Many traditional companies in Saarland say "lunch is at 12 o'clock". But that doesn't mean that startups can't have a strong lunch culture, as AIS Advanced IT-Security Solutions proves. The young company from St. Ingbert appreciates the daily meeting at the tables of the coworking space "Incredible Base" in the heart of the medium-sized city.
Here they eat, drink, and chat, and are sure to discuss a pressing issue or two. For example, how to meet the high demand for penetration testing ("pentests"). This business is currently booming, so much so that it is being expanded, says CTO Oliver Schranz. "We can't keep up with the order situation!" New employees are urgently needed. Anyone familiar with penetration testing can apply now.
But finding security vulnerabilities is not the only specialty of the security experts. Last year, AIS launched Findalyze, a service that allows customers to analyze their digital attack surface and eliminate vulnerabilities.
The conclusion after nearly a year: "We are now in the scaling phase. The market is responding very well to the product. We are in the process of building a customer base," says Oliver. In the beginning, during the test phase, customers were mainly from the closer vicinity in Saarland. Now the users are spread all over Germany. Oliver is still very happy with the location: "We're in a great spot here! The close connection to CISPA, the proximity to the university and the availability of skilled workers – St. Ingbert makes perfect sense as a location for us."
The startup now has 19 employees. Just in the last seven months, the team has been strengthened by 7 new hires.
One thing that also counts here, by the way, is coffee. As one of several tenants in the coworking space, AIS uses the machine extensively and tops the list.
And then there is another list – because tally sheets are so nice – the WTF counter on the whiteboard. This is where they count which programs produce the most weird bugs.
What CISPA has produced so far is far from weird, it is quite remarkable: Oliver Schranz, a Ph.D. in computer science and information security. He earned his doctorate under the supervision of CISPA CEO Prof. Dr. Dr. h. c. Michael Backes. His decorative doctoral hat with creative allusions to his research work has been decorating the AIS office ever since.