What would you describe as your most memorable achievement?
Taking a 1.0 product called Unicenter Service Level Management and turning it into one of the largest, most profitable new products for Computer Associates, and running that product lifecycle until I left the organisation.
What first made you think of a career in technology?
Believe it or not, Star Trek. As an avid Sci-Fi enthusiast as a child, I was always interested in technology and in space. That inspired me to embark on everything from building robotic Legos to teaching myself how to programme.
What style of management philosophy do you employ with your current position?
I prefer to let my employees make their own decisions and then guide them based on that. To me, being a manager is mostly about empowerment, suggestions and guiding my team to help them make the right decisions to better themselves and the organisation.
What do you think will emerge as the technology trend of 2019 and why?
Privileged attack vectors will continue to be the number one root cause of cyberattacks in 2019. This will be the year when organisations come to realise the importance of changing passwords and making them all unique. This trend will impact everything from home electronics to commercial-grade equipment.
What do you currently identify as the major areas of investment in your industry?
Endpoint protection will be the highest investment in cybersecurity. There are a variety of tools that we use to protect endpoints, from mobiles to laptops, both of which are considered the easiest entry point for threat actors today, as captured in the 2019 Verizon Data Breach Report. Organisations will be doubling down on their investments to protect that highest rate of penetration from threat actors in the coming years.
How do you deal with stress and unwind outside of the office?
Good music – I like classic rock and 80’s alternative – and doing home improvements. This can be anything from redoing a shower, to installing new shelves. I’m also a car guy, so a good drive over the weekend is always in the mix.
If you could go back and change one career decision, what would it be?
I would have taken more time to learn a second or third language when I had the opportunity. I studied Spanish all through primary school and took several classes in college as well. I had an opportunity to utilise these skills early in my career and passed on the opportunity out of ignorance. Today, having the language foundation and technical knowledge would be a huge benefit in communicating the state of cybersecurity in my global travels.
What are the region-specific challenges when implementing new technologies in Europe?
The biggest challenges in Europe are compliance-related. Most technologies share information fairly freely, in order to build statistical results, analytics or even to use AI effectively. Companies collecting sanitised data have been seriously limited by GDPR and other European regulations, none of which are present elsewhere in the world to this degree.
What changes to your job role have you seen in the last year and how do you see these developing in the next 12 months?
The most significant change that has taken place is the growth of BeyondTrust from 300 people to more than 800 and an almost equal proportion in revenue. As the company continues to grow and accelerate, we are going from being a small business to a medium sized one and will be a small enterprise within the next 12 months.
This means it’s now impossible to know every employee and every process, so the challenges will lie in continuing to be in touch with what’s really happening within the organisation.
What advice would you offer somebody aspiring to obtain C-level position in your industry?
You can’t know everything. You constantly have to read, educate yourself and listen to those around you in order to continue learning. Trust and empower your teams and always show compassion towards the challenges they face; not just your own.
In addition, surround yourself with a good set of peers from other companies that you feel comfortable with and whom you can talk to. Exchanging ideas and discussing each other’s problems will help you handle your own.