greater clients, the company continues to believe in their Cleveland home. And although Rackie was unfamiliar with Ohio’s startup environment before joining the team, he’s now become a champion of the state’s resources, mindset and people.
“It’s a unique place to have a great, growing cybersecurity business, and I think there are a lot of advantages that come with being here,” he said. “There’s a unique cultural aspect in Ohio, and the way we’ve come together as a team and our commitment to the business and our customers really comes through. You have the DNA of Cleveland all across our global business, and I think that’s very unique. Our customers feel the genuine desire of our team to make them successful, and I haven’t seen that authenticity elsewhere. And there are also competitive advantages to the cost of living and other attributes, which makes it an asset to be in Cleveland.”