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The human side of cybersecurity

Arctic Wolf understands that it takes more than software to keep data secure

The human side of cybersecurity
Arctic Wolf CEO and president Nick Schneider is helping businesses reduce their cybersecurity risk by taking responsibility for every aspect of customer security, including realistic training experiences and awareness coaching.

The greatest challenge in cybersecurity isn’t often technological—it’s human. Even if the software solutions are functioning perfectly, the humans are, well, human. IT teams are overtaxed and tired. Employees may lack expertise or, at the very least, have jobs to do besides guarding company data against hackers. Distraction, fatigue, and old-fashioned human error continue to grant malicious actors access to sensitive data.

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It was by focusing on the human side of cybersecurity that led Arctic Wolf to develop an innovative new security solution. Arctic Wolf Managed Security Awareness, which launched in 2021, aims to reduce risks by using more realistic training experiences and awareness coaching to help businesses harden their security posture from the inside out. It’s an end-to-end concept that includes taking responsibility for every aspect of customer security covering education, threat detection, and even incident response. This unique approach represents a new way of thinking about cybersecurity—and helped earn Arctic Wolf a spot on Fast Company’s list of the World’s Most Innovative Companies.

“Cybersecurity threats change on a daily basis,” says Nick Schneider, Arctic Wolf’s president and CEO. “The organizations we’re working with are looking for not only a platform to serve up data in a way that they can actually use, but also to have someone there who can help if they have questions.”

EMPOWERING PEOPLE

When IT teams and employees are constantly interrupted with warnings from their security software, they tend to let their guard down—and open the door to intruders. To counter this, Arctic Wolf takes on the responsibility of around-the-clock monitoring, giving their customers’ IT teams time to focus on other important tasks. “The end user only sees the important alerts, and they’re always clearly actionable,” Schneider says.

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Because the cybercriminal toolkit is constantly evolving, every person in an organization—not just the IT staff—needs to be continually educated on the latest threats. Even simple social-engineering schemes that directly target employees—including business-email compromise and phishing attacks—can bypass even the most robust virtual walls. But educating non-IT staff about cybersecurity issues is often done via dry and soporific training materials.

By contrast, Arctic Wolf serves up educational material in the form of concise, engaging videos. Professionally shot and edited content isn’t just for show. “The difference between a Hollywood movie and your local production is how well you can capture the attention of the audience,” Schneider says. “The goal is to engage the audience so that when the next training curriculum pops up, folks will actually want to watch it.”

OWNING THE OUTCOME

Last year, a vulnerability in a widely used piece of software known as Apache Log4j put countless organizations at risk. Arctic Wolf representatives called every one of its customers to alert them to the issue. “We showed them how to detect vulnerabilities and gave them the vaccine, if you will,” Schneider says. “Later we followed up with another call to check on them.”

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That’s just one example that demonstrates the person-to-person corporate philosophy that Schneider calls “owning the outcome.” Instead of navigating an unorganized slew of digital tools, Arctic Wolf’s customers deal with human beings, who can put the information into context and guide them through next steps. It’s a blueprint for a new kind of cybersecurity industry—one that is, in virtually every way, more human.

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