A vulnerability intelligence platform

The riskio UI over an iconic boat

High-growth funded startup

  • Software security
  • Invision
  • Sketch
  • Photoshop
  • Kissmetrics
  • Google Analytics

50M+

Sites monitored

3.8M

Man-hours saved each day

300%

New business growth in one year

At the onset of the engagement, Kenna Security—then operating under the moniker Risk I/O—was two years young with ten teammates.

Backed by a Series A funding round, they had successfully delivered an MVP to market and were testing and iterating on it. Jeff Heuer and co-founder Ed Bellis were looking for a product development team to help them concept and prototype a marquee feature for their “vulnerability intelligence” platform.

Risk I/O’s team was many things. They had experience, talent, and were remarkably resourceful. To this point, however, there were no full-time designers within their organization. Party to their testing and iterating, Risk I/O was looking for a design partner to enhance the stickiness of their application.

The problem

Despite the availability of instrumentation, security practitioners were suffering from "analysis paralysis". Too much data with no clear path forward hampered the effectiveness of Information Security teams directly, but was also creating problems upstream. Upper-management needed to rely on the visibility into their system in order to develop and maintain the organization's security strategies.

As a manager, with limited means to measure an organization’s risk, managing its Information Security faculty often felt like fighting a losing battle. The velocity of new security threats would always surpass the organization's ability to eliminate its exposure, making mediation a never-ending game of triage.

A Windows laptop running terrible management software

Data scientists and security practitioners were mired in tabular experiences like this. While rich with information, existing tools provided little direction to help users understand their risk posture and plan their remediation efforts.

But Jeff and Ed found a way to solve this problem by creating a series of algorithms that assess and weigh the severity of potential threats. This enabled security professionals to spend more time focussing on fixing the things that would matter most within their system. However, without some sort of a marquee feature, users were still left looking at multiple data tables, none of which give one singular value or score. This is where the “Risk Meter” comes in.

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the Risk I/O risk meter

The “Risk Meter” leveraged Risk I/O’s proprietary risk scoring algorithm to provide users with a snapshot of their organization’s risk, configured in a way that is meaningful to them.

Assessment

After several rounds of concepts, feedback cycles and prototypes, the first iteration of the Risk Meter was delivered. In a confusing landscape of tools that channeled users into dense tables of data, the Risk Meter system imposed hierarchy, focus and simplicity onto a series of daily activities known to enterprise security teams and their managers.

The assignment went well. It went so well in fact that we decided to work on another project together: a series of User Activation-focused UI assets. This included an EDM email system for both trial and active customers, a series of in-app messaging and wayfinding views and elements to foster trial engagement, and a redesign of the Free Trial onboarding flow.

Risk I/O threat assessment graph

Progress

Acquisition-focused solutions

Like pricing and other critical aspects of user enrollment, onboarding should be tested vigorously. To learn about what users were doing in Risk I/O’s marketing site and rails application, Kissmetrics was deployed to collect user behavior data throughout the acquisition funnel. Looking at cohorts across different phases of the customer lifecycle, it was apparent that something iffy was happening with our first iteration of the Free Trial onboarding flow. There was significant leakage midway and it was costing Risk I/O Security customers (and money).

Designing for User Onboarding is often a delicate thing. Enterprises today employ a constellation of different SaaS tools to operate their businesses. One of the ways in which SaaS offerings have evolved has been through integrations with other platforms and tools. Risk I/O’s ability to integrate with leading scan data vendors is one of the value points that makes it so powerful. Without its ability to ingest and analyze large pipelines of data in near real-time, the value of its risk scoring and prioritization functions would be diminished.

Unfortunately, this was a double-edged sword. Possessing an abundant network of integration partnerships – via Risk I/O Security’s “Connectors” – also meant that organizations with more robust data provisions had much more legwork to do upfront. This was one of its biggest friction points in the way of Free Trial engagement, and consequently conversions.

The data migration could take several hours and users grew restless without the presense of progress bars indicating advancement or whether their data was even porting correctly. This doubt caused users to leave before getting the chance to use the product. But, by employing two different onboarding strategies, we knew we could eliminate the customer frustration and recapture conversions.

Wayfinding

First, the tone and the presentation of the onboarding process needed to be reconfigured. We broke the process down into a set of bite-sized, sequential steps. As users made their way through the process, in-app messaging helped manage expectations by explaining what users were about to do and why it was important to their business. More communication about the process and how their choices were leading their business forward, encouraged users forward through the process as well.

Forstering engagement

Second, we made the interface interactions better by taking out the point of uncertainty in the UX scenario. Rather than making users do the work, Risk I/O automatically scanned and presented the identified index connectors, and then asked the user if they’d like to “Upload and Run”. By making the process self-serve, we reduced friction and made it easier for users to choose what to do next.

Risk I/O threat connector screen

Synchronizing external data sources with the RiskI/O web application was made easier. As a result, Free Trial engagement increased and Active users continued to grow.

Results

MojoTech continued its collaboration with Risk I/O's product, marketing, and engineering teams on four product releases, six campaigns, 10 landing pages and more than 30 design assignments in total.

Prior to being acquired by Kenna Security, Risk I/O's vulnerability intelligence platform ran over 135 billion active vulnerability comparisons each day, serving enterprises that included: TOYOTA, SendGrid, PTC, Spotify and others, saving security professionals over 19 million man-hours each week.

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