All posts by Raymond Maisano

A Year Later: Reflections on the ANZ Security Landscape

Post Syndicated from Raymond Maisano original

A Year Later: Reflections on the ANZ Security Landscape

A Year Later: Reflections on the ANZ Security Landscape

It’s been one year since I joined Cloudflare as Head of Australia and New Zealand. While it has been a great year for our ANZ operations, it is hard to stop thinking about the elephant in the room, especially as I’m writing this blog from my home in the middle of Melbourne’s lockdown.

The pandemic has not only disrupted our daily lives, but has also caused a massive shift to remote work for many of us. As a result, security teams lost visibility into office network traffic, their employees moved to unsupervised WiFi networks with new video conferencing technology, and their IT teams found that their out-dated VPN platforms could not handle all the traffic of remote employees. While many organisations were already moving to cloud-based applications, this year has exacerbated the need for greater security posture. Our team has been even more humbled by our mission to help build a better Internet and help organisations face the increased security threats COVID-19 has triggered. With that in mind, I’d like to take a look back at the milestones of the past year.

First, I’d like to recognise how strong and resilient our people have been in the past year. It is not just about the pandemic. It is about a team that has grown more than 60% in size, and for some, have never had the opportunity to meet their colleagues face-to-face, but managed to keep our spirit and culture alive. I’m so proud of how the team continues to meet every customer challenge head on, answering urgent calls for help, many of whom needed to optimise and secure their systems for a remote workforce unprepared for 2020’s curveball.

This is an essential piece in helping to build a better Internet, and the mission is far from over. We recognise the Internet has become an essential service, and greater Internet usage has come with greater cyber risk, and COVID has put the spotlight on the security pain points that Australian organisations and citizens are facing. Scammers have stolen AU$1.2 million from Australians in the first six months of the year, and our recent report ranked Australia fifth in the world for the volume of DDoS attacks targeting Internet properties in Q2.

We need to continue building strong defences against these threats. Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison unveiled Australia’s Cyber Security Strategy a few weeks ago, which I had the privilege to consult for. However, we need to go further than this and provide organisations with more than a loose plan for upgrading their security standards.

This is why our mission remains more important than ever, and we are ready to take more on. By the end of 2020 and through 2021, we plan to grow our team significantly to meet the challenges. In the meantime, I believe we need to keep that conversation alive, elevate the message to every board member, and every employee regarding the security risks Australian organisations are facing to really spark a change.

With that said, I am heartened by the increasing number of organisations, large and small, that we have been discussing or working with in the past 12 months. In total, we have had conversations on security with hundreds of organisations over the year, including dozens of meetings on my end with CIOs, CSOs and CISOs, with a very positive response regarding the urgent need for greater security. I have the feeling we are building some kind of community, all rallying behind that common goal.

A few specific examples stand out, as they are perfect illustrations of the variety of problems the team has been able to solve, but also of organisations currently looking for optimisation and security. They are incredibly different, but equally exciting.
The first is Australian tech darling Canva, whose online graphic design tool is used by 20 million people and businesses worldwide. Canva is the perfect example of a business we have helped scale while maintaining performance and security for their users and employees to meet external challenges, including in recent times. Today Canva uses a number of our solutions including Cloudflare Access to secure remote access to internal apps, Workers to customize how user traffic is handled at the network edge, and Bot Management to significantly reduce cyberattacks by image-scraping bots.

“As our business grows, and we expand our product offerings, we’re constantly running into new technical challenges. Just as Canva simplifies graphic design, Cloudflare simplifies performance and security. Thanks to Cloudflare, we can focus on improving our product and expanding into new markets with confidence, knowing that our platform is fast, reliable, and secure.” – Jim Tyrrell, Head of Infrastructure, Canva

The other one is the organisation Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef, which is a participant of Cloudflare’s Project Galileo. At Cloudflare, we believe helping to build a better Internet comes with offering more equal access to cybersecurity solutions to vulnerable groups. In 2014, we launched Project Galileo to provide enterprise-level cybersecurity services at no charge to qualified public interest groups like artists, advocates, humanitarian organizations, and the voices of political dissent.

Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef’s purpose is essential: working to protect and conserve the Great Barrier Reef through in-water projects and public engagement. With a strong emphasis on digital innovation and open source data, the organisation relies on its website to engage and mobilise people around the world to join their mission. Through Project Galileo, we’ve helped them to secure their origin server from large bursts of traffic or malicious actors attempting to access the website.

