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Wellington cyber startup wins major innovation award

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

New penetration testing business Blacklock scooped the first Reseller News Innovation Award at the awards night in Auckland on May 25, with the hard-won trophy recognising Blacklock’s efforts to improve automation and lower costs in the cyber security industry.

Reseller had revamped its awards submission criteria in 2021 and, in entering, Blacklock was required to submit a detailed, multi-page explanation of how it aims to simplify, automate and increase affordability in penetration testing.

"It was a big task, polishing our submission for the Start-up Innovation Award, but evidently worth it." Wellington-based founder Nilesh Kapoor said. "I believe penetration testing has a lot of fat that can be trimmed off it to make it lean, automated, affordable and give more incisive results. We’re grateful some of our first trial users weren’t necessarily techies and we listened closely to their needs in refining the product to let it work as automatically as possible. Hopefully our focus on providing a really effective product came through in our submission and won us the award."

The Reseller News Innovation Awards also saw awards for Partner Innovation, Tech Innovation, NZ-wide Innovation, Start-up Innovation, Personal Innovation, Vendor Innovation, Distributor Innovation and Hall of Fame presented at a packed event at Shed 10, by Britomart in Auckland, attended by a Who’s Who of Kiwi tech businesses.

Blacklock was set up in mid 2021 by Kapoor and partners who have worked at the likes of Google and Redshield. Kapoor knew the market needed testing of vulnerabilities in web-based applications to be faster and cheaper in order to keep them safe from online harm, and saw a market opportunity where Blacklock could fit in.

After it was released to customers in 2021, Blacklock won a few early adopters who helped the business test, refine and improve the product.

"We wanted every part of it to be as painless as possible, so that, for example, government departments with 10-or-more web-facing applications can easily have their vulnerabilities identified and fixed. We also wanted to capture numbers showing where we could improve efficiencies in terms of time, cost and effectiveness."

Kapoor flew from Wellington to attend the awards ceremony and video-called his daughters while receiving the award. "They were very proud of their dad - and luckily Blacklock’s award was announced first, so my girls were able to get to bed on time!"

Officially the 2021 awards, the event was postponed last year while Reseller aligned to COVID-safe conditions of entry to in-person event formats.

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