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FireEye's VP worldwide channels and alliances, Steve Pataky

Allan Swann | Aug. 12, 2015
FireEye's global channel boss, Steve Pataky, discusses his company's transition to a channel-led security organisation, and how it is pushing its partners to sell its services in new ways, to non-traditional customers.

You've gone from minimal market presence to all guns firing in just 12-18 months. Why has FireEye had such a sudden impact here in Australia?

For better or worse, we tend to benchmark any market's success against the US market from a maturity perspective. Australia is now getting a more mature security market.

Also, Phil [Vasic] who has now been working here for over two years is really starting to see the fruits of his team's labour.

In terms of thinking globally, after the US, A/NZ and Western Europe are kind of the next stop for us. The level of awareness amongst customers is really accelerating. The hint of legislation surrounding disclosure, even the hint of personal liability or exposure, and the horrific news and information surrounding what happens in these breaches, whole boards, whole C-Suites get cleaned out.

Its like anything in tech, the pace of innovation quickens rapidly, and so too the awareness. Who hasn't heard of a cyberattack, of hacking, of breaches? But the impact on the business, and the reality of the cybersecurity situation is becoming a lot more tangible for businesses.

Is it a cultural issue as well? We are already seeing more realistic depictions of cybersecurity and cyberwar in TV shows and movies, and these breaches are gradually moving towards the front of mainstream news publications...

Definitely. awareness is at an all time high, thanks to the big breaches last year. At the RSA show in the US, a huge security conference, they had a documentary filmmaker following Dave De Walt and Kevin Mandia around the show. They're actually going to make a documentary about it.

It's out there in the zeitgeist, its in mainstream culture -- you see it in movies, see it on TV, its not just a techie thing anymore. Its in day to day life. For example, my family and I have lost three credit cards to various retails breaches in the last 12 months.

What are some of the key differences you see in A/NZ versus other markets?

Firstly, the size of the channel. Secondly, the number of partners that have a very deliberate security practice. In the US for example, I've seen the move from pure-play security providers, to security covering the entire industry. If you're doing compute, or datacentres, if you don't have security baked in, or as a piece of a solution, you can't do business. You have to have an answer.

Security itself is now such a focus area and such a driver of all the other technology decisions.

New Zealand and Australian partners are a lot more hungry for the education, about how they can leverage advanced threat protection and APT into their security practice. How big it should be, how should I build it out? Can I find the skillset to build it out? That's what I think a lot of the local integrators are working at.


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