March 22, 2023
By Diana Massaro - Chief Marketing Officer, Skyhigh Security
I joined Skyhigh Security at the end of February 2022, three weeks before we officially launched Skyhigh Security to the world. Now, a year later, I’m honored to reflect on how far we’ve come.
In January, a recruiter contacted me with an opportunity with “Cloud Co” as Skyhigh Security had not yet been named. I’m a big networker so although I wasn’t interested, I sent the CEO, Gee Rittenhouse, a LinkedIn invitation to connect. That night, Gee sent me the most authentic and thoughtful message about why he was excited about this opportunity and why my background fit. What CEO does that?
I wrote back that although I was impressed with his note, I was fed up with security marketing. I may have written something like, “cybersecurity marketers have made the world less safe.” Yes, I know I’m trashing myself and my peers but hear me out. When I go to security trade shows, I am overwhelmed with messages that all sound the same: Security! Cloud! Data! Threats! I hear the same industry buzzwords from hundreds of vendors. How is a CISO or CIO supposed to determine what they need to protect their data and company from threats? Every company says they do everything and it’s close to impossible to figure out what is real. The industry analysts don’t help either with the proliferation of acronym soup: EDR, MDR, XDR, SASE, SOAR, SSE, CASB, SD-WAN, etc.
The amazing thing is that Gee agreed with me. He wanted to provide solutions that solve real customer problems and communicate it in an authentic and straightforward way. I was told that a private equity company had purchased McAfee Enterprise and it was splitting it into two companies. I could see it would be a unique opportunity to carve out a healthy business from a big company and grow it. One of my concerns was that all the employees would come from McAfee; would people used to a large company adjust to being in a smaller one?
Fast forward, two weeks later I accepted the job on a Friday and started on a Monday. What I found is that I was right about a lot of things and wrong too. I was right that Gee had assembled a humble, brilliant, and passionate leadership team. Gee is an authentic and personable leader. I was wrong, so very wrong, about the McAfee people: they are amazing!
We launched Skyhigh Security three weeks after I started. We didn’t have a final logo, messaging, website, collateral, intranet, etc. It was a 14-hour-a-day job from the beginning. I got to know a few people very well as we wrote website copy together at 10:00 PM at night. The people who leaned in to join Skyhigh Security are passionate, intelligent, scrappy and kind.
I once had a VP of Sales tell me the three most important things in business are the people, the people and the people. I love the team I work with. We all want to make a real difference in the world by protecting our customers’ data from exfiltration from threats, mistakes or malware. Our company priorities are centered around our customers and our employees.
This last year has been fun but also really challenging. I work too many hours and a carve out is harder than it looks, especially regarding systems. This past year has felt like we have been learning to ride a unicycle while someone is trying to light us on fire: fun, challenging and a steep learning curve.
I care so much about culture. When things are hard, having great people on the team with you makes all the difference. The team we have built at Skyhigh Security isn’t just hard working, they are dedicated to making the world a safer place, they appreciate each other, and they say thank you often.
Yes, there are days when I want to curl up under my desk and just hide but those days are few and far between. I’m part of a global team with the same dedication and excitement about Skyhigh Security as I have and that is one of the many things that makes me love this job.
Happy first birthday Skyhigh Security, I can’t wait to see what the next year brings!
For more information on our year one success and history, visit our website at www.skyhighsecurity.com.
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