Many organizations may question if there is sufﬁcient protection for information that is to be shared with customer, new business partner or the general public. If a crucial system is compromised, what will be the business impact? For a security program to be effective, it must exhibit value to the business while preventing the traditional threats associated with the perception of security. Meet Joe Saunders, founder and CEO of RunSafe Security, a pioneer of cyber hardening technology for embedded systems and devices and industrial control systems.
Prior to launching RunSafe, Joe advised, invested, and supported multiple security and risk management companies, including Kaprica Security, which had one of its core lines of business acquired by Samsung. He also served in several advisory functions with Sovereign Intelligence, Distil Networks, and Analyze Corp. In addition, Joe worked as the director of Thomson Reuters Special Services, where he helped law enforcement agencies identify national security threats, including theft of intellectual property. Joe was also a member of the management team and VP, Business Development at TARGUSinfo, where he helped the company grow to $100M+ in revenue, leading to its acquisition by Neustar for $650M in 2011.
Below are the highlights of the interview conducted between Insights Success and Joe Saunders:
What products or strategies you use to entice your company’s target audience?
At RunSafe, we strive to educate the market in the most accessible manner possible and provide thought leadership to engage and address our customers’ pain points. We appeal to the business reasons why people should adopt our solutions, and welcome open discussions around total cost of ownership and how customers’ processes will improve when adopting our security solutions.
What inspiration do you take from the personality that you consider as your role model and what virtues of him/her do you want to inculcate in your everyday life?
He might be a ﬁctional character, but I draw inspiration from Aquaman – not just because I was a competitive swimmer growing up – but because he had a differentiated skill and was able to communicate with species of all types and persuade them to help achieve the mission. Much like this beloved superhero, in many ways all employees of a startup company must be able to demonstrate product differentiation and communicate with companies and customers from all sorts of backgrounds.
Being an impeccable leader in an enterprise security, what has been your contribution in the evolution of this sector?
Inspiration of RunSafe was born out of a desire to disrupt hacker economics and shift the odds back in favor of the defender. Rather than building another tool that prevents access, at RunSafe we try to cut the attacker off at the knees so that security teams can take steps forward in their overall security posture and reduce overall enterprise risk.
What are some of the vital attributes, in your opinion, that every inﬂuential leader should possess?
Every leader should demonstrate a commitment to excellence and communicate transparently. They should take a strong interest in all employees while adhering to the core business problems they aim to solve for customers.
How do you cope with the ever-evolving technological advancements in the markets?
Rather than bolting on new technology to solve existing challenges, we focus on the root problems at the atomic level that we’re trying to solve. In such a fast moving market, it’s crucial to stay focused on the core problem at hand. That said, it’s also important to remain open to new approaches and techniques as you never know what the future will bring, especially in security where the attacker is as equally committed to innovation as you are.
What advice would you like to give to the emerging entrepreneurs?
When start-up CEOs ask me for ideas to help them launch a successful company, I always ask them to do two things: (1) build a brand that matters; and, (2) build your own version of the Greatest Sales Deck Ever.
If you do, you will clarify your mission, attract investors, develop great customer relationships built around alignment, and offer employees a vision and mission they believe in.
What are your future desired goals?
What endeavors are you taking to achieve them? I would like to help create cyber resilient critical infrastructure and participate in the future development of geopolitics in light of technological changes in our world. Security in our digital world is essential to a peaceful, prosperous, and thriving civilization.