In the hush-hush world of data and system security, being a best-kept secret can help ethical hackers working to halt the destruction of bad actors. However, a low profile may also hinder a cybersecurity firm trying to build its client base, as Firestorm Cyber’s Ehsan Choudhury learned when he launched his business in 2018.

Firestorm Cyber is a managed security services provider (MSSP) that provides outsourced monitoring and management of security devices and systems. After 30 years in technology – 16 of those in cybersecurity – Choudhury opened it as the first, and only, cybersecurity company in the Athens area with certified hackers and hacking forensics investigators.

Firestorm Cyber launched with an experienced management team, great expectations, two clients and two staff – including Choudhury – and then hit a wall.

So, he did some research, found the Athens office of the University of Georgia Small Business Development Center, and contacted consultant David Stob.

“David shared a wealth of knowledge,” Choudhury said. “He helped us a good bit with providing information like intelligence from a marketing list and best practices in social media that initially got us off the ground. We built up from there.”

Ehsan Choudhury, the owner of Firestorm Cyber, worked with the UGA SBDC to increase his presence on LinkedIn and grow his business.

“We analyzed Ehsan’s website, and he made some improvements,” said Stob. “We improved his LinkedIn profile, showed him how to sign up for peer groups and trade associations and how to beef up his bio.”

Choudhury began re-tweeting news articles on security breaches at several airlines while messaging, “I have the solution. I can make sure this never happens to you.” Executives from a major global airline took note and contacted him shortly after seeing the post. Since then, Firestorm Cyber continues to use social media to enhance business growth.

“Being on social media, using those tools, building and managing a good website and landing page, telling your story, networking – these are all good B-to-B exercises to gain momentum and traction in building your customer base,” Stob said.

Firestorm Cyber now has clients on every continent. It employs 14 full-time staff, 2 part-time staff and two remote ethical hackers. Sales grew 200 percent in 2020, 200 percent in 2021 and 300 percent in 2022. That growth is expected to continue in the coming year.

“The SBDC gives you the guidance and education you need to get your business up and running, and it’s all free. Why wouldn’t you take advantage of it?”

Ehsan Choudhury, Firestorm Cyber

For More Information: University of Georgia SBDC | (706) 542-2762