Interview With Jason Dettbarn – Addigy

Aviva Zacks
Aviva Zacks Cybersecurity Expert and Writer
Aviva Zacks Aviva Zacks Cybersecurity Expert and Writer

Aviva Zacks of Safety Detectives sat down with Jason Dettbarn, Founder and CEO of Addigy. He told her about his company’s marriage between its customer success team and its engineering team and how that keeps Addigy’s retention rates high.

Safety Detectives: What motivated you to found Addigy?

Jason Dettbarn: I’m an engineer by trade with a Master of Computer Science. I moved into the IT world at a company called Computer Associates, which used big enterprise software. Then, I worked for Kaseya, which was building disruptive technologies with an easy-to-use platform, but 8 years later was still predominantly on-premise and almost solely focused on PCs. No one was focusing on Apple other than one incumbent company called Jamf, which has on-premise software as well. So, there was a real market to provide Apple capabilities in a more turnkey, robust, and secure way.

When we started Addigy in 2014, there was a moniker that Apple devices were bulletproof and didn’t get viruses. That’s changed a lot, especially this past year with some really powerful novel attacks. One of the reasons I believe Apple has been forgotten about by Black Hat Security is because there’s not as much volume out there, but there are critical attacks taking place. I always say every C-suite has Apple devices and they’re usually not managed, which is a huge security issue.

Apple is selling a tremendous number of devices and that number continues to grow at a very fast pace. However, the vendor market to provide security for organizations is not fully there. Virus software doesn’t put much emphasis on the Mac platform community.

SD: Why would someone need your product?

JD: When a user gets an Apple computer, they need to configure and set up everything themselves. This isn’t ideal from network security or compliance standpoint. When an organization leverages Addigy and a user sits down in front of their computer and opens it up for the first time, they’re able to log in with their company credentials, and everything is provisioned out-of-the-box, without anyone touching it besides Addigy. So, all the software configurations and policies, everything the user needs, and all the ongoing management of patching, security, remote management capabilities for support… Addigy provides that full suite of capabilities that IT teams have always used for PCs, but in the past hasn’t been there for Apple.

SD: What types of customers does your company service?

JD: We work with four different markets:

  1. Education and non-profits: Some of the largest churches, non-profit organizations, universities, and school districts use Addigy.
  2. IT service providers: These IT companies manage the IT needs of many different small to medium-sized businesses.
  3. Tech companies: They are predominantly Mac users, and they use Addigy to manage things like Wix.
  4. Enterprise: Every enterprise has at least 15 percent Macs in their company, and they’re not being managed. We like to help them lay that foundation so they can begin to provide employees a choice between a Mac or a PC. When this happens, we see that oftentimes employees will choose the Mac. It’s very transformative for a company.

SD: Why do your customers love your product?

JD: We have competitors, but our retention rates are the highest in the industry. We believe it’s because of the marriage between our customer success team and our engineering team. As we help our customers and learn what’s happening in the field, we feed that back into our products at such a fast pace that we can evolve the product, fix issues, and continue to innovate very quickly.

We find that other software companies just can’t act that quickly. They put out software releases every six months. Customers are given the option to upgrade. Many do, but many others do not, so the software company is forced to maintain 10 years of different versions in the field. So, while cloud is out there for everybody, it’s not used exclusively in the IT space. For us, being a true cloud company and marrying success and engineering is really the key.

SD: What do you think are the worst cyberthreats today especially in light of the pandemic?

JD: Companies are ignoring Apple devices in their organizations, and you can’t ignore their threat vector. Additionally, the on-premise world gets away with a lot. When you take that on-premise software and put it behind your firewall, you feel a little more comfortable because you have control of it. It’s the impact of security through obscurity, but companies aren’t moving fast enough to stay ahead of security. It’s a different world. On the cloud side, when you put things up publicly, when there are bug bounty programs that people can use to try and attack vectors, you’re evolving the security at a very fast pace. So, the problem, I think, is that people are not moving quickly enough to update the foundation that they know they need for their IT tools.

About the Author
Aviva Zacks
Aviva Zacks
Cybersecurity Expert and Writer

About the Author

Aviva Zacks is a content manager, writer, editor, and really good baker. When she's not working, she enjoys reading on her porch swing with a cup of decaf.

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