Cyber Security is becoming a growing concern for businesses across the globe. On Episode 14 of The Cyber Security Matters Podcast we were joined by Hajar El Haddaoui, who is an international executive. She speaks four languages: French, Arabic, German and English, which has allowed her to lead a large sales team in multiple continents. She is currently leading Swisscom’s managed security services, as well as serving as a board member for the Chamber of Commerce, MOD-ELLE and WIN Women’s International Conference, where she works to support women in business. With such an extensive and exciting background, we were keen to hear her insights on global leadership in cyber security.
How does Switzerland’s approach to Cyber Security differ from other key European markets?
Switzerland is one of the most innovative countries I’ve worked in. Cyber Security is a part of the business transformation of any company, and in Switzerland they are sensitive to where the data goes and is used. They create security by design, which weaves their Cyber Security into the fabric of their products.
Do you expect adoption of managed security solutions to continue to increase as a proportion of the overall cybersecurity marketplace?
Absolutely. There are many challenges facing our clients, including the complexity of digital business, where there is an increasing skills and resource gap. There’s a 3.1 million gap in resources and talent worldwide for Cyber Security. Lots of our clients don’t know how to use the hybrid cloud. Therefore, managed services are key for those clients in order to respond to their challenges. We want to transform the industry by making products and services that are secure by design, but there are several clients who need someone to manage those products for them anyway. It’s important to have management in your Cyber Security portfolio in order to meet that need in the market and address the challenges that clients are facing.
Silicon Valley is seen as leading innovation. How influential are they to Cyber Security?
Research and development are key to innovation, not just in Cyber Security. They give you confidence to innovate and inform how you take a digital solution and rapidly provide insurance to our customers. We’re not just providing security to our customers, we are providing consultancy, technical support services and managed security services too. It’s those three layers where innovation needs to be. Research and development can be applied to intelligent and managed security services to identify and respond to threats, giving us a proactive level of protection.
There’s a lab in Silicon Valley that is the hub of innovation, not merely for Cyber Security. There are also labs in Israel and Japan, but Silicon Valley is still playing a huge part in global Cyber Security efforts because of the amount of investment that they’re able to attract. Everyone needs to invest in innovation and in hub centres for security. Silicon Valley aren’t the only one doing it, but they are still big players.
What have the different places you’ve worked taught you in a business and leadership context?
Working internationally has given me the ability and agility to deal with challenges. Being a resilient leader is essential to what we do. The second thing is confidence. Moving from one country to another I’ve learned to build a community and a support system, which plays into that self confidence. The third lesson is humility. I’ve become a continuous learner, because the technology field in Cyber Security is rapidly changing, and I have to accept that I’m not going to stay an expert if I don’t learn from other people. The market is fast and furious, so to be fit for the future I have to learn skills and humility.
To hear more about global Cyber Security efforts, tune into The Cyber Security Matters Podcast here.
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