Meet Ian McShane, CTO at Cybersecurity Company: Arctic Wolf

Arctic Wolf is a leader in security operations, which following a recent $150 million Series F funding round, is now valued at $4.3 billion. We solve the cybersecurity industry’s ‘effectiveness’ problem as, despite new technologies, vendors, and solutions emerging every year, high-profile breaches continue to flood the headlines!

We do this with our cloud-native platform and solutions, such as Managed Detection and Response (MDR), all delivered by our industry-first Concierge Security® Team. Thanks to our highly-trained Concierge Security experts working as an extension of internal teams to provide 24×7 monitoring, detection and response, as well as ongoing risk management. Organisations can stay protected without having to worry about their internal resources.

We recently expanded into EMEA and established our European headquarters in the UK. We are rapidly growing our presence in the Nordics and the Benelux regions, and later this year, we will open our first European Security Operations Center in Germany.
Arctic Wolf | The Leader in Security Operations

What are the biggest opportunities and challenges in the cybersecurity space right now, and how can they be overcome?

With many organisations starting to feel more settled into a remote-first or hybrid approach to office life, a key opportunity to address any challenge for all kinds of organisations right now is to test their disaster recovery (DR) processes. Things have changed, old and new locations matter or don’t matter, and assets are everywhere but not always available to control. Businesses need to ask themselves: “When was the last time we did a solid DR activity? Do we have a playbook? Is it old and unsuitable?”

This is crucial, as years ago when data backups were written to tape and stored offsite (yes, I am that old), there was a phrase “your backup is only as good as the restore”, people like me had to test the backup and restore process a lot. It was time-consuming and expensive, but we still did it regularly. It saved my employers more than a few times and we had the ‘muscle memory’ to know what to do and when.

There are parallels with cybersecurity, too. And I don’t just mean having backups for when you get hit by ransomware. The R in xDR is only as good as the execution of that response. So, when was the last time you tested a disaster scenario? What’s your infosec’s first step when ransomware takes hold?


How has the company evolved during the pandemic?

Like many businesses, Arctic Wolf has had to adjust. But, as a distributed company with employees and customers in multiple time zones and countries, we already had some insight into distributed working. We’ve also learned new ways to work which we’ll carry forward after seeing how employees needed flexibility while balancing child care, virtual learning, caring for parents, and more.

Throughout the pandemic, we introduced, and now intend to maintain, many telehealth and virtual options for employees to access mental health and wellness resources. We also rolled out our #PackStrong initiative, designed to strengthen ourselves in specific areas including mental and emotional wellbeing, resiliency, and stress management. We offered live wellness webinars (I.e. meditation and yoga) and wellness challenges as we know that stronger wolves make for a stronger pack.

What can we hope to see from Arctic Wolf in the future?

With a mission as important as ending cyber risk, we’ll continue investing in the tools, technologies, and humans that we use in our cloud-native platform. After all, it’s the foundation for us to deliver the operational excellence and security outcomes that are critical for organisations!

As there is no one-size-fits-all approach to security, we’ll also continue to be an open, vendor-agnostic company by adding further support and seamless integrations with more and more standalone tools that cause the biggest pain points for IT and Security teams.

This, our advisory services and our concierge security team, will ensure that every customer is as secure as they can be, and that they have a path and a strategy to continue to improve cybersecurity in a way that is right for them.