As CTO of a security company, I get my fair share of opportunities to dig deep into the technology looking for solutions. But I also find myself in the position of explaining technology to a wide variety of audiences. In fact, one of the most persistent requests I get is for easy to understand analogies for what we, as a company, do.
My new favorite is, not surprisingly, straight from my life. I've recently joined my local volunteer fire brigade (much to the chagrin of our CEO and board). Firefighters are a great model for outsourcing a critical function. You may not have put much thought into hiring them, but just try to get insurance or a home loan in an area without fire service.
Furthermore, even though firemen only get attention when they are fighting fires, they spend their most critical time talking to people about how to avoid fires. Don't stack flammables. Look out for frayed wires. Check your smoke detectors.
And their industry is regulated, too. Inspectors check for sprinkler systems, fire exits and extinguishers. Don't have 'em? You'll get fined and then shut down.
But no one is running their own fire department unless they are very specialized or isolated, like a chemical plant or an oil rig. Even those fire fighting units are only for first response. If they can't handle it, in comes the local fire department.
So, this is my new analogy for what we do: SecureWorks is like your local fire department. We spend a lot of time working to prevent fires. We watch the weather for lightning and droughts (viruses and Trojans). We watch the news for arsonists or angry, torch-wielding villagers (hackers and regulators!). We cruise the streets looking for power lines that get too close to tree limbs (intrusion prevention and vulnerability assessment). We conduct fire drills and inspections at schools and offices (professional services). We check the hydrants (firewall management). We help old ladies get cats out of trees (customer service). And we stay ready so that if a fire starts, it never gets to be a big fire (24/7 security monitoring and response). We even tell you how the fire began and if it was intentional (incident analysis and forensics).
And we do all this, so you don't have to.
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