by Divina Paredes

Doing business with Simon Howe of LogRhythm: Know thyself, empower your team

Jul 26, 2016
Big DataCareersGovernment IT

Don’t make a customer act on fear. Give them the knowledge and visibility to take an informed action and they will invest more completely in that action.

Name: Simon Howe

Title: Director of Sales – LogRhythm Australia and New Zealand

Twitter handle: @Howe27

How long have you been in your current role?

Since January 2014.

What business technology issue is your organisation focusing on?

We’re focused on protecting against today’s rapidly evolving threat landscape which requires broad and deep visibility across the IT environment.

LogRhythm provides profound visibility into threats and risks to which organisations are otherwise blind. Designed to help prevent breaches before they happen, the platform detects an extensive range of early attack behaviour, enabling rapid response and neutralisation. The deep visibility and understanding delivered by LogRhythm’s Security Intelligence Platform empowers enterprises to secure their environment and comply with regulatory requirements

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Know yourself – especially your weaknesses and hire to that.Simon Howe, LogRhythm

What are your interests away from work?

Mountain biking, scuba diving…and family, of course.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

Worry about the things you can influence and don’t worry about the things you can’t! A simple yet profoundly helpful piece of advice that I have applied throughout my life privately and professionally. (Remember it next time you’re grounded on the Melbourne runway in a lighting storm and running late for a meeting)

How long have you been working in IT? How did you get into IT?

I’ve been in IT for nearly 20 years since I came to Australia in 1998. At that time IT was booming. I landed a temp job helping out the marketing team at Symantec then they announced they were hiring for the sales team and I jumped at it.

That was the start of nearly 10 years in total at Symantec from temp envelope stuffer to NSW Commercial Sales Manager when I left. I have had the opportunity to work with many people that I both respect and admire in my career so far. I am most inspired by those people that will go out of their way to do the right things in the right way.

Prepare to be the disruptor – not the disrupted. How did you apply this insight to your organisation, or with a customer you have worked with?

Often, security vendors and sales people play on the fear factor. There’s a scary, ugly world out there so do this or the sky will fall in and so on. I prefer to take a different approach. Don’t make a customer act on fear. Give them the knowledge and visibility to take an informed action and they will invest more completely in that action.

The current threat landscape means that breaches are very likely and quite frankly if someone wants to get in badly enough they will. But there is another way instead of panic, buying bigger firewalls and keeping your fingers crossed through sleepless nights. Take a deep breath. Assume a breach will occur (if indeed it hasn’t already) and focus instead on detecting incidents quickly when they do happen. Sure, there is a certain relief to be achieved from realising finally that you don’t have to try and keep everything out – you just have to have visibility to something when it does happen. A step towards IT security enlightenment you might say. We operate on knowledge, not fear.

Can you share a key pointer for success at a time of fast paced technology changes and what Forrester calls ‘the age of the customer’?

A key pointer for success in this age of fast paced technology changes is customer communication and enablement. It’s one thing to provide a customer a market leading technology but it’s equally important to enable them to use that technology and derive deeper value from it. Ongoing communication with a customer provides a mutual benefit. The customer is assured of seeing the return on investment they anticipated and you as the vendor can take direct customer feedback to drive innovation and development. In this age of the customer, the client is driving change and demanding innovation. The closer you can be to that interface and keep pace with that change, the more successful you can be.

Can you share a key pointer for fostering an innovative culture in the organisation?

Empower people to run their own business and make independent decisions. You’ve hired people to do a job, so let them get on with it and that empowerment will drive confidence, creativity and innovation.

and for building a diverse team?

Know yourself – especially your weaknesses and hire to that. Don’t be afraid to hire people that have different strengths and different opinions.

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