FRSecure Launches Sister Startup SecurityStudio & Hires Tech Exec James Williams To Run It


Ten-year-old Twin Cities cybersecurity consulting firm FRSecure has launched a new software venture called SecurityStudio and named James Williams as the President. 

FRSecure founder and CEO Evan Francen says that the impetus for a product-based company came from all the firsthand experience in acting as a “trusted information security advisor by serving over 1,000 unique customers in a consulting capacity since 2008.”

It’s from FRSecure that SecurityStudio’s main IP derives; the FISASCORE tool is similar to what a personal FICO score is, only it’s applied to businesses and derived from three core characteristics: the company’s physical, administrative, and technical security posture.

“The security industry is pretty broken,” Francen posits, “We’re starting with a method of standardization and common language.”

FISASCORE is predominantly distributed and sold to managed service providers who then, in turn, offer it to their end-clients a basic report, which Francen suggests tends to lead those MSPs into deeper engagements based on the resulting risk assessment.

SecurityStudio, for its part, collects anywhere between a few hundred and a few thousand dollars per monthly license and counts 15 paying partners since introduction earlier this year.

There’s also another product coming out through SecurityStudio titled VENDEFENSE which serves as a vendor risk management workflow tool for vendors, program managers and enterprise users. VENDEFENSE is powered by the same FISASCORE assessment, facilitating the common language and a more efficient process.

“Regulators are narrowing in on vendor risk management very quickly,” Francen says of that application. “It’s where most of the breaches are coming from these days. It’s something we do very well at FRSecure so we made that process into a software product as well. It’s already proven as a sound and legally defensible application.”

To scale up the SecurityStudio, the parent to these products, Francen has recruited James Williams as the President. He brings decades of history among Minnesota’s technology industry with companies like Ergotron, Hunt Technologies, Convey and most recently MentorMate — all of which were eventually acquired.

“Having worked with several Minnesota high-tech companies, this venture is by far one of the most exciting in terms of potential,” says Williams. “The cyber security industry is just taking off and we’re confident FISASCORE and VENDEFENSE will soon become household names.”

FRSecure has a full time staff size of over 60 with plans to open a second office in Boise, Idaho, while SecurityStudio counts a team of 11 today with half offshore and half in Minnesota — colocated within FRSecure HQ in Minnetonka.

“In the end, SecurityStudio should far surpass the success of FRSecure, in terms of annual revenue,” Francen feels. “The company is well positioned for new tools, faster sales, bigger margins, and an eventual exit.”

Francen maintains his intention is to self-finance SecurityStudio for as long possible while empowering its early employees with ownership interests.