Ask any successful CEO what their secret is and the answer will probably be the same: “listening to our customers.” The problem is that, too often, organisations lose that connection with the people and organisations that use their products. They end up giving end-users what they think they want instead of what they actually need. In cybersecurity, where the market moves at lightning speed in response to a rapidly evolving threat landscape, this is commonplace. It can also be fatal for a vendor.
That’s why we’re delighted to welcome our latest member of the Trend Micro UK team: Kiran Khokhar. We are looking forward to having Kiran join our team of spokespeople, as she understands exactly what customers are going through. This is because she used to be one.
Threats and opportunities
Kiran joins us at a time unlike any other, when customers are struggling to secure a newly distributed workforce that demands real-time information sharing without impacting productivity. Malicious actors are stepping up a campaign of phishing-based data theft, BEC, ransomware and more — taking advantage of distracted home users, unpatched remote access infrastructure and stretched IT security teams.
According to Kiran, these challenges are compounded by the migration to cloud services and DevOps processes. Although these offer so much in terms of driving customer engagement, business agility and growth, they can also expose organisations to new risks such as the use of third-party code libraries. At the same time, the black hats are also innovating: for example, by using machine learning and behavioural analysis to trick traditional security filters and evade sandboxes, she says.
Today more than ever, therefore, customers need vendors they can trust — who understand their challenges and build relationships that go beyond the transactional.
“I feel great empathy for the customer because I was that person. I was a member of a network and security team prior to joining a vendor of one of the products I used to use,” Kiran explains. “That’s why I’m passionate about helping customers achieve the best result possible — helping them get the best out of their products and being that trusted advisor they will come back to time and again.”
A flexible future
So what does the future hold in store? For Kiran, it’s essential that cybersecurity is eventually built into the fabric of organisations, so that it’s the responsibility of all departments, not just IT. This kind of security-by-design culture will stand companies in good stead when the next crisis hits. Other lessons that should be learned from the current situation are that the old perimeter-based models of security are no longer applicable to today’s dynamic, cloud-based enterprises, she argues.
Organisations therefore need to combine strong data encryption everywhere with rigorous authentication and access controls including two-factor authentication, to secure this new environment. That could mean a move away from the VPNs that have struggled to support current home working demands.
“Remote working is here to stay, so organisations need to think about a secure remote access solution for all staff,” Kiran says. “After all, the transition to more flexible working will save money in the long run and improve productivity.”
We’re all looking forward to hearing much more from Kiran over the coming months and years. Her customer and market-focused insight will bring a real edge to our analysis of breaking news and long-term trends, and the advice we offer.