8 Questions for Kevin Isaac, EMEA’s New Sales Leader

Kevin Isaac recently joined Sophos as senior vice president, Sales, for Europe, Middle East and Africa.

The Sophos News team had a chance to catch up with Kevin for a first-hand look at his vision for EMEA:

Q. Kevin, welcome! We’re excited to have you at Sophos.

A. Thank you! I’ve just joined in October 2020 – the start of our fiscal year Q3. It could not be a more exciting time to join Sophos.

Q. What is it about Sophos that inspires you?

A. I’ve been watching Sophos from afar for several years now, and have always been impressed with Sophos’ innovation, technology and approach to offer synchronized security across endpoint and network solutions. If fact, Sophos’ entire next-generation security product portfolio is synchronized and available through the cloud-based management platform, Sophos Central.

Cybersecurity is a very fast paced industry with attacks coming from many directions, as indicated in our Sophos 2021 Threat Report and the daily threat intelligence from SophosLabs and our Managed Threat Response (MTR) and Rapid Response teams. I wanted to be a part of a global company that is on top of the threat landscape and designing products, services and technology that stops these attacks, including ransomware.

Sophos is also known for its focus on the channel and providing world-class products, services and programs that help partners best support customers.

Q. One of Sophos’ pillars of strength is its synchronized security approach. Given the way attackers are constantly changing, how is synchronized security more important than ever?

A. Yes, synchronized products and services are key to defenses and more important today than ever before. A comprehensive, defense-in-depth cybersecurity system that emphasizes multiple layers of protection is absolutely critical for proactively defending against these stealthy attacks.

Sophos makes it easy for customers to have security products designed from the ground up to talk to each other, share intelligence and immediately respond to attacks. We also make it easy for customers, traditional partners and MSPs to manage Sophos security with a single pane of glass through Sophos Central. Broad visibility, layered and synchronized security, threat intelligence, the ability to respond in real-time – these are all critical components needed to defend against attacks today.

Moving ahead, as the leader of Sophos sales in EMEA, my vision is to double down on making sure all of our partners and customers have our advanced security solutions and services in place. Together, we can take on these persistent, always-zigging and -zagging attackers – particularly when it comes to ransomware. Cybersecurity has never been more important.

Q. Is there a specific area of business on which you will focus in EMEA?

A. That’s a great question. The short answer is no. 😉

Cyberattackers are targeting all types of organizations – both large and small, any vertical market, private and public sector – no one is immune. In EMEA, my plan is to continue, if not expand, Sophos’ mission to provide cybersecurity solutions for every business, regardless of size.

Q. Tell us about your vision for Sophos’ new Rapid Response service in EMEA.

A. Sophos Rapid Response is a new service that we’ve just launched. Earlier you asked me what inspired me to join Sophos. It’s this type of quick “response” to what the market needs as adversaries are upping the ante on their attacks, particularly when it comes to ransomware, that inspires me as Sophos’ new EMEA sales leader. All organizations should know about Sophos Rapid Response and make it an essential component of their overall security strategy.

There are three scenarios we recommend, based on an individual organization’s existing resources and expertise within its IT security department. Certainly, channel partners and MSPs should help customers refine specific needs, but here is an overview:

  1. Pure proactive, predictive defenses with solutions like synchronized security, as well as Sophos Intercept X with EDR – if organizations have the in-house resources to manage EDR, this is a key solution.
  2. Managed Threat Response – many attacks happen on the weekend or at night. Attackers are infiltrating at times when they can sneak around unnoticed. Therefore, security needs to be 24×7. If organizations can’t monitor, detect and respond 24×7, they need a service that will help them do so.
  3. Sophos Rapid Response – If either current or non-Sophos customers are under active attack and need immediate support ejecting an adversary and remediating any remnants, the Sophos Rapid Response team can quickly step in.

It’s important to know that there are tripwires for organizations to look out for, but these are hard to detect. Sophos is constantly reporting on the tell-tale signs, which we explain in an article the 5 Signs You’re About to Be Hit by Ransomware. Unfortunately, ransomware is the last bit of evidence organizations will see when they’ve been under attack.

Q. What is your cloud security strategy for EMEA?

A. As more organizations migrate to the cloud, they must be aware of how to secure what they are putting in the cloud, as this is the responsibility of the respective company, not the cloud provider.

Sophos has a comprehensive cloud security strategy that identifies vulnerabilities and misconfigurations in the cloud, addresses security and compliance issues, and also monitors and optimizes your cloud spend. We treat assets in the cloud just as we would on-prem assets – all the data, devices and applications need to be protected regardless of where they are located. We will continue to help organizations in EMEA determine their best path for cloud security.

Q. Organizations in EMEA are grappling with changing lockdown regulations and remote working scenarios, due to COVID-19. What are your plans to provide support?

A. Sophos has always been prepared for the reality of a remote workforce. Our solutions were designed to protect endpoints, data and infrastructure regardless of location. The perimeter looks different these days, but customers are still fully protected as we have many options that organizations are taking advantage of, including remote ethernet devices (we call them RED), VPN from home, virtual firewalls, and, of course, server and firewalling from the cloud. Sophos synchronized security works just as well from home as it does in the office, so customers in EMEA can rest assured they are working in a safe environment, even at home.

Q. What are your biggest security concerns across EMEA?

A. Ransomware. This is a gold rush year for cybercriminals; ransomware is not slowing down. Ransomware used to be thought of as a type of malware, but now it’s a business model that leverages whatever malware necessary to get to the end result – extortion.

Organizations across EMEA should define and constantly refine their defenses against ransomware, data breaches and other attacks that impact daily business operations.

We’re here to help, and a great resource to check out is the Sophos 2021 Threat Report.

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