The Cowbell Factors Podcast, Ep. 4: Arctic Wolf’s Ian McShane

by | Dec 7, 2021 | Podcast

Cowbell Cyber has always maintained that cyber resiliency is the combination of cyber insurance AND cybersecurity – you can’t have one without the other. In recognition of this, Cowbell recently launched Cowbell Rx, our cybersecurity partner referral network.

One of the earliest partners to be featured in Cowbell Rx is Arctic Wolf, the leader in cybersecurity operations. With 861% growth in revenue over three years, Arctic Wolf has been recognized by Deloitte as one of the fastest-growing technology companies in North America. During this week’s episode of The Cowbell Factors Podcast, our host Alexis Cierra Holt talked to Arctic Wolf’s Field CTO, Ian McShane about his experience, how Arctic Wolf is helping businesses of all sizes, and why your current cybersecurity awareness training might not be so great – plus much more.

“I was forged in the cybersecurity practitioner’s seat,” says Ian, “I started two decades ago working in a call center doing tech support for dial-up Internet connections.” Ian believes that his experience in the call center gave him invaluable experience and set him up for the rest of his career.  

For fourteen years, Ian was a Gartner lead analyst for endpoint detection and response, which is the basis for all modern security operations. His real passion is helping clients understand what their biggest cybersecurity challenges are. His role as Field CTO at Arctic Wolf also affords him the opportunity to work with partners in the field, such as Cowbell Cyber. 

“What we do at Arctic Wolf is making that top-tier, cutting-edge security technology available to everyone,” Ian explains, “there is this real divide between the haves and have-nots when it comes to security technology.” Arctic Wolf focuses on bridging that divide and providing the best cybersecurity to an organization regardless of its size or revenue.  

There is an effectiveness problem when it comes to cybersecurity. New cybersecurity tools come out every year, and new cybersecurity companies form, yet the number of cyber-attacks and data breaches continues to rise. Interestingly, almost every company concerned about cybersecurity already has the tools they need to reach a good security baseline, but they are used ineffectively. “Half of our customers are in a more secure place in less than of week of engaging Arctic Wolf,” Ian says, “just by using what they already have in place more efficiently.”

Alexis and Ian also have a frequently humorous discussion about security training. Regarding cybersecurity awareness training, Ian says it should be “engaging and not enraging!” Ian laments the poor quality of most cybersecurity awareness training and jokes that it is often perceived by those it is meant to benefit as a “punishment delivery system.”

“Half of our customers are in a more secure place in less than of week of engaging Arctic Wolf just by using what they already have in place more efficiently.”

According to Ian, regardless of the size of the organization, your cybersecurity toolbox should contain:

  • Endpoint security (modern-day anti-virus) and detection controls 
  • Multifactor authentication
  • Expertise to implement security, whether it be in-house or via a third party

“At the end of the day, cyber risk is now a core part of doing business,” insists Ian, “and it is only a matter of time before you have a cyber security incident… it is a mathematical certainty for sure.” Arctic Wolf exists to bring premier cyber security to all sizes of businesses because we all want to reduce risk.

If you want to know about more of what Ian and Alexis discussed during the podcast, including trends that Ian is seeing when it comes to new cyber threats, you can listen to it on most Podcast platforms (Spotify, Google podcast, Apple podcast, Anchor, Breaker, and Radio Public).


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