Cytidel: Security Platform to make Security Teams Better

Cytidel: Security Platform to make Security Teams Better
Photo by Jametlene Reskp / Unsplash

Since receiving its seed funding led by Elkstone and Enterprise Ireland last November, this Mayo-based start-up has embarked on an ambitious journey to expand its team and enhance its vulnerability intelligence product, specifically designed to aid overwhelmed security teams.

Matt Conlon, before becoming the founder of this innovative venture, spent nearly a decade honing his skills as a cybersecurity consultant. In this capacity, he provided crucial support to a diverse range of companies across various sectors, including policing, financial services, and Big Tech. His work primarily involved critical tasks such as threat intelligence, vulnerability management, security architecture, and incident response, all of which are fundamental to maintaining the security and integrity of these organizations.

During his tenure at Accenture, Conlon had the opportunity to meet Conor Flannery, another cybersecurity consultant who brought a unique blend of expertise in electrical and electronics engineering to the table. This meeting proved to be fortuitous, as their shared experiences and complementary skills laid the groundwork for their future collaboration.

“Throughout our careers, we have worked with the same client on numerous occasions, and spent many days in the incident response trenches, helping organizations to deal with the latest cybersecurity incident,” Conlon tells
“Having worked together for so long, in various different challenging scenarios, having Conor as my co-founder was a no-brainer.”

In 2021, leveraging their extensive experience and insights gained from years in the cybersecurity field, Conlon and Flannery launched Cytidel. This start-up focuses on providing a vulnerability intelligence platform designed to help organizations anticipate their most likely breaches and prioritize the necessary fixes to prevent them.

The inception of Cytidel was driven by the increasing threat landscape, where hacking against corporate and government entities globally has become more sophisticated and frequent. This growing menace is further exacerbated by what Conlon describes as “alert overload,” coupled with a security workforce that is “both burning out and under-resourced.”

“Cytidel continuously monitors the latest cyber risks, exploit availability, threat campaigns, zero-day vulnerabilities and trending news to predict the highest risk vulnerabilities. This intelligence is mapped against the customer environment, enabling security teams to make data-driven decisions on where to prioritize resources and improve efficiency in the risk management programme,” he explains.
“I founded Cytidel because I remember the sleepless nights dealing with security incidents. I felt like I was always on high alert due to the number of new vulnerabilities, the constant security alerts being triggered, and the fear of missing something that ultimately leads to a breach. It’s no wonder security teams are burning out.”

Conlon highlights a significant issue plaguing the cybersecurity industry: the high turnover and burnout rates among security leaders. Approximately half of these leaders are switching roles, and a quarter of them are contemplating leaving the industry entirely due to stress and burnout. This exodus is happening at a time when the demand for security resources is growing exponentially, creating a critical gap in the field.

“Cytidel was designed to help security teams that are drowning in vulnerabilities and alerts to get clarity from the cyber fog and enable them to focus on what matters most: the cyber risks being actively exploited by hackers,” he says.

Headquartered in Castlebar, Co Mayo, Cytidel is currently targeting customers in several high-stakes sectors, including financial services, aviation, and healthcare. The start-up is also a proud alumnus of NDRC, the national accelerator program managed by Dogpatch Labs. In a significant milestone, Cytidel secured €1.35 million last November in a seed funding round led by Elkstone and Enterprise Ireland, with contributions from several angel investors. This substantial investment is being utilized to expand the team and scale the product to meet the growing demands of their customers.

“We’ve built a fantastic team with an infectious passion for security, customer delivery and solving complex problems,” Conlon says.
“No matter how great the challenge, the team are always on the pulse, delivering the latest quality intelligence or new product features to our customers. We’re also actively hiring across multiple areas including software development and vulnerability intelligence.”

Earlier this year, the Cytidel team introduced Recon, a state-of-the-art vulnerability intelligence platform. Recon provides customers with the latest available vulnerability intelligence, early alerts on new vulnerabilities, and integrates this intelligence seamlessly into their daily operations. The beta version of this platform was met with overwhelming interest, quickly becoming oversubscribed and proving to be highly successful with its initial users. Cytidel is now accepting bookings for the next batch of users to join the platform and gain a competitive edge in their vulnerability management programs.

Despite their professional focus on alleviating burnout for cybersecurity teams, Conlon and Flannery are no strangers to the pressures and stresses of running a start-up themselves. The journey of entrepreneurship, particularly in the fast-paced tech industry, can be incredibly demanding.

“Start-ups are a rollercoaster, with various ups and downs throughout the journey. Like many start-up founders, a key challenge is maintaining some sort of work-life balance which is critical to ensure you continue to perform in your business,” Conlon says.
“This is something I’m still learning, and it’s easy to let all your time be consumed by the business, but taking time to recharge can make the rest of the rollercoaster that much easier.”

The story of Cytidel is a testament to the resilience and innovation required to address the evolving challenges in cybersecurity. As the company continues to grow, it remains committed to its mission of helping security teams navigate the complex landscape of cyber threats, ensuring that they can focus on the most pressing risks and safeguard their organizations effectively.