Artur Kane of Flowmon Networks discusses how growth hacking and NetSecOps could impact IT and cybersecurity teams in 2021.
While almost all industries have been impacted by the pandemic this year, changes caused by Covid-19 have shone a light on the importance of the cybersecurity sector. The industry is already experiencing a skills gap and the robust security measures needed in recent months have put even more pressure on people developing and selling products in this industry.
Artur Kane, head of product marketing at network intelligence firm Flowmon Networks, has had a front-row seat to the changes Covid has brought. Czech company Flowmon Networks was recently acquired by Kemp Technologies to boost its application experience (AX) capabilities.
While Covid has thrown some curveballs at his team this year, Kane is particularly passionate about raising awareness of network visibility and creating an “educated community of enthusiasts” in this field.
“Threat actors will often feed on a crisis and, in turn, the demand for cybersecurity will rise. Covid was unique by the sudden transition to home offices which, as a consequence, increased the need for AX enablers,” he told Siliconrepublic.com.
“Those IT product marketing managers who are sales-driven – often those who are part of the marketing organisation – were quickly trying to seize this opportunity, which meant steering priorities away from strategic initiatives such as product strategy or market research, and focusing more on tactical activities supporting awareness and demand generation, customer retention and expediting new product launches that could assist customers during this time.”
A new age for NetSecOps
Two areas of expertise will be fundamental to the cybersecurity product market in 2021, according to Kane. The first is growth hacking, which he described as the skill of “quickly adapting to changing customer buying behaviour, driving business, scaling digital initiatives and expanding inbound initiatives”.
The second is NetSecOps, a movement that seeks to integrate workflows for networking and security teams. This would give people working in these areas the resources to collaborate more efficiently across infrastructure design, monitoring, incident handling and response.
“The idea is to minimise spending on technologies with overlapping functionality, simplify technology adoption, reduce mean time to resolution, and automate routine activities to overcome staffing gaps,” Kane explained.
“Years ago, NetOps and SecOps were one team. But as infrastructures grew in complexity, the need for more specialised and focused staff increased as well.
“Now, however, with the rise of cloud, fast technology adoption, loss of network visibility and control over IT, it is becoming apparent that those two teams are too siloed to work efficiently. Technologies are currently trying to bridge this gap.”
What network and security professionals can expect
What impact could these trends in product development, marketing and delivery have on people working in cybersecurity? Kane is confident that those working both in networks and in security will reap benefits.
The positives, he said, will primarily arise from teams having “one source of truth” or “the same dashboard with different perspectives of the same data”.
“[This] will enable both teams to establish truly integrated workflows and ways of working, instead of the existing ad-hoc formal collaboration,” he explained. “The biggest of NetSecOps’ strengths is that it embraces the teams’ differences and provides a middle ground for incident resolution.
“We envision NetSecOps will empower both teams to become even more specialised in their respective fields, while erasing the points of friction between them.”
New tech adoption in 2021
As for the people marketing these new products, Kane had some tips for them too. When the pandemic began earlier this year, he saw the adoption of new technology grind to a halt. What came after, he said, was an “atmosphere of apprehension” around embracing novel tech products.
“This meant that the ability to convince customers, speed up the evaluation process and demonstrate product value rapidly and flexibly – all through virtual communication – was ever more crucial,” he said.
“But we must not forget that our work ends with a successful sale. Product marketers must now invest in embracing the continuous process of ensuring client satisfaction by driving product value.”