STARTUP LAUNCH: Cyber Pop-up bringing on-demand cybersecurity to businesses

Cyber Pop-up is an on-demand cybersecurity service platform powered by vetted and highly skilled freelance experts. The company was founded by Dr. Christine Izuakor, who has over a decade of experience leading various cybersecurity functions within Fortune 100 companies. Izuakor also earned a Ph.D. in security engineering from the University of Colorado, becoming the youngest and first African American woman to do so.

“We cannot solve tomorrow's cyber threats, with yesterday’s solutions. We have to start thinking very differently.”, explained the 2x Chicago Business Crain's list maker.

The startups' unique approach to cybersecurity services has already garnered a growing list of loyal customers, including a few multi-billion-dollar companies, before announcing the launch this month. Customers believe in Cyber Pop-up because of its distinct style and capability:

  • Trustworthy: Projects are delivered by hand-picked, vetted, and highly skilled experts who have experience securing top global organizations.

  • Flexible: The startups' unique “pop-up” style shop allows customers to spin up projects as soon as they need them, with some projects kicking off as soon as the same day.

  • Efficient: Customers access world-class security services on-demand without time-consuming recruiting and interviewing, cumbersome contracts, or overhead employment costs.

“This idea started brewing about seven years ago. Early in my career, I loved doing pro-bono cybersecurity projects for non-profits. I knew that they needed cybersecurity, but not all have access to affordable services, and I wanted to help. I quickly realized that small and medium-sized companies faced the same challenge, and the mass cyber talent shortage only made matters worse.”, says the first-generation Nigerian American who left a six-figure career at a Fortune 100 company in exchange for a life as a startup founder; A move that came just before the unprecedented nation-wide shutdowns began in response to COVID-19.

Growing cybersecurity breaches have led to a rapid increase in security demand that has grossly outpaced the cyber talent supply. As a result, Christine became passionate about addressing two challenges: The lack of flexible security services and the shortage of cybersecurity talent. And thus, Cyber Pop-up was born.

Today, Cyber Pop-up is closing the gap by allowing businesses to tap into high-demand experts who are often unavailable full-time, while also paving the way for the next generation of cybersecurity professionals.

Because the startup was birthed through the very spirit of giving back to the community, social impact is in the startup’s DNA. Dr. Izuakor shared, “We believe that diverse cyber challenges, require diverse solutions. Our freelancer base is comprised of 50% women with 15+ countries represented across all ethnic groups. We are very intentional about that aspect of our business and the valuable perspective it brings to our customers.”

As Cyber Pop-up dashes towards its big dream to secure the world, one pop-up project at a time, the startup continues to work with various organizations to open up access to security resources, increase diversity in the industry, and transform the way that the world views cybersecurity. “Our customers can feel good knowing that every project they request is making a difference,” Izuakor says.

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