SailPoint: driving security in a digital world
Business Chief USA sits down with Juliette Rizallah, Chief Marketing Officer and cybersecurity expert of SailPoint, to discuss how digital culture is impacting cybersecurity.
Juliette Rizkallah, Chief Marketing Officer at SailPoint, started her career in application software development, transfering to cybersecurity by chance when she fell in love with the sector.
“Digital culture means connectivity,” says Rizallah. “The most significant current industry trend right now is identity - the new security layer. For the B2B world this means the buyer experience has changed, potential customers like to be informed before they reach out to you. They do their research to learn and hear what others say before they make a decision.”
“The demand from users and buyers to be connected is driving increased availability of vast amounts of information through the web. This drive is digitally transforming organisations to use cloud platforms.” Though digital culture has unleashed vast quantities of behavioural data that can be utilised to better target potential customers, Rizallah highlights that “while digital identities are becoming the keys to unlocking the doors to a connected world, they are also becoming so critical that they are the first IT security threat vector, which hackers are targeting more than anything else.” As a result, a new digital culture is enhancing the need for cybersecurity, “with everyone using their identities to access data online for both work and personal reasons, real security challenges are continuously emerging. In particular, privacy and people aren’t protecting their identities and are becoming vulnerable to hackers.” In order to combat this threat, the industry has seen governmental regulations continuing to increase, and produce “an uptick across all sectors as they increasingly recognise the need for identity governance.”
The impact of digital culture at SailPoint
“We are all about digital transformation,” emphasis Rizallah. “Digital transformation has been pushing a change in culture to how people want to work and how they want to buy. SailPoint has evolved, riding the wave of changing digital culture.”
For companies like SailPoint that manages and protects the digital identities for enterprises, it is important to promote the growing digital culture and provide protection against the potential threats it many produce. SailPoint leverages artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and Big Data within its technology to drive innovative security platforms for enterprises. “Big Data is the king of our digital culture that is driving SailPoint’s identity data. At the same time, we leverage AI and ML for a critical process, to give the identity data context. Allowing clients to understand who has access to what and what they are doing with that access - a critical understanding in today’s fast evolving digital culture.”
“SailPoint is on the bleeding edge of AI, ML, and Big Data. We are one of the few people solving issues that arise from a fast-evolving digital culture,” says SailPoint’s answer to the growing demands of automation is predictive identity. “With predictive identity, organisations can leverage peer group models to spot risk of inappropriate access. In addition, ML can be utilised to launch certification campaigns on risky user access. The launch of predictive identity allows us to deliver AI and ML enabled use cases across our core open identity platforms.”
When it comes to connectivity Rizallah briefly discusses the gradual redundancy of email communication. “Email is not a medium people find attractive anymore,” companies like SailPoint are becoming modern workforces that are embracing new technology tools - such as zoom and slack - to increase immediate access and provide people with 24/7 connectivity.
Who is SailPoint?
Founded in 2004, SailPoint has become a leading provider of identity management for enterprises in only a few short years. SailPoint helps customers manage the digital identities of employees efficiently and securely, in addition to contractors, business partners, and other users.
“We give our customers the critical visibility they need into who currently has access to which resources, who should have access to those resources, and how that access is being used,” comments Rizallah.
At its core, SailPoint believes that identity needs to be predictive, accessible, and dynamic. “When our customers put identity at the center of their cybersecurity strategy, they are no longer afraid to say 'yes' to embracing new technologies, entering new markets, or innovating in new ways, our customers can move forward, knowing that all their users and access to essential business applications and data are secure.” SailPoint strives to constantly redefine itself as a business to evolue, becoming pioneers and innovative when it comes to identity.
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Marketing matters: from IBM to Kyndryl
Prior to joining Kyndryl as Chief Marketing Officer, Maria had a 25-year career at IBM, most recently as the tech giant’s CMO where she oversaw all marketing professionals and activities across North America, Canada and Latin America. She has held senior global marketing positions in a variety of disciplines and business units across IBM, most notably strategic initiatives in Smarter Cities and Watson Customer Engagement, as well as leading teams in services, business analytics, and mobile and industry solutions. She is known for her work with teams to leverage data, analytics and cloud technologies to build deeper engagements with customers and partners.
With a passion for marketing, business and people, and a recognized expert in data-driven marketing and brand engagement, Maria talks to Business Chief about her new role, her leadership style and what success means to her.
You've recently moved from IBM to Kyndryl, joining as CMO. Tell us about this exciting new role?
I’m Chief Marketing Officer for Kyndryl, the independent company that will be created following the separation from IBM of its Managed Infrastructure Services business, expected to occur by the end of 2021. My role is to plan, develop, and execute Kyndryl's marketing and advertising initiatives. This includes building a company culture and brand identity on which we base our marketing and advertising strategy.
We have an amazing opportunity ahead at Kyndryl to create a company brand that will stand apart in the market by leading with our people first. Once we are an independent company, each Kyndryl employee will advance the vital systems that power human progress. Our people are devoted, restless, empathetic, and anticipatory – key qualities needed as we build on existing customer relationships and cultivate new ones. Our people are at the heart of this business and I am deeply hopeful and excited for our future.
What experiences have helped prepare you for this new opportunity?
I’ve had a very rich and diverse career history at IBM that has lasted 25+ years. I started out in sales but landed explored opportunities at IBM in different roles, business units, geographies, and functions. Marketing and business are my passions and I landed on Marketing because it allowed me to utilize both my left and right brain, bringing together art and science. In college, I was no tonly a business major, but an art major. I love marketing because I can leverage my extensive knowledge of business, while also being able to think openly and creatively.
The opportunities I was given during my time at IBM and my natural curiosity have led me to the path I’m on now and there’s no better next career step than a once-in-a-lifetime-opportunity to help launch a company. The core of my role at Kyndryl is to create a culture centered on our people and growing up in my career at IBM has allowed me to see first-hand how to prioritize people and ensure they are at the heart of progress in everything Kyndryl will do.
How would you describe your leadership style?
I believe that people aren't your greatest assets, they are your only assets. My platform and background for leadership has always been grounded in authenticity to who I am and centered on diversity and inclusion. I immigrated to the US from Chile when I was 10 years old and so I know the power and beauty that comes from leaning into what makes you different from other people, and that's what I want every person in my marketing organization to feel – the value in bringing their most authentic self to work every day. The way our employees feel when they show up for themselves authentically is how they will also show up for our customers, and strong relationships drive growth.
I think this is especially true in light of a world forever changed by the pandemic. Living through such an unprecedented time has reinforced that we are all humans. We can't lead or care for one another without empathy and I think leaders everywhere have been reminded of this.
What’s the best leadership advice you’ve received?
When I was growing up as an immigrant in North Carolina, I often wanted to be just like everyone else. But my mother always told me: Be unique, be memorable – you have an authentic view and experience of the world that no one else will ever have, so don't try to be anyone else but you.
What does success look like to you?
I think the concept of success is multi-faceted. From a career perspective, being in a job where you're respected and appreciated, and where you can see how your contributions are providing value by motivating your teams to be better – that's success! From a personal perspective, there is no greater accomplishment than investing in the next generation. I love mentoring younger professionals – they are the future. I want my legacy as a leader to include providing value in work culture, but also in leaving a personal impact on the lives of professionals who will carry the workforce forward. Finding a position in life with a job and company that offers me a chance at all of that is what success looks like to me.
What advice would you give to your younger self just starting out in the industry?
I've always been a naturally curious person and it's easy for me to over-commit to projects that pique my interest. I've learned over years of practice how to manage that, so to my younger self I’d say… prioritize the things that are most important, and then become amazing at those things.