On the lighter side of things, we ask Glen Maloney, ANZ Country Lead, Cequence Security, what makes him tick.
What would you describe as your most memorable achievement?
I was ExtraHop’s first employee in Australia, back in 2018. Having spent the first 15 years of my career working for established vendors in the cybersecurity space, taking the leap into start-up land was daunting but I quickly got busy knocking on doors. With the help of an excellent sales engineer, I scored some big wins with household name organizations in the retail and transport sectors, as well as some of the country’s largest public sector agencies. A lot of business leaders had no idea what was going on out on their networks at that time and it was easy to demonstrate the benefits that improved visibility could deliver. By the time I left for my current role at Cequence, we had close to 25 enterprise accounts on board and a local team of 15.
What first made you think of a career in technology?
Our story begins at 2am in a Manly pizza shop…! I’d been out inspecting a few watering holes with a good mate of mine whose father was the managing director of Sophos. He mentioned they were looking for sales development people so I went and had a chat the next week and that’s how my journey in ICT kicked off. I was only 19 at the time and had been working as an admin assistant for a pharmaceutical company so I didn’t really know anything much about anti-virus software. It was just luck that I stumbled into the industry but two decades later I’m still here and still enjoying it!
What style of management philosophy do you employ with your current position?
Collaborative is the word that comes to mind. We win and lose as a team – and, preferably, we do more winning than losing! Small headcounts are standard in start-up world and, as a leader, you need to be comfortable placing a lot of trust in your people, particularly if they’re working remotely. Being prepared to do things that fall outside your job description is also vital. I believe being fun to work with and being successful shouldn’t be mutually exclusive – both are possible if you’re prepared to put in the hard yards when it counts and can motivate your team to do likewise.
What do you think is the current hot technology talking point?
API security is huge, particularly in the wake of the high-profile hacks Australia has endured in recent months. An API security or visibility product could have alerted security teams to the risk of customer data being stolen from unprotected servers, before, not after, it happened. From our perspective, conditions are favorable. I’ve been battling away for 20 years, trying to get C-suiters to take an interest in various cybersecurity solutions and never really getting a lot of traction at that level. That’s changed – there are now a lot of boards out there concerned about the material damage an attack or data breach can cause.
How do you deal with stress and unwind outside the office?
Outside of work, I’m immersed in home renovations – that’s the opposite of relaxing but I remind myself they’ll come to an end, eventually! Getting involved in my kids’ sport – cricket in summer and rugby in winter – really takes me away from the office. Seeing the joy on their faces when they’re playing in a team and learning new skills is just unbeatable. I try to keep myself fit with a bit of boxing and cycling although the recent Mental Wheels Foundation fundraising ride tested my mettle. It was a 350km course through the Central Tablelands in NSW. Scenic countryside and great company but, for someone with my rugby physique, 35km would have been better!
If you could go back and change one career decision, what would it be?
It’s hard to imagine doing things differently but I do wish I’d had a bit more patience in some of the roles I’ve held. Instead of constantly striving to reach the next level, I could have relaxed and enjoyed the moment. I’ve always met and exceeded whatever quotas I’ve been given, so some of those promotions were probably going to come naturally anyway, without my going all out to chase them.
What do you currently identify as the major areas of investment in your industry?
The skills shortage in cybersecurity is real and getting worse. There are studies that suggest we’re several thousand cyber professionals short here in Australia and the demand is increasing in the current threat climate. That’s forcing vendors and service providers, and large customer organizations too, to offer more attractive remuneration and conditions. We’re also seeing more organizations investing in training and upskilling their own people, rather than simply looking to recruit work-ready professionals. That’s a really positive thing, especially for people who may not have a traditional cyber or ICT background but who are motivated to succeed. The industry is dynamic and fast growing and there are so many opportunities.
What are the region-specific challenges when implementing new technologies in APAC?
Data sovereignty is a huge hurdle. Customers have always been concerned about this and those concerns have intensified, post Covid. Nine out of 10 cybersecurity platforms are developed and built outside the APAC region and, in introducing those technologies, vendors need to make sure they’re underpinned by infrastructure that enables data to be stored safely and locally.
What changes to your job role have you seen in the last year and how do you see these developing in the next 12 months?
In common with other sales professionals, I’ve had to learn to navigate the post-Covid business landscape and become more flexible in the way I approach customers and prospects. Face to face selling is definitely back with a bang – notwithstanding the ease and convenience of digital communication, people still want to buy from people – but we’re having to be more flexible about how we go about it; meeting people in their local areas on days they’re working from home, for example, rather than catching up in the office. Cequence has just launched its APJ hub in Australia so it’s possible my next 12 months will involve more travel within the region. First and foremost though, I’ll be focusing on the territory I know best and that’s my own backyard.
What advice would you offer to someone aspiring to obtain a C level position in your industry?
Surround yourself with a circle of trusted advisers. I have a couple of mentors in the industry who I regularly seek advice from (and I try to pay that forward by supporting salespeople in my network who are up and coming). Keep your mind open and look for opportunities to learn because being in a leadership position doesn’t mean you know everything. It’s also vital to be available and accountable to your customers, especially in the cyber sector. They need to know that you’ll be there to take ownership of the situation if it all hits the fan.Click below to share this article