10 years of Aristi by its founder, Harj Singh
The word Aristi has three meanings. It means ‘security’ in Sanskrit, one of the oldest of all attested human languages. It means ‘excellence’ in Greek. It is the name of a village in the idyllic, calm and relaxing Epirus region of Greece.
These three things embody the Aristi brand – the first word for security, providing you with security excellence and instilling a sense of calm by demystifying what is often a complex and confusing subject matter.
I managed a team of cyber security consultants for a large technology company that had acquired the consultancy business I worked for. Over time, I became frustrated with the lack of speed in responding to the ever-changing needs of our clients.
Be that change internal or external, there was a lot of bureaucracy and red tape surrounding our ability to help them effectively. The company also lacked a sense of purpose – my team provided unbiased cyber security consultancy but when senior management realised the trust we had developed with our clients they wanted my team to recommend our own technology products.
I believed customers deserved flexibility and independence in their service and wanted to provide them with a different experience.
This gave me the idea for Aristi – a company that has a real sense of purpose and believed in the work it achieves.
10 years on
Looking back, if there was one thing I wish I’d known before setting up Aristi, it’s the time and dedication it would take to create a successful business.
Running your own business comes with a sacrifice of personal time. When you work in a large organisation, from the end of the working day, your time is often your own. It’s difficult to draw this line when running your own business. You always have to be switched on and that work and personal life balance is difficult to achieve and needs firm discipline.
Large businesses also have teams of experts around you handling sales, marketing, supplier relationships, finance etc. In a small business, you must wear these hats yourself.
I would do it all again though as its extremely rewarding when you get it right.
We’ve spent the last 10 years building a brand. This was one of the main challenges for us. As a small business, you have to do more to prove who you are and your credibility.
To do this, we’ve focused on hard work and dedication to deliver on all the promises we have made and ensured that we haven’t promised anything we cannot deliver. We have built a business with both personality and culture through embedding core values into everything we do.
We now want to build on this – to create a platform that successfully enables us to ensure every one of our client businesses is empowered to achieve their vision, profitably.
The market has opened up in the last 10 years, organisations now understand that you can get a higher quality service and more flexibility from a smaller company – this is something we want to continue to prove and develop.
Technology is infiltrating almost every aspect of our lives. It moves so quickly, it’s difficult to predict what’s going to happen next.
The jobs we take for granted today might not exist in five years’ time but we are many years away from robots taking over our jobs!
As businesses strive to create competitive advantages, the use of information and technology to create efficiencies and improve service delivery will increase. We are already seeing a huge shift to cloud and managed services.
However, many businesses leaders think that by moving all their data to the cloud solves all of their problems. Cloud providers like Microsoft and Amazon operate a shared responsibility model – they are responsible for physical security and elements of network and host security, but the customer is responsible for the rest. In other words, if you have poor data management processes when that data is on your premises, moving it to the cloud just shifts the risk to another location. It’s still your risk.
Cyber security will become more relevant to businesses and this challenge cannot be solved by technology alone. It’s no surprise that most data breaches are due to people making mistakes. Businesses will need to develop cyber strategies that align to their corporate strategies enabling the balance between ‘good enough security’ and the ability to ‘do business’.
At Aristi, our focus is on helping you to embed best practice information governance and cyber security into your company culture so that it becomes part of the DNA of your organisation, where people do the right thing by default. This isn’t just about training your team to know the risks, it’s about embedding processes into your company culture so you can measure their success.