Dan Thornton: Goldphish Protects Global Businesses And Their People From Becoming Victims Of Cyber Crime

August 26, 2022

GoldPhish protects global businesses and their people from becoming victims of cyber crime by helping build lasting secure cultures with simple, fun, and effective security awareness training.

Tell us about yourself?

South African born and raised. After school I went to the UK and joined the Royal Marine Commandos as an Officer.

During my 7 years of service I deployed all over the world including multiple operational deployments leading Teams in both Iraq and Afghanistan.

I transitioned from the military into a career in corporate security risk management helping international oil and gas companies operate safely and securely in some of the most high risk locations around the world, including West Africa, North Africa, and the Middle East.

In 2017, along with another former Royal Marine, I co-founded GoldPhish, a fully remote web-based cyber security awareness company, to help protect global SMEs and their people from cyber crime through fun cyber education.

I now live in Cape St Francis, South Africa with my family balancing the daily management and growth of GoldPhish with as much surfing and braaing as possible.

If you could go back in time a year or two, what piece of advice would you give yourself?

“Build it and they will come – is bullshit”.

In the early days I neglected the sales and business development aspect of launching a startup while focussing way too much on the operational aspects of building the product and training content.

I was convinced building the perfect product was more important and a better use of my time than hustling door-to-door and selling it. Your business needs to be aggressively selling from day one.

What problem does your business solve?

95% of cyber security breaches are a result of human error, either accidental or unintentional. These breaches are costing global businesses billions of dollars each year.

By educating a workforce and making a security-first mindset part of their culture, businesses can significantly reduce their cyber risk.

What is the inspiration behind your business?

Working for large corporates I experienced some miserable examples of mandatory training. Death-by-powerpoint and mind-numbing presentations on ‘data protection’ had me almost in tears and looking for a window, but as a security professional I knew the importance of it.

So we created GoldPhish to provide IT, Training, or Security managers with all the tools they needed to make cyber security awareness training a much more fun and enjoyable experience for their employees.

We made it simple by removing all the tech talk and boring compliance language and instead created story-based bite-sized learning experiences that employees could relate to and engage with.

What is your magic sauce?

We’ve ignored the pressure to build a boring corporate product only acceptable to the executives of the Fortune 500, instead we’ve doubled down on simple and strive to deliver a fun and engaging awareness training experience for the end user on the most intuitive training solution for Managers out there. Perfectly positioned for the global SME market.

What is the plan for the next 5 years? What do you want to achieve?

Our vision is to become a key contributor in raising global awareness of the human element of cyber risk and continue to help businesses world wide build effective security cultures.

GoldPhish will continue to support and grow our strategic partners in the MSP, Training and Cyber Insurance channel markets.

Through localisation of our content, we want to move into currently untapped markets and continue to improve on the quality, effectiveness and popularity of our training content.

Our intent is to continue having as much fun as possible, while expanding our global remote working team, but staying profitable and sustainable throughout.

What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far?

As the co-founder of a bootstrapped company we couldn’t just build a team of experts and killers from day one. Without any business background, so much of what we did was self-taught, on a shoestring budget, wearing an array of fancy dress hats along the way.

While this was exhausting and a massive challenge early on, as a CEO it has given so much more confidence to be able to hire the right experts as we grow and support them properly with what they need to be successful in taking GoldPhish to the next level.

How do people get involved/buy into your vision?

We work closely with channel partners looking to solve the problem of human cyber risk for their clients. Our product helps them do that effortlessly, bringing great added value to their larger cyber offerings.

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