When I left Apple two months ago to lead the global SMB business at McAfee, I got a lot of questions about why I left a terrific role at Apple. It’s simple: The opportunity to help protect business owners around the globe is the most important challenge I had ever encountered in my career. As I got to know the McAfee team, I found an amazing group of people deeply committed to their customers and partners. And when I learned that nearly 60 percent of small businesses will close within six months after a cyber attack, I realized the magnitude of the security challenge business owners face today.
Earlier in my career, I worked for a small New York City software company. For several years, I lived the small business life, wearing many hats as we grew the company and took it public. During that time I got the “SMB bug” and have never looked back. I share the pragmatic approach of business owners, and I absolutely love their practical attitude toward technology. These entrepreneurs are the backbone of so many countries and the growth engine of our global economy, creating the majority of new jobs each year. To have the opportunity to help safeguard these businesses is a privilege, and I couldn’t be more excited to work on such an important mission.
What I’m finding as I explore the security landscape is that many business owners are not taking cyber-criminals seriously. Hackers have taken their craft to a new level; there are thousands of very intelligent criminals across the globe spending their days stealing information and money from small companies. Given the daily, pressing demands of running a business it’s easy to overlook the need for cyber security and to underestimate the criminals’ reach and power. All it takes is one unsecured device, an infected web link or an innocent-looking email to put an entire business (its data and customers) at risk. Once a cyber attack occurs, the fallout can be devastating. From stolen financial information to compromised customer records to hijacked intellectual property, the potential consequences that can drive companies to bankruptcy are many.
With stakes so high, everyone involved in the security industry has a lot of important work ahead. My commitment to our partners and customers is that we’ll focus relentlessly on delivering intuitive and affordable security solutions to help keep business owners safe from the sophisticated and lucrative cybercrime industry. I look forward to engaging with you all on this important topic and will keep you abreast of upcoming innovations and solutions in SMB from McAfee.