2021 Year in Review

Staying true to our mission

What a year 2021 was! Our team continued to grow, we worked side by side with fantastic criticial infrastructure organisations and government departments, and we made huge strides on the development of Gauntlet (our cyber security exercise platform).

Our mission, to minimise the impacts of cyber security incidents, continues to guide us as our north star. Like many startups, we stayed positive and did our best to manage the disruptions caused by the pandemic. We've been fortunate - the good far outweighed the bad.

Here are the highlights from the past year. 


Cyber Security Exercises

We focus exclusively on cyber security exercises and in 2021 we delivered hundreds of them, helping organisations and the individuals that protect them to understand their cyber security readiness and maturity. We saw this year exercises being delivered in many different formats.

Discussion-based tabletops with senior executives and board members remained important to provide awareness to decision-makers on the various threats they may face. But in 2021 we observed a positive trend with organisations becoming more forward leaning, opting for functional hands-on exercises involving their production networks. We strongly advocate for this approach as the outcome is more valuable and provides the truest possible understanding of an organisation's readiness without actually having an incident.

The complexity of the exercises we ran for customers also increased - more people, teams, and organisations were getting involved! It is amazing to see cyber security exercises becoming more recognised as an essential part of an organisation overall cyber security program.


We have been able to achieve the outcomes in our engagements because of Gauntlet, our cyber security exercise platform we are building from the ground up. More than half the team are completely dedicated to Gauntlet and they have been making huge strides towards our vision. This year we will begin to share more about Gauntlet such as announcing new features and presenting use cases to demonstrate the problems it solves, but more importantly, the immense value it provides.

In our 2020 year in review blog post we mentioned that we had just launched our Early Adopter Program. In 2021, we were excited to sign on several organisations as early adopters, with them getting hands-on with Gauntlet to deliver their own internal cyber exercise programs. Our early adopters are truly awesome, providing us their honest feedback and suggestions. They are shaping Gauntlet to become what it needs to be, rather than just what we think it should be.

A call to action for anyone looking at delivering cyber security exercises within their organisation - let's work together to make sure your exercises are the most meaningful they can be! Reach out and lets chat over coffee (a real one if possible).

Giving back

Many people give so much, sharing their knowledge and experience with the broader cyber security community. We want to give back where we can and in 2021, we were very proud to contribute to some great events including:

  • Delivering the Incident Response Competition for Women (in partnership with Australian Women in Security Network and the Australian Cyber Collaboration Centre)
  • Delivering the AdelaideSec Incident Response Competition (in partnership with AISA Adelaide)
  • Sponsoring a challenge in the PeCan+2021 Capture The Flag Competition (presented by Edith Cowan University)
  • Sponsoring the December 2021 Students of Cyber Industry Connect Event (delivered by WA AustCyber Node)

Our wonderful team

Our team grew in 2021! As we begin 2022, we are officially a team of eight - each with our own unique skills and experience that we bring to the table. A true joy to work with, the team are dedicated, thoughtful, and moving us closer to realising our mission each passing day. We look forward to growing even more in 2022... watch this space!

Lots more faces now at standup!

Tribute to one of our earliest advocates

We were extremely saddened when we heard of Hai Tran's passing late last year. Hai was an incredibly giving person with an energetic personality. Unknown to many, Hai helped us immensely in the earliest days of Retrospect Labs and we wouldn't be as far as we are today without his generosity and support.

In 2019, Jason (one of our co-founders) met Hai at the AISA Perth conference, held that year at the Pan Pacific hotel. Although they had met on previous occasions, this was the first opportunity they had to really learn more about each other. At the time, the Retrospect Labs founding team was just forming and Jason was looking at various options for office space. Without hesitation or asking for anything in return, Hai offered to organise space at the offices of Pixelcase, a company he was a co-owner of. Founders of early stage companies would mostly agree, any support (especially if it helps financially) can have a massive positive impact to the success of a startup. So in early 2020, Hai and the awesome Pixelcase crew welcomed us into their space - the place where we began our journey.

We will always remember what Hai did for us and the advice he shared over the last couple of years. Our sincerest condolences to his family.

Closing note

2022 will be our third year in operation. We've already got some interesting and exciting things lined up and have hit the ground running! We couldn't be prouder of the team, the technology we are building, and the quality of services we are delivering to help organisations minimise the impacts and risks associated with cyber security incidents. 


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