Steve Armstrong

Steve Armstrong is Regional Vice President for Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) at NetSPI. In his role, he oversees NetSPI's growing team in the EMEA region. He has two decades of experience scaling businesses - both early-stage cyber security startups and established security providers. He focuses on a customer-centric/first approach to address the unique cultural and regional challenges of businesses in the EMEA region.
More by Steve Armstrong
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                    [post_content] => 

Bolstering over 350 exhibitors and more than 190 expert sessions, Infosecurity Europe is one of the largest gatherings of cybersecurity professionals in Europe. This year, the NetSPI team made an appearance in the exhibitor hall.  

During Infosecurity Europe, NetSPI officially announced its expansion into the EMEA region. We’ve experienced growing demand from EMEA organizations, and we feel that NetSPI is well-positioned to deliver in this region. 

Aside from the hustle and bustle of the conference itself, we devoted much of our time to the exhibitor hall – where we noticed a few interesting themes. Continue reading for our three key observations from Infosecurity Europe and our conversations with the EMEA cybersecurity community. 

Automate Where Necessary 

Walking the floor, the automation message was prevalent among vendor solutions. However, in conversations with end users, the underlying message was that automation needs to serve a purpose, linked to, for example, improving cybersecurity workflows and processes. As Lalit Ahluwalia, writes in this Forbes article, the top drivers for automation include the lack of skilled workers, lack of standardization, and the expanded attack surface

It is also important to understand that technology alone should not be viewed as a “silver bullet.” There is a fundamental need to ensure that skilled humans can triage the data to ensure accurate results and that the information delivered is valuable and actionable.  

Automation should enable humans to do their job better and spend more time on the tasks that matter most (e.g., in penetration testing, looking for critical vulnerabilities that tools cannot find). For more on the importance of people in cybersecurity, read Technology Cannot Solve Our Greatest Cybersecurity Challenges, People Can

Tightening of Venture Capital Funding and Cybersecurity Budgets 

Another heavily discussed topic at Infosecurity Europe centered around funding, budgets, and priorities. 

With the onset of COVID-19, we noticed an over-expansion of cybersecurity vendors – this was evident in the exhibitor space. We attribute this partly to the rise in remote work, increased ransomware attacks in the past year, and companies’ expanding attack surfaces.  

The cause for concern? 

With the current global economic downturn, many vendor solutions are now seen as a “nice to have”, budgets are being squeezed, and end users are prioritizing their investments based on risk.  

We also had conversations with end users who felt that the whole market is becoming a “Noah’s ark” of solutions – i.e., there are a lot of solutions that have been built in the hope end users see value. We foresee not just a consolidation of the vendors in the market, but also a consolidation of the actual solutions that end users view as critical to their needs. 

The reality is that financial winds of change are blowing, whether it is customers focusing on maximising the return on their budget, or investment dollars looking for a home, there is a tightening coming. While our industry is relatively well-placed to withstand these financial pressures, the ability to build those trusted relationships with our customers and help them achieve tangible positive outcomes will be a key differentiator. 

Emphasis on Business Enablement  

It was refreshing to see many vendors focus less on fear, uncertainty, and doubt and more on business enablement and benefits to the customer.  

Understanding how technology supports initiatives that enable a company to grow is a win-win tactic in our book. This is a positive change and one that will help customers understand which products and services are vital as they mature their security programs.  

The Future of Information Security in EMEA 

There is no doubt that cybersecurity is a vital component of every business, and that was evident at the conference. We’re excited to be a part of the momentum in the EMEA region and support the global cybersecurity community through our platform driven, human delivered methodology and our focus on business enablement. 

Infosecurity Europe may be over, but that doesn’t mean our conversation has to end. Connect with NetSPI today to learn how we can meet your global offensive security needs.

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Bolstering over 350 exhibitors and more than 190 expert sessions, Infosecurity Europe is one of the largest gatherings of cybersecurity professionals in Europe. This year, the NetSPI team made an appearance in the exhibitor hall.  

During Infosecurity Europe, NetSPI officially announced its expansion into the EMEA region. We’ve experienced growing demand from EMEA organizations, and we feel that NetSPI is well-positioned to deliver in this region. 

Aside from the hustle and bustle of the conference itself, we devoted much of our time to the exhibitor hall – where we noticed a few interesting themes. Continue reading for our three key observations from Infosecurity Europe and our conversations with the EMEA cybersecurity community. 

Automate Where Necessary 

Walking the floor, the automation message was prevalent among vendor solutions. However, in conversations with end users, the underlying message was that automation needs to serve a purpose, linked to, for example, improving cybersecurity workflows and processes. As Lalit Ahluwalia, writes in this Forbes article, the top drivers for automation include the lack of skilled workers, lack of standardization, and the expanded attack surface

It is also important to understand that technology alone should not be viewed as a “silver bullet.” There is a fundamental need to ensure that skilled humans can triage the data to ensure accurate results and that the information delivered is valuable and actionable.  

Automation should enable humans to do their job better and spend more time on the tasks that matter most (e.g., in penetration testing, looking for critical vulnerabilities that tools cannot find). For more on the importance of people in cybersecurity, read Technology Cannot Solve Our Greatest Cybersecurity Challenges, People Can

Tightening of Venture Capital Funding and Cybersecurity Budgets 

Another heavily discussed topic at Infosecurity Europe centered around funding, budgets, and priorities. 

With the onset of COVID-19, we noticed an over-expansion of cybersecurity vendors – this was evident in the exhibitor space. We attribute this partly to the rise in remote work, increased ransomware attacks in the past year, and companies’ expanding attack surfaces.  

The cause for concern? 

With the current global economic downturn, many vendor solutions are now seen as a “nice to have”, budgets are being squeezed, and end users are prioritizing their investments based on risk.  

We also had conversations with end users who felt that the whole market is becoming a “Noah’s ark” of solutions – i.e., there are a lot of solutions that have been built in the hope end users see value. We foresee not just a consolidation of the vendors in the market, but also a consolidation of the actual solutions that end users view as critical to their needs. 

The reality is that financial winds of change are blowing, whether it is customers focusing on maximising the return on their budget, or investment dollars looking for a home, there is a tightening coming. While our industry is relatively well-placed to withstand these financial pressures, the ability to build those trusted relationships with our customers and help them achieve tangible positive outcomes will be a key differentiator. 

Emphasis on Business Enablement  

It was refreshing to see many vendors focus less on fear, uncertainty, and doubt and more on business enablement and benefits to the customer.  

Understanding how technology supports initiatives that enable a company to grow is a win-win tactic in our book. This is a positive change and one that will help customers understand which products and services are vital as they mature their security programs.  

The Future of Information Security in EMEA 

There is no doubt that cybersecurity is a vital component of every business, and that was evident at the conference. We’re excited to be a part of the momentum in the EMEA region and support the global cybersecurity community through our platform driven, human delivered methodology and our focus on business enablement. 

Infosecurity Europe may be over, but that doesn’t mean our conversation has to end. Connect with NetSPI today to learn how we can meet your global offensive security needs.

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