If you've spent any time on the stunning, rugged west coast of New Zealand, you very likely have a sandfly story. The blood-sucking scourge of an otherwise breathtaking part of the world often travel in swarms and have a bite rate of up to 1000 an hour.
So why has internet security veteran Craig Rowland called his enterprise security start-up, Sandfly?
Inspired or perhaps indelibly scarred by the tenacity and relentlessness of these pests, Rowland has founded an intrusion detection system for business networks, which mirrors the qualities of its namesake.
"Sandflies are small pieces of code that annoy hackers," he says. "They move in swarms around the network, perform investigations and report back their findings. They do very small scans, very quickly, constantly throughout the day at a random schedule.
"The average length of time it takes to discover an intruder has broken into your system is 100 days, but sandflies can reduce that to just minutes."
Rowland says a lot of businesses are focused on securing their employees' computers, typically using anti-virus and anti-malware products for the Windows operating system.
"That's definitely something they should be doing, but, for most businesses, the behind-the-scenes operations are all run on the Linux operating system," he says. "I see a lot of Linux servers that aren't being monitored very closely for security problems, and that's a really big risk.
"If you're not watching your core infrastructure systems that are actually running the place, that's where you get the big breaches and that's where you're exposed. If hackers can get into your database servers, not just individual work stations of employees, they can do a lot of damage. So, I chose to focus on this infrastructure side."
Rowland's background includes running classified networks for the Chief of Naval Operations at the Pentagon in the US, where he kept their networks going and managed all naval email message traffic. From there, he joined a start-up founded by former members of the Air Force information warfare squadron who were looking to build a commercial intrusion detection system.
"I was hired to break into networks for a living. This is where I cut my teeth in being able to look at a network from an attacker perspective."
Earlier this year, Sandfly was awarded a position in Vodafone xone, Vodafone's start-up accelerator and innovation lab.
Vodafone xone head, Lauren Merritt, says Sandfly is a great example of a start-up that has nailed a lot of the foundations for success, as well as developed a security solution from which many of Vodafone's business customers could benefit.
"It was a very easy decision to offer a position to Sandfly in Vodafone xone this year. It's our privilege to support this stand-out start-up on its growth journey with Vodafone's people and technology resources. We're really optimistic about the potential of Sandfly's security offering and confident our own business customers will take a keen interest in it.
"The reason for our optimism is Sandfly has developed an extremely clever while at its heart, simple, solution to a business problem with global and multi-industry market potential. They've stayed focused on detection rather than taking on the whole problem of security, and that is one of the things I believe sets them apart."
Rowland explains: "Think of it like your house being broken into. We don't care and don't even ask if they got in through the first floor window or the third floor balcony, or if security screens would have kept them out.
"The problem is there's someone in your house now and they're going through your jewellery box, and the sooner you know about that the better."
"Over 60 per cent of all internet-facing servers use Linux and most of those aren't being watched properly. Businesses simply don't know if someone's in their "house". Sandfly can solve that."