Voyager eyes IT security for rapid growth
High-profile Auckland businessman Seeby Woodhouse, hopes his internet business Voyager Internet will be able to help small businesses shore up their defences against ransomware and hackers.
He said he would certainly look at the job of being the country’s first chief technology officer - if he was ever shoulder-tapped for the role - whose creation has been proposed by Labour and backed by a tech-sector elite, including Xero founder Rod Drury.
Woodhouse personally pocketed nearly $20 million from the sale of internet provider Orcon in 2007, and his career was matched by a reputation as a socialite.
We are looking at developing our own security products.
Woodhouse got back into the internet business in 2010 with Voyager and said it had grown its revenues by more than 50 per cent, to above $30 million over the past year.
It earns much of its income providing broadband to about 20,000 consumers and businesses, web-hosting to about 25,000 businesses, voice services to business and wholesale customers, and domain name services to many more.
Ransomware attacks had tripled in recent months and were likely to keep on increasing, he said.
‘‘We are looking at developing our own security products. Because we have offices in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch we could do ‘physical’ services where we have a medium-level security expert who can go through, check companies’ procedures and wi-fi set-ups or configure their phone system – just helping customers do the basics.
‘‘Where most small and medium-sized businesses are at the moment is everything has been set up quite ‘ad hoc’. They haven’t even checked staff that have left haven’t still got access to the company’s Dropbox account.’’
Woodhouse said a CTO for New Zealand would make sense given technological progress.
Seeby Woodhouse (left) and Josh Yates run Voyager Internet.