A Conversation with RedSeal CEO Bryan Barney

Q&A with CEO Bryan Barney

Why Cybersecurity.

I have been fascinated by the challenge of cybersecurity for two decades because it’s technically a very challenging problem to solve and the stakes are extraordinarily high.  Those of us privileged to work in this field are defending the foundation of the information age.  We are literally defending money in bank accounts, personal privacy and dignity, and the elections at the heart of democracy.  It is a race between innovation for good and innovation for bad.

Modern Networks Meet Modern Pirates.

Whenever the human species has extended its boundaries there have been outlaws and chaos living on outskirts of those boundaries.  Four hundred years ago the coasts of the new world were such a boundary, and lawlessness and piracy flourished there.  Eventually the Royal Navy brought order and safety to those coasts and piracy receded but it took two centuries.  In 1983 the internet was born and with it a new online world.  It has quickly become the conduit for an enormous amount of commerce, personal interaction, and the free flow of ideas.  But just like four centuries ago, the internet is home to incivility, lawlessness, and piracy.  Unfortunately, the Royal Navy can’t save us this time, but an army of innovators has risen to the challenge, and RedSeal is a leader in that army.

Advice for a new CISO…

First, understand that there is no technology silver bullet to secure your network. CISOs need a lot of cooperation from other people. Defending against cyberattacks is a team sport. So, make sure you cultivate relationships with the c-suite executives and the IT team.

Second, even when you do all the right things to prevent an attack, you will be attacked, and the bad guys will get in. The question is, how well you will contain it. Containment is a huge win.

This sounds straightforward but getting your arms around everything on your network and how it’s connected is hard. Network people may understand how their network was originally designed, but almost no one really understands how that original design has evolved.  Within a short time any sizable network will morph into something very different than originally envisioned.  Without this fundamental information, you can’t know what’s at risk or how to reduce that risk. 

Large Networks are Daunting.

It’s human nature to fear what you don’t understand, and modern networks are too complex for any human to understand. Yet how can you secure your network without knowing what’s on it, how it’s connected and the associated risks?

 We take this complexity and make it comprehensible so that timely, relevant decisions can be made. With RedSeal, security teams can check compliance, manage vulnerabilities, and help c-suite executives understand their organization’s cybersecurity posture. 

Having 5 Kids Has Taught Me…

Besides an appreciation for a little bit of chaos, raising kids taught me patience and the value of different perspectives. A good leader puts people with different strengths together so that they complement each other. Whether it’s parenting, running a company, understanding an issue, or building a security team, listening to diverse perspectives makes organizations stronger. And much more interesting, too.

Bryan brings RedSeal 30 years of experience in enterprise-grade commercial software and 18 years in cybersecurity. He has led organizations through massive growth, from early stage to IPO and beyond.

Before joining RedSeal, Bryan led Symantec Enterprise Security Group through a transition from traditional security company to cloud services organization as GM and SVP. Prior to Symantec, he was SVP and GM of the Network Security Group at Sophos where he expanded the network security business and helped the company go public. Bryan also spent 13 years at McAfee, serving as EVP and head of product development for a broad security portfolio.

Bryan holds a BS in electrical and electronics engineering and an MBA, both from Brigham Young University.

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