In the lead up to National Cyber Week, we are working with Austcyber Canberra Cyber Security Innovation Node and UNSW Canberra on Launch in featuring some of Canberra’s leading cyber companies.

We spoke to Matthew Wilson, CEO of Penten. Learn about what they do, what they are proud of and why Canberra is the best place to do business.

Tell us about your company, when and why was it founded?

Penten is a cyber technology company based in Canberra, Australia. The business started in 2014 and has since grown rapidly to over 90 staff.
We create innovative, purpose-built cyber technology for defence and government users and export our solutions globally.

We aim to design and create hardware and software to solve problems that have not been tackled before, in the world.

What products and services do you provide?

We focus on providing secure mobility products and services to enable and modernise the work environment for those in high security. These products are: the AltoCrypt Phone, a secure mobile device; the AltoCrypt Stik, a portable easy to use secure mobility device and the AltoCrypt pBox, a portable noise suppression case.

Our applied artificial intelligence products create realistic cyber deceptions to trap and track cyber adversaries. These products are: TrapDocs, which creates fake documents to trap intruders and TrapAir, which uses realistic, active hotspots to mimic your network.

These solutions help to provide our customers competitive advantage in the age of cyber warfare.

Tell us about the skillset and dynamic of the team?

Our team has grown rapidly in the last six years and currently comprises of over 90 individuals. The skillsets of these people include software and hardware engineers, systems engineers, product developers, project managers and support team. Really to narrow it down though, all these people are innovators and creators and problem solvers.

The unique culture of Penten allows people to be their creative selves.

Tell us about the current cyber landscape in Australia?

The cyber landscape in Australia is truly world leading. There are some capabilities coming out of Australia that have not been seen elsewhere in the world. The opportunities for Australian cyber businesses are endless. The domestic market needs cyber at an increasing rate and the export opportunities are immense.

What advice do you have for startups and business around cyber security?

Australia’s cyber sector is a genuinely a friendly and helpful community. There are so many businesses willing to help, by mentoring, partnering and offering advice to start-ups. AustCyber has played an important role in supporting businesses through project funding, communication and opportunities for Australian businesses. So reach out, you will find support.

What are you most proud of so far?

The purpose of Penten is to provide security technologies to provide national advantage. After many years since Penten’s inception, we are seeing this happen now on a large scale. It’s such a proud moment to reflect with the other founders and reminisce about where we came from, what we had envisaged and then see it all happening at an exponential rate.

What quote or philosophy do you stand by?

At Penten, we have a few values which all centre around treating people like adults and family. The most important question we always come back to, and sometimes when we’re stuck on a decision is; is it the right thing to do? By asking ourselves this simple question, it has simplified many difficult problems. We want to always do what is best and the ‘right’ thing, by our staff and our customers.

Why do you think Canberra is a great place to do business?

Canberra offers many opportunities for business. Particularly for us, where our customer set is Defence and Government, Canberra’s proximity offers many opportunities to reach our client base.

There is a lot of support in Canberra. The ACT Government provides opportunities to promote and enhance Canberra businesses and the Canberra Innovation Node helps start-ups and provides an ongoing platform for communication.

It must be mentioned, the wonderful lifestyle Canberra offers. With short travel times, there is more time to do the important stuff in life.