October 21, 2013 Issue
The Most Powerful Name In Corporate News and Information
Recognized Industry-Wide as a Pioneer and Global Player within the IT Security Ecosystem, Secunia Equips Corporate and Private Customers with their Award-Winning Portfolio Tools to Manage and Control Network and Endpoint Vulnerabilities
recognized industry-wide as a pioneer and global player within the IT
security ecosystem, in the niche of
Their award-winning portfolio equips corporate and private customers
worldwide with Vulnerability Intelligence, Vulnerability Assessment and
automated Patch Management tools to manage and control vulnerabilities
across their networks and endpoints.
Peter joins Secunia from Microsoft where he has recently spent 4½ years leading the Incubation Organization in Europe, Middle East & Africa building, and growing new businesses for Microsoft in the enterprise space. Peter joined Microsoft in 2000 as Director of the Enterprise & Partner Group in Denmark and has since held various leadership positions in the Danish subsidiary and in corporate headquarters in Redmond (WA), USA where he was responsible for sales strategies and execution for new businesses and emerging markets within Microsoft Business Solutions. Before joining Microsoft Peter held leadership and management positions in various international and Danish IT companies.
IT Security Solutions
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Interview conducted by: Lynn Fosse, Senior Editor, CEOCFO Magazine, Published – October 21, 2013
CEOCFO: Mr. Colsted, what is the concept at Secunia?
Mr. Colsted: We help customers protect their systems against the threat posed by vulnerabilities in third-party (non-Microsoft) software products. We make sure that IT teams know if there are vulnerabilities in their systems and also enable them to patch the products that need to be patched and that the appropriate security updates are applied.
CEOCFO: Many companies claim to provide levels of security. What have you figured out at Secunia that provides a superior offering?
Mr. Colsted: There are several components of our offering. First of all, you need to be on top of which vulnerabilities are out there if you want to protect your organization from cybercrime. Therefore, we have a strong research department that detects and records vulnerabilities, including which of these are being exploited. Our vulnerability research is the intelligence that is at the core of our offerings. It is what we deliver to our customers, enabling IT teams to stay ahead of threats to their IT infrastructures. The second part is our technology – how we deliver the intelligence and make it actionable for our customers: This is made possible by a sophisticated scanning tool which scans the infrastructure for the vulnerabilities that we have identified. Thirdly, it is about being able to create a unique component to get their systems updated and, finally, to patch the systems by deploying these updates to keep the infrastructure safe and secure.
CEOCFO: Who is using your services today? Are there particular industries, particular types or sizes of companies?
Mr. Colsted: We have two categories of customers: consumer and business. Our consumer products are available for free and anyone can download them and use them for their personal PC or Android device. Several million private users have downloaded our PC solution since it was introduced. Then we have thousands of organizations using our enterprise products. Our enterprise solutions cater to a wide range of organizations, from very small companies to the very large companies with hundreds of thousands of hosts that need to be kept secure. Consequently, we have a wide range of customers: Our products are used across all industries and across all geographies, and while we are not tied to specific segments, we have a great deal of experience with organizations using Microsoft’s System Center, as well as in the Financial, Government, Educational, Health and Energy & Utilities sectors.
CEOCFO: How do you reach potential customers?
Mr. Colsted: Historically, we have been serving the world from our office in Copenhagen where we have a multinational team speaking many different languages. We have twenty-seven nationalities represented in our office in Copenhagen and are ready to address any geography from our HQ. In December last year we opened an office in Minneapolis, Minnesota in the US, which is growing very nicely, and is now taking care of our US business. For the rest of the world, we have started to develop a complementary channel approach.
CEOCFO: Are there geographic areas you would like to have a greater presence in or that you are working towards?
Mr. Colsted: Frankly, the world is already our marketplace today. Therefore, if we were to consider a shift in focus then, even though it is already our biggest market, I would say the US is probably the area in which we want to invest more. Customers in the US are more aware of the threats, and as a result, the market is actually both mature and full of customers who want the total solution. In second place comes Europe – awareness is on the increase and we already have business in most European countries, although our coverage is best in the north; and lastly, Asia, including Australia and New Zealand.
CEOCFO: You are fairly new in the role of CEO. What attracted you to the opportunity?
Mr. Colsted: Firstly, this is a fast growing market with a lot of opportunity. Secondly, Secunia has great products that are considered world-class by analysts and industry leaders, and finally, I felt that I could add value based on my 20 years of experience from the international software business.
CEOCFO: What do you bring from your Microsoft experience that you see as most helpful as you are leading Secunia?
Mr. Colsted: You have to keep in mind that Secunia has been founded by a group of young entrepreneurs. They learned as they went along, in terms of how they structured their organization, how they managed partner and customer relationships, etc. What I think I can bring to the organization is a more structured approach. Obviously, Microsoft, with so many people and such a long history of success, has found a way to effectively manage a global software business. At Secunia we cannot copy that model, but we can be inspired by it, take some of those best practices and adapt them to a company Secunia’s size. Examples of what we can use is how to build a successful channel business or how to build a successful enterprise business.
CEOCFO: Would you tell us about Secunia joining the Microsoft Technology Center program as you are the first vulnerability security alliance partner?
Mr. Colsted: This is an area that we are very excited about. You need to understand the background. Today, Microsoft’s SystemCenter Suite is becoming the de facto standard for how enterprises manage their installed software on PCs and in their datacenters. This is a very complete suite, but one important area that Microsoft is not covering is scanning and patching of non-Microsoft products, to ensure that these products are constantly updated. Secunia provides a solution that closes that gap and as such complements Microsoft’s SystemCenter suite to help customers stay secure.
Microsoft Technology Centers are where Microsoft bring their customers so they can see the latest and greatest IT solutions. When it comes to systems management and configuration management, they will now see Microsoft’s System Center and Secunia’s scanning and patching technology together. We see this as an important endorsement of our solutions, as well as a significant business opportunity in working with Microsoft and their partners to deliver complete systems management solutions to our mutual customers.
CEOCFO: Why should investors and people in the business community pay attention to Secunia? What makes Secunia an exceptional company?
When you think about vulnerability management, first of all you have to
recognize that this is a very fast growing market. The awareness around this
is increasing day by day. Secunia is uniquely positioned in that market,
because of our exceptional in-house vulnerability research in conjunction
with what we just discussed around the unique integration for Microsoft
solutions. The endorsement that we received from Microsoft and analysts for
our scanning and patching solutions, and our established position as an
acclaimed vulnerability intelligence provider, makes us an attractive
company for customers and partners around the world. I think we have a
tremendous opportunity. I do not see why we should not accelerate our growth
over the coming years. Today we are present in most continents, but I think
there are many more opportunities out there than we have been able to
capture so far.
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