Lise Lapointe, CEO at Terranova Security talks about the current state of cybersecurity and how women advocacy can bring new ideas and creativity to the table.
1. Tell us how you came to be the CEO at Terranova Security. How much of your typical day is involved in innovating tech for your customers?
I became CEO of Terranova Security when I founded the company in 2001, making it one of the first companies in the world to focus on cyber security training for business.
A large portion of everyday is spent innovating tech for our customers. My team at Terranova Security works with organizations and security awareness teams worldwide daily to design programs that drastically reduce the human risk factor to effectively counter all cyber attacks.
2. Your background was in teaching and training. How did you end up working in cyber security?
My career started in teaching, but I quickly – and unexpectedly – got into IT training 30 years ago. I’ve always loved training because it’s something positive; it helps improve people’s lives and situations. I love technology because it’s changing all the time; it’s challenging and so dynamic.
I transitioned into cyber security as my second business venture. We discovered a gap and huge need for end user training in the security market. This decision also satisfied my desire to take on a business that can be applied globally and be product oriented. We launched Terranova Security first security awareness course in 2003.
3. How did you define the vision of Terranova Security?
The vision of Terranova Security is to drastically reduce the human risk factor to effectively counter all cyber attacks
When I founded Terranova Security in 2001, organizations all over the world faced an increasing rate of cyber attacks and threats year over year. Data and science told us that human error prevailed to be the leading cause of all breaches and security incidents. Terranova Security made the commitment to work with organizations, help change behavior and reduce human risk by combining education and technology. In 2003, Terranova Security went to market with its first security awareness solution and never looked back.
4. Would you like to talk about Terranova Security’s offerings for the various industries?
Terranova Security is a global leader in cyber security awareness, recognized by Gartner, with thousands of successful phishing, GDPR and security awareness programs spanning over 10 million users. Organizations continue to leverage the Terranova security awareness 5-step framework which provides an evidence-based, step by step approach to a successful security awareness program. The 5-step framework is complemented with the industry’s richest and highly interactive content. The offering can be personalized and available in 40+ languages, allowing security awareness teams design programs that deliver measurable improvements, drastically reduce breaches and protect from data loss.
5. What are some of the unique lessons you have learnt from analysing your customer behaviour?
It varies a lot from the size and maturity of the client in Security Awareness.
I would say the biggest challenge is to keep an ongoing program with up-to-date content on new risks.This is why Terranova Security develops new content on an ongoing basis to help our clients launch programs that will change the risky behaviors in place in their day-to-day work and home life.
6. Terranova Security recently announced new program tiers, special offers, and an enhanced portal experience for Cyber Security partners globally. Would you like to talk about it?
We are excited about the enhancements to our partner program! We offer our community of security awareness leaders a simple but powerful ecosystem that supports long-term business and portfolio growth. Partners enjoy access to:
Comprehensive online training and certification that establishes them as a trusted information security awareness advisor.
- Special incentives and offers that drive new sales opportunities and facilitate new account acquisition and portfolio expansion.
- Sales and marketing resources that promote continuous business growth.
- Reliable, engaging security awareness solutions that leverage Terranova Security’s proven training material and phishing simulations.
- A transparent, mutually beneficial program structure where all sales engagement is conducted with the utmost attentiveness.
The new partner program is the home of a new partner portal interface as well, streamlining online experience will make it much easier for MSSPs, OEMs, resellers and other partners to register deals, complete certifications and access exclusive partner-only content
7. According to data from the National Centre for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT), only 25% of female professionals hold computing roles. What would you like to say about it?
This is a topic that is very important to me. I strongly believe that an even mix of men and women is crucial to bringing new ideas and creativity to the table, as well as helping to identify new ways to improve and innovate business operations.
As an entrepreneur, women have played an important role in every organisation that I have owned or led. 54 percent of the global Terranova Security employee base are female, while women occupy two-thirds of the company’s management positions.
8. You are not just a woman CEO but also a woman CEO of a cyber security business, an industry where women are still a minority. What changes have you seen over the years for women working in Cyber Security?
When I first started in this business, you could count on one hand the number of women you would run into at an industry event.
Today there are security industry events and professional organizations where women are the primary attendees and members. But we still have a long way to go. I am often still the only women at the table.
9. What is Terranova Security in particular doing to advocate women working in cyber security field?
In the industry, Terranova Security works with different associations to help women get started in security and security awareness.
As an entrepreneur, women have played an important role in every business I’ve owned or led. Today at Terranova Security, 54 percent of our employees are women. I strongly believe that the mix of men and women is important. It brings new ideas and creativity to the table for our products and helps identify new ways of doing things that can improve operations and make the business move faster.
I have also won some awards; I think they help promoting cybersecurity for young women to join the field.
10. What advice would you like to give to the upcoming Cyber Security based tech start-ups?
My advice is to stay focused, have a good sales and marketing team. It makes all the difference. And if they want to scale, it is important to have a system in place to follow the priorities and make sure all teams work toward meeting the corporate, department and personal goals.
11. Can you give us a sneak peek into some of the upcoming product upgrades that your customers can look forward to?
We optimize and launch new functionality monthly. The new upgrades that we are launching now are around reports and dashboards, automation of certain functionalities to speed up the process for our clients and serious games.
12. Which is the one Cyber Security based tech breakthrough you will be on the lookout for in the upcoming year?
This is a secret!
13. What is the one leadership motto you live by?
One Team, One dream!
CEO at Terranova Security
Recognized as an innovative entrepreneur, a visionary and leader, Lise has dedicated the last two decades to cyber security. Today, as Terranova Security CEO, she and her team are committed to ensure the safety and success of organizations and governmental agencies and drastically reduce the human risk factor and support security leaders, designing security awareness programs that change behaviours.