Chief Operating Officer
Julie Parrish has more than 30 years of experience across sales, channel management and marketing in Fortune 500 companies. Prior to joining RedSeal, Julie held CMO roles at both Check Point Software and NetApp, where she oversaw all aspects of marketing, including product, field, brand, digital, events, and both public and analyst relations. Her track record includes leadership positions at Symantec, Veritas, Nokia Internet (now Check Point Software), 3Com and Hewlett-Packard.
Julie has a degree in decision and information sciences from Santa Clara University.
Q&A with Julie
Today we know that every organization is a target, and it’s more likely than not that, at some point, a cyberattack will be successful. The question is how do you contain it? How do you keep an attacker from reaching your most important data assets? How do manage a cyberattack and keep your operation running? This is where digital resilience comes into play.
Expanding the Definition of Critical Assets
In addition to protecting key business strategies and operational data, organizations need think about protecting their employee and customer data. All that’s needed is a breach into an employee or customer database, and suddenly these people are vulnerable because their information—possibly their direct-deposit data, home addresses or social security numbers—are at risk. This type of data breach is as disruptive as China accessing information on important technology.
What’s at Stake Here…
My biggest fear is that we will have an attack on our critical infrastructure, whether from Russia, from another rogue state, or even from some nefarious characters living here in the U.S.
We need to recognize the threat that’s in front of us and do everything we can to secure our data. We also need to consider more regulations, standards, codes and legislation to protect our data.
We have fire codes, electrical codes and building codes, because the stakes are too high to not have these rules in place. When you look at our data networks, which are connected to everything from financial to healthcare to power grids and national security, not to mention personal information on individuals, it seems appropriate that there be stronger regulation around basic requirements for ensuring the cybersecurity and the digital resilience of our networks.
On the Horizon…
Insurance has been a disruptive force in the past with preventing fires and ensuring safer buildings are constructed. It can do this again – forcing a positive change in how companies think about cybersecurity and resilience. My hope is that there will be a breakthrough in cyber insurance both in terms of companies upping their game and buying more policies, and underwriters doing more to mandate risk metrics.
Cyber Role Models
The industry as a whole needs to celebrate the role models of digital resilience—show the success organizations have when they get this right. We’re beginning to see this, but we need more sharing of stories from companies and government agencies where operations weren’t brought to a halt because they had planned resiliency.
Women in Tech
Over the past 25 years, I’ve seen more women join tech, but we still don’t see many in executive management. When it comes to executive team meetings both here, and at other companies I’ve worked for, I am often the only girl—and that’s got to change.
Here are a few things I tell women:
- If you want the job and you want the raise, show up, follow-up on what you say you’ll do, and don’t be an ass. This actually applies to both men and women.
- Don’t assume the door is closed. This is a big mistake. Just because you see a closed door and nobody is inviting you in, don’t assume the door is permanently closed. Try opening it, and if that doesn’t work, knock on it. You’d be surprised how often it will open.
- Let’s stop giving other women the stink-eye because they are mothers and have careers. It’s hard to believe this still happens, but younger women tell me it does.
- Help other women out. There are capable women out there who need some mentoring to move up to the executive ranks. Reach out to them. And, if you’re one of the women who need help, ask for it.
Getting away from tech is important for maintaining perspective. I’m very inspired by the natural beauty of landscapes and architecture. One of my favorites is going to the top of the Mark Hopkins Hotel in San Francisco, also known as the ‘Top of the Mark,’ to watch the fog roll in. I highly recommend it.