Voy­ager eyes IT se­cu­rity for rapid growth

Sunday Star-Times - - BUSINESS - TOM PULLAR-STRECKER

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.

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