BATAVIA – High Wire Networks, a firm that enables next-generation technology for companies in 180 countries, is ramping up a Batavia-based cybersecurity arm to extend its global reach.
At home operating in the futuristic Internet of Things for corporate users, it opted for retro digs in the historic former Swedish Covenant Church a year ago at 30 N. Lincoln St.
As it launches a security operations center – or SOC – service called Overwatch Managed Security, it is taking on two more floors, transforming the building into "a really vibrant, open, collaborative work space," CEO and President Mark Porter of Geneva said.
High Wire Networks was founded in 2000 in Minnesota, and Porter said he joined the team a few months later. He purchased the company in February 2017.
He called Lincoln Atrium Business Center an incredibly unique space, from the sanctuary's 40-foot vaulted ceiling to the stained glass art.
On the heels of recently winning best in class for Most Innovative Approach to Service Delivery at the Field Service USA 2018 Conference in Palm Springs, California, Porter said they are raising the company's profile. High Wire Networks competed against Solar Turbines, a division of Caterpillar, and a Siemens health care group in the category.
"We don't service direct to consumer," Porter said. "Our customers are the largest resellers of technology in the world. They work with 100 percent of the Fortune 1000. We serve large financial institutions, global distributors, manufacturers, just about every retail brand. We are representing our customer, not our own brand. Here we are – a little company in Batavia."
The company has been working in cabling, wireless, anything technological and electrical, according to Susanna Song of North Aurora, High Wire Networks' director of communications and marketing.
"[As] part of our niche … we have field engineers located all over the world," Song said. "We've got 24/7 technical support [and] now are launching a 24/7 security center."
In the next few years, the SOC service will grow to about 50 security analysts, according to Stan Herring of Nashville, Tennessee, High Wire Networks' director of product and strategy.
With cyber criminals becoming more sophisticated, Herring said, "It's not a matter of if you're going to be breached, it's a matter of when."
He said High Wire Networks' new security operation will serve customers who are small and medium enterprises that can't afford to create their own SOC, which has a starting price tag of $1 million.
Herring said High Wire will keep the service affordable through scale, serving multiple companies through a single SOC.
"We will have trained security analysts [looking] for anomalies and things going on in a customer's network," Herring said. " … things like malware, viruses … somebody trying to break into a network. We watch for that 24/7. What [all] their devices are doing. What their employees are doing. … Using sophisticated tools, we can respond either to the company and let them go fix [it] or we can do that for them from our operations center in Batavia."
"We anticipate adding roughly 65 more jobs in the next two to three years, most of that would be local," Porter said.
As the main floor of the building is remodeled for the SOC, the layout will include a "nice-size meeting room," Porter said. "It will be our corporate training facility. In addition to our employees, we have about 300 contractors that are mainstays in our business, and 3,000 that we use as part of the gig economy."
Porter said the training program is one of the things that sets Hire Wire apart.
"Training classes provide them opportunities to improve their skill set and improve their overall earning potential with us and with other people," Porter said. "In the gig economy, they may work with other of our competitors on any given day. A rising tide lifts all ships. [It would be] raising industry standards and there's nothing wrong with that."
While High Wire Networks has employees all over the country and around the globe, Porter said it's nice to have a local home base.
"Batavia is just a great place," Porter said. "We bring a lot of visitors through. All the great things the area has to offer. [We show people around, such as] lunch in Batavia, dinner in Geneva, cocktails in St. Charles."
The staffers have a well-worn path to Dunkin' Donuts, Gammon Coach House and Water Street Studios, and play basketball at the Batavia Park District's community center, said Porter, adding, "It's great to be part of the community."
To learn more, visit highwirenetworks.com/overwatch or call 952-974-4000.