Monday, September 18, 2017

Selling umbrellas in a rainstorm

"You care for nothing but shooting, dogs, and rat-catching, and you will be a disgrace to yourself and all your family" This is what his father told Charles Darwin when he left the medicine. And that is how his biography says: "Each and every one of my teachers considered me an ordinary boy, rather below the average intellectual." Today is considered the father of evolution.

Self-confidence is a key to success. Or at least that's what many say. In the interview of this week we know Kris Hagerman, executive director of cybersecurity provider FTSE 250 Sophos. Kris is not short of self-confidence in addition to knowledge of the sector to find a niche that many of the biggest names of the market had not yet discovered.

Although it may seem that there is no benefit in the actions of criminals, it is true that this serves for companies to raise the alarm and get to work to solve their cybersecurity problems. This benefits security companies that see increased demand for their services.

As Kris Hagerman says, "We don’t want these things happening. With that said, there’s no question that when you have an event like WannaCry that is literally a front-page story in every major publication and news outlet in every major country in the world then that raises the profile of security."

One of Sophos's strengths is its difference in terms of targeted customers: "I think Sophos has identified and occupied a niche in the crowded cyber security industry that will allow it to shoot for the moon. While his former employer, Symantec, and other giants of the sector concentrate their efforts on “big customers with big wallets,” Sophos is focused on small and medium-sized businesses. "

And why focus on small businesses? Kris replies, "Small businesses lack the big IT departments to manage the bespoke and complex security systems demanded by banks and other large organisations, but are no less damaged when a hacker breaches their defences." Even if it looks that these kinds of businesses don’t need to manage these problems, Hagerman says: "If anything, their exposure to those threats is even more substantial because if they get it wrong they can literally go out of business. But they have nowhere near the budgets or the staff or the resources to deal with that. And that’s where Sophos comes in."

And although there are many cybersecurity companies, Kris Hagerman is very clear about what his company offers: "Our commitment to innovation, delivering enterprise-grade protection but at the same time doing the extra – frankly, very hard – work to make it simple, approachable and usable is what really sets us apart. I think it’s a big part of why we have really accelerated the growth and the profile of the company. "

One thing is clear, Kris relied on her instincts and opted for something that not everyone trusted: "When I decided to go to Sophos five years ago, people at home basically said ‘what’s Sophos?’. The next question was ‘why would you want to go there?’. Now, people want to know what the hell we are doing here to make this happen. “I’ve never had more fun in my career.” "Kris is proud of his way and quotes one of the greats:" There’s this whole Steve Jobs notion of making your own dent in the universe. Sophos is my ability to do that."

Kris Hagerman is a great example of self-confidence and hard work. He has managed to find a niche without overexploitation and gives his company his own identity. In the cybersecurity world we need people like him, with entrepreneurship and desire to bring security to all.


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