Mathieu Gorge | CEO and Founder | VigiTrust

Definition of leadership is comprised of the exceptional qualities of an individual who leads and influences others to achieve success. For true leaders, enthusiasm for a business, its solutions, and its mission is all. He or she is always enthusiastic and passionate about business. Mathieu Gorge, CEO and Founder of VigiTrust, is one of those leaders who are committed to providing innovative solutions to their users and leading the company to achieve higher goals. At VigiTrust, Gorge’s role is to drive the strategy and the growth of the company. He is a subject matter expert when it comes to data security, compliance and information governance. He also drives the roadmap for VigiOne, which is VigiTrust’s multi-award winning flagship solution. Gorge works very closely with his global team at VigiTrust to make sure that the company addresses the right challenges for its clients.

Early Start

Mathieu graduated from the University of Tours in France where he studied business with languages. After completing his studies in France, he moved to Germany, and later moved to Northern Ireland where he acquired a degree in business with languages from the University of Ulster. With a background in business with languages, he briefly worked in project management and quickly started working with a company in Dublin, Ireland, called Entropy, which was at the time the biggest security reseller and integrator in Ireland. Mathieu played various roles in sales, project management, and product management during his time at Entropy. Mathieu developed a passion for security and formulating data security strategies, and he had the idea that he was going to start a business around data security training. In January 2003, he founded VigiTrust which is today an Integrated Risk Management (IRM) software provider that helps organizations to prepare for, achieve, and maintain compliance with legal and industry security standards like PCI DSS, HIPAA, CCPA, ISO 27000 series and anything that has to do with privacy and sensitive data. Currently, Mathieu is CEO of VigiTrust and spends a lot of his time with clients and partners acting as security evangelist and working with key international accounts where he and his team help clients to define their security strategy and to implement VigiOne to enable them meet their security requirements and challenges on an ongoing basis. As a CEO, Mathieu obviously has to drive the company and the strategy, but he is still very client facing and still has a direct connection with the company’s enterprise clients and key partners worldwide.

Unique and Comprehensive Solutions

VigiOne is VigiTrust’s SaaS solution which allows to do three things: preparedness, validation, and continuous compliance. The solution is extremely easy to use and requires little training compared to solutions that are already available from new and existing competitors. Because the company’s roots are in auditing and training, it has been able to incorporate 50 plus training modules within the tool to help demystify the challenges of security compliance and meeting security mandates internationally. So, from a preparedness perspective, the company’s solution is extremely unique and enables complex and disparate organizations to make the implementation and adherence to Security, and Privacy regulations easier. According to Mathieu “The integrated risk management market is reasonably crowded. There’s a lot of companies who are regulation specific or offer sector-specific compliance tools. There’s a lot of companies that provide good validation tools and continuous compliance tools. However, very few provide good security awareness tools, and even fewer provide a platform that allows you to also run compliance management. So, from preparedness to validation to continuous compliance, that’s where VigiOne delivers. That’s why our solution is really attractive to our target audience. The target audience is large distributed organizations with a lot of subsidiaries, a lot of locations, potentially franchisees, multilingual, multi-currency, and multi regulations. And what we often say is that, with VigiOne, it’s one platform, multiple regulations, and global compliance dashboard in one place. We make compliance and security easy.”

Balancing Life and Work

Mathieu is extremely passionate about what he does, whether it’s in his private life or business life. He asserts “I think you need passion, and you also need to understand when you need a rest. Because, as exciting as the business is, at some stage you need to regroup and you need to get your energy levels recharged.” He considers himself very lucky that he has a great team of people. He also engages with the VigiTrust Global Advisory Board, a non-commercial think tank under Chatham House Rules bringing international C-level Execs, Board Members, Researchers, Regulators, Law Enforcement to discuss current security & compliance challenges, innovation and future tech to address existing and upcoming threats. He believes this platform is a great opportunity to meet fantastic and knowledgeable people that you get to keep learning from. He thinks that, “as long as I keep learning through my work, whether it’s with VigiTrust, with the France Ireland Chamber of Commerce, with the Trade Commissioners, or with my next venture, I think I manage to keep a reasonable balance.” And obviously, the balance is that one needs to spend time with family, with friends, and requires to do activities that are not related to work all the time. Mathieu often jokes that “this is sometimes difficult because it is taxing to be so busy but if it was easy, everybody would be doing it too”.

Making the Compliance Process Easy

Creating the Five Pillars of Security tm Framework was instrumental in getting VigiTrust to the next level of strategic security projects with global enterprise clients. The reason behind this is that there are already hundreds of standards and regulations around security. They’re all based on similar models that are often times way too technical. So, part of the real value that Mathieu has added to the industry is the fact that he came up with a framework that is universal, easy to implement, easy to translate, not just from one language to the other, but from one industry to the other or one area, geographical or political area to the other and it’s something that is actually timeless. He would contend that in 10 years’ time when the next wave of US Federal regulation on privacy comes out or the new version of GDPR comes out in the EU, anyone will be able to dial back to those five pillars of security as a foundation. He further adds the framework makes it possible for people that are not security savvy, or not IT risk management experts and get the benefit of the VigiTrust experience. But they can still understand what it’s all about because it’s translated into familiar business language. This is a truly unique framework. It has been recognized as such through industry awards as one of the most innovative security and compliance framework.

Mathieu continually strives to make standards and regulations, which are often complex and sometimes conflicting, understandable for all. Sometimes folks might be fantastic business people and on the board of a multinational but may not fully understand the risks with data and with data transfer. He notes that for C-level Execs and Board members it’s paramount to understand the risk related to data security and that it does really add value in the business.

Key Notes on Leadership

One needs to be as passionate about what they are doing as Mathieu is passionate about security, compliance, and information governance. According to him, “you can be passionate about the value add you want to bring to the industry. You can be passionate about a cause that you’re trying to address within the industry or it can be mix. But passion is a must.” The second thing is that one needs persistence. This one trait is possessed by every entrepreneur or every business owner in any industry regardless of where they’re based, and regardless of their background. Genuine entrepreneurs just don’t give up, like ever! So persistence is very important. Additionally, he says, the reason behind everybody not having their own business is because it’s actually not that easy to do that. One has to deal with a wide range of challenges from banks, tax authorities, recruitment etc. As business grows things do get easier and it also gets easier once you have built a team to help you grow.

Mathieu says, “There are people that are way better than me in my team. I surround myself with people who have more experience and in-depth knowledge in specific areas that I don’t have. So, for a leader, it is necessary to have passion, persistence, and a great team around you.”

From Leader ’s Perspective

Mathieu has a great vision for VigiTrust and thinks that the company is going to scale tremendously over the next few years. He spends a lot of time at conferences for networking, learning and to share his knowledge with peers. He is often asked, why does a CEO need to travel so much? Why do you need to go to all of those conferences? According to Mathieu, “If you want to stay in touch with what’s happening from a technology perspective, a business or regulatory and legal perspective, you need to be on the ground, you need to be meeting those folks and listen to what the market needs and where it’s heading.” The Integrated Risk Management market is going to consolidate, and a lot of organizations are joining forces whilst others are on clear acquisition paths. VigiTrust is scaling very rapidly and has a great strategy in place to capitalize on the IRM market opportunity. For Mathieu, security is a journey not a destination. It’s a continuous journey with a few pit-stops along the way with new regulations and standards. But he shares that it’s a very interesting journey and he looks forward to continuing adding value to that journey for the clients and the Global Advisory Board members and the industry moving forward.

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