“Under Project Galileo we’re always online – a web-fronted not-for-profit running on the resources of a startup, but with the network confidence of an enterprise.” – Som Meaden, Technologist at Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef

However, there is only so much we can do alone. Because we are stronger together, we continue to establish and reinforce strategic partnerships in the region. In June, we strengthened our relationship with Rackspace to provide our shared users with combined services aimed at securing and optimising their growing online presence. We have also partnered with Baidam and AC3. Finally, even though our coverage in ANZ is already significant, we continue to expand in adding more points of presence in the region.

This first year has certainly been interesting in so many aspects. It has been unexpected and challenging, but also a journey full of learnings I believe have made me a stronger individual and business leader. I work with a team full of talented individuals, customers that share our purpose, and key partners that make us stronger. With all these allies around us, I’m looking at the future full of optimism for our purpose to build a better, safer, and more resilient Internet. Join the cause.

Why I’m Helping Cloudflare Grow in Australia & New Zealand (A/NZ)

Post Syndicated from Raymond Maisano original

Why I’m Helping Cloudflare Grow in Australia & New Zealand (A/NZ)

Why I’m Helping Cloudflare Grow in Australia & New Zealand (A/NZ)

I’ve recently joined Cloudflare as Head of Australia and New Zealand (A/NZ). This is an important time for the company as we continue to grow our presence locally to address the demand in A/NZ, recruit local talent, and build on the successes we’ve had in our other offices around the globe. In this new role, I’m eager to grow our brand recognition in A/NZ and optimise our reach to customers by building up my team and channel presence.

A little about me

I’m a Melburnian born and bred (most livable city in the world!) with more than 20 years of experience in our market. From guiding strategy and architecture of the region’s largest resources company, BHP, to building and running teams and channels, and helping customers solve the technical challenges of their time, I have been in, or led, businesses in the A/NZ Enterprise market, with a focus on network and security for the last six years.

Why Cloudflare?

I joined Cloudflare because I strongly believe in its mission to help build a better Internet, and believe this mission, paired with its massive global network, will enable the company to continue to deliver incredibly innovative solutions to customers of all segments.

Four years ago, I was lucky to build and lead the VMware Network & Security business, working with some of Cloudflare’s biggest A/NZ customers. I was confronted with the full extent of the security challenges that A/NZ businesses face. I recognized that there must be a better way to help customers secure their local and multi-cloud environments. That’s how I found Cloudflare. With Cloudflare’s Global Cloud Platform, businesses have an integrated solution that offers the best in security, performance and reliability.

Second, something that’s personally important for me as the son of Italian migrants, and now a dad of two gorgeous daughters, is that Cloudflare is serious about culture and diversity. When I was considering joining Cloudflare, I watched videos from the Internet Summit, an annual event that Cloudflare hosts in its San Francisco office. One thing that really stood out to me was that the speakers came from so many different backgrounds.

I’m extremely passionate about encouraging those from all walks of life to pursue opportunities in business and tech, so seeing the diversity of people giving insightful talks made me realise that this was a company I wanted to work for, and hopefully perhaps my girls as well (no pressure).

Cloudflare A/NZ

I strongly believe that Cloudflare’s mission, paired with its massive global network, will enable customers of all sizes in segments in Australia and New Zealand to leverage Cloudflare’s security, performance and reliability solutions.

For example, VicRoads is 85 percent faster now that they are using Argo Smart Routing, Ansarada uses Cloudflare’s WAF to protect against malicious activity, and MyAffiliates harnesses Cloudflare’s global network, which spans more than 180 cities in 80 countries, to ensure an interruption-free service for its customers.

Making security and speed, which are necessary for any strong business, available to anyone with an Internet property is truly a noble goal. That’s another one of the reasons I’m most excited to work at Cloudflare.

Australians and Kiwis alike have always been great innovators and users of technology. However, being so physically isolated (Perth is the most isolated city in the world and A/NZ are far from pretty much everywhere else in the world) has limited our ability to have the diversity of choice and competition. Our isolation from said choice and competition fueled innovation, but at the price of complexity, cost, and ease. This makes having local servers absolutely vital for good performance. With Cloudflare’s expansive network, 98 percent of the Internet-connected developed world is located within 100 milliseconds of our network. In fact, Cloudflare already has data centers in Auckland, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth, and Sydney, ensuring that customers in A/NZ have access to a secure, fast, and reliable Internet.

Our opportunities in Australia, New Zealand and beyond…

I’m truly looking forward to helping Cloudflare grow its reach over the next five years. If you are a business in Australia and New Zealand and have a cyber-security, performance or reliability need, get in touch with us (1300 748 959). We’d love to explore how we can help.

If you’re interested in exploring careers at Cloudflare, we are hiring globally. Our team in Australia is small today, about a dozen, and we are growing quickly. We have open roles in Solutions Engineering and Business Development Representatives. Check out our careers page to learn more, or send me a note.