Terry Greer-King, VP of SonicWall EMEA, began his career in the semiconductors industry during the late ‘70s, moving through the ‘PC boom’ of the ‘80s, and then finding himself in the cybersecurity arena. His previous roles have included Director of Sales at Cisco, MD for Check Point Software Technologies’ UK operations, and Director of Zero Trust Security Sales EMEA at Akamai.
Greer-King emphasises that the power of technology to empower, enable and drive change in society is what motivates him. “Cybersecurity has been a growing phenomenon,” he says. “Nowadays, the threats are much more diverse. If you want to establish a security infrastructure and not touch it for five years, you're going to expose yourself to lots of risk. For me, the attraction of cybersecurity is that it's quick, dynamic, interesting and constantly challenging.”
The impact of culture on cybersecurity is arguably of a similar magnitude to the purely technical, and successfully communicating the philosophical divergence between previous iterations of security and the modern dynamic is essential. “Previously we sold ‘padlocks’ against viruses, but you can't stop bad guys from doing bad things. What you can do is understand the way your business operates and plan for the future. If you can understand the risks inherent in the way that your business operates, then you can start to prioritise risk.” In purely operational terms, the pandemic has fortunately sent a clear signal that adapting to a new way of working is non-negotiable in modern business. True security, in Greer-King’s view, must be an architectural concern.
The potential for business disruption in 2021 is, according to Greer-King, almost impossible to comprehend. In addition to the ongoing challenge of COVID-19, Brexit, lifestyle changes, shifting markets and new working conditions are all conspiring to make predicting the future of cybersecurity nearly impossible. However, with uncertainty paradoxically the only certainty, SonicWall is embracing the inevitability of change and educating customers on risk’s 21st-century paradigm. The company’s approach acknowledges that no ‘catch-all’ solution could ever solve each client’s unique circumstances and instead embraces agility, variability and genuine leadership. “Leadership is about listening; we should be socially conscious enough to bring others with us. I think the sooner people get on board with cybersecurity, the sooner they'll reap the benefits from it,” Greer-King concludes. “There is a requirement for clear leadership and a clear sense of direction, but it shouldn't be done in an isolated way. It should be done by listening to customers, partners and employees. People can do amazing things if only you’d let them.”
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“Fairness, patience, and clear decision-making are crucial both on the football pitch and in procurement.”