For me, nothing beats the excitement of an early stage cybersecurity company with a promising product and vision. Unless we all turn into technophobes, tech is the best hope we have for keeping ourselves and our companies secure. People don't scale. We need tools to help us.
A fun way to find the freshest products anywhere in tech is Product Hunt. It's the place where the world's best products pick up the megaphone and announce themselves to a huge audience of early adopters.
Cybersecurity and privacy products launch on Product Hunt almost every week. Some launch with tons of fanfare and upvotes. Other enterprise-focused or highly technical products sometimes attract less interest, even with an incredible product. Let's face it — a cool NFT project is going to get a lot more hype these days than a product that solves an important but mundane security problem.
That's why we're here: to uncover the most interesting cybersecurity and privacy Product Hunt launches from 2021. Upvotes aside, the best way to find products is to look at them through the eyes of a practitioner and pull out the ones that look interesting.
I left out a few that I've covered before in my article about Y Combinator's Summer 2021 batch. The rest are companies that I'm covering for the first time, and hopefully more as they grow into the cybersecurity companies of the future.
Identity verification for any use case with Persona
Persona was one of the most high profile cybersecurity product launches during the year. Launched by Figma CEO Dylan Field, Persona was the #1 Product of the Week in February 2021.
Persona is an API-first identity verification platform with configurable workflows for any use case. There are many identity verification products on the market already. However, Persona has grown quickly because of its extensibility.
Modern products bend industry norms in ways that are hard to predict. That means there isn't a one best way to verify customer identities. Instead, people need building blocks that can be assembled as needed to create a process that works for them. That's exactly what Persona does, in a developer-friendly way.
The company was founded in 2018 and has already raised a Series C at a $1.5 billion valuation. With an all-star list of customers that includes the likes of Square, Postmates, AngelList, Sonder, and more, Persona is a company to watch and a good direction for your identity verification needs.
See and remove your personal data from the internet with Optery, Removaly, and Rita
Wittingly or unwittingly, most people have been spending years sharing their personal data online. We're nearing a time of reckoning. The public is more informed than ever about the potential risk and abuse of personal data collection. In lieu of constructive regulation, people need the tools to take matters into their own hands.
Three companies launched on Product Hunt in 2021 to solve this exact problem.
Optery is a Y Combinator backed startup that helps people see and remove private information held by data brokers. Optery checks over 170 services that range from legitimate to shady. Reviews were glowing.
Removaly is a similar service that's bootstrapped by two founders. The product also received over 1,000 upvotes.
Rita is a mobile app for collecting, viewing and controlling your data from other apps. Their approach is relatively similar; however, Rita's focus is on apps instead of data brokers. It's complimentary to Optery and Removaly. Their Product Hunt launch was highly successful and earned them the #1 ranking for the week of March 24, 2021.
Sadly, consumer liberty is still a nascent category within the larger cybersecurity ecosystem. It's encouraging to see multiple companies have success on Product Hunt — perhaps a sign of continued progress in the years to come.
Automate your compliance programs with Drata and Vanta
Companies have been trying to automate the drudgery of compliance for over a decade with limited success. Most compliance programs today are a combination of one-off scripts, reports, and manual processes.
Weeks of effort go into building and maintaining these programs, all for an audited report or certificate provided by an independent party. This slog has been the norm for years — until the likes of Drata, Vanta and more came along.
Although Drata and Vanta were founded in 2020 and 2017, respectively, both companies officially launched on Product Hunt in 2021. Both launches were successful, in part because the companies were able to build solid products with demonstrated results before launching.
I have been giddy about modern products for compliance automation and management for years. Products like Drata and Vanta are starting to make dreams of smooth, painless compliance into reality. This is an interesting category within the cybersecurity ecosystem that I plan to cover in much more depth soon.
Share your security program with Trustpage and SafeBase
The next logical step after automating compliance programs is sharing your results with customers and partners. Products like Trustpage and SafeBase make it easier to centralize and share details about your security program.
You can think of products like this similar to availability and uptime products like Statuspage. Companies publish their availability metrics and outage notices so customers have a reliable and presentable place to see this data.
It's the same idea for Trustpage and SafeBase. Customers can visit a single place to view information about security, privacy, and compliance — some of which is kept up to date automatically with status published in real-time.
These products aren't meant to replace a detailed security report like a SOC 2, nor are they competitors to compliance automation products like Drata and Vanta. Their goal is to centralize information and communications about security.
This level of transparency and accountability is a big step forward. Security and trust are expected from modern companies using modern products. There is a lot of trust to be gained by being forthcoming and open about both successful efforts in building security programs and areas for improvement or non-compliance.
If you're ready to take that step and lead the way for the future of trust and transparency, Trustpage and SafeBase are for you.
Keep up to date with the newest launches
If finding new products and being an early adopter is your thing, there are a few useful ways to cut straight to the cybersecurity and privacy products on Product Hunt.
First, you can follow specific topics and see a feed of all the product launches related to that topic. The most relevant Product Hunt topic for us is Privacy. This link will take you directly to the Privacy topic, sorted by date (most recent first). From there, you can follow the topic if you'd like to stay up to date.
Next, you can search for specific words within a time duration. For example, this search returns all products containing the word "security" within the past 12 months. Search has a little more noise than you'd find in a topic, but it's helpful since privacy is the only security-related topic that's formally defined.
Finally, you can follow my Product Hunt profile to see any products I upvote or hunt. I started a collection of cybersecurity and privacy products launched this year, which you can also follow as I build it in real time.