Empathy & Vulnerability Play A Role In Your Leadership

Dhananjay Ganjoo is a Managing Director India & SAARC at F5.He is responsible for driving the Channel Enterprise Business in India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. He drives strategy and sales. For the last year (2009) He was the Enterprise Leader for APAC.

Is it possible to summarize leadership positions? What are the most important attributes of successful leaders today?
Over my three decades of career, I have learned that it is important to collaborate, communicate, and constantly learn while working with your team. Being humble and know that there are a lot of people who will know more than you is crucial to sustaining in any leadership position. I believe a great leader learns from his team, and exchanges ideas and opportunities to create something extraordinary. A leader’s primary job is to nurture his/her team’s commitment and passion for the organization to get the best out of each individual. We ensure that all our employees feel belongingness through the open culture that we have created.

What are your thoughts on the security of the app?
Businesses today are increasingly using applications as touch points for their customers. As applications are becoming the lifeline of business, they are evolving to be API-first, micro services-based, and heavily reliant on automation and orchestration. Not only businesses but also cyber-criminals are trying to leverage the fast-changing landscape by coming up with new categories of attacks which are highly organized and financially motivated. These sophisticated cyber-attacks can bypass well-established security controls, such as firewalls, web application firewalls, etc.

1 Inclusive leadership is nothing but simply understanding and respecting the uniqueness of each team member, while respecting their differentiated point of view

We understand this need, and our Distributed Cloud WAAP equips customers with an advanced web application firewall (WAF), bot detection, API protection as a service, and capabilities to protect against distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks. Distributed Cloud WAAP provides end-to-end observability and real-time visibility across the entire deployment without requiring integration and/or automation tools. This will enable our customers to have differentiated digital experiences for their end customers, strengthening customers' trust for increased revenues.

How do you feel traits like empathy and vulnerability play a role in your leadership?
Empathy and vulnerability are the two key factors of inclusive leadership. Inclusive leadership is nothing but simply understanding and respecting the uniqueness of each team member, while respecting their differentiated point of view.To understand your team members, we must empathize rather than sympathize, as it will help us understand their perspectives to build trust and connection with the team.

Similarly, a leader must be able to make their team member feel a sense of belongingness and be themselves at work, for this vulnerability is a must attribute in a leader. The attribute allows leaders to solve complex challenges as a team and foster more genuine connections with their co-workers. This will encourage the team members to seek new opportunities and work more passionately.

What kind of strategy should we use to strengthen application security?
As I have mentioned earlier, the tremendous shift of businesses using applications to reach their customer has opened the doors to advanced cyber attacks. Businesses today need to have a cybersecurity strategy that not only meets their application security requirements but is also aligned with their IT infrastructure as a whole. Here are some best practices that have proven to be effective to ensure web application security:
•Adopting a cybersecurity framework
•Maintaining security during web application development
•Automating and integrating security tools
•Performing consistent, threat assessment and security testing
•Encrypting web application data
•Constantly updating security patches
•Applying authentication, role management, and access control
•Avoiding Security Misconfigurations
•Train stakeholders with application security training
•Regular scanning for security threats
•Onboarding security solutions such as WAF & WAAP

What are the risks that you feel associated with, while being responsible for the enterprise-wide product operations?
In this era of digital transformation, technology is changing rapidly, and customers no longer have the luxury of sweating technology assets. However, with the rapidly evolving landscape, technology assets are also evolving, making customers hesitant to invest in a particular technology. In such scenarios, the customer’s decision depends on how mobile and modern the technology is, and how it aligns with the ever-changing needs of the market. This conundrum leads to longer trial periods and delayed decision making, making it important for vendors like us to stay one step ahead of this tech curve and ensuring we rightly counsel our customers.

How do you increase awareness on security concerns based around the application?
With the increase in digitization and usage of application, the security concerns around applications have long been identified and continuously worked upon. Today businesses operating are not only aware but are also focusing on delivering a secure digital experience to their customers. This requirement has led to a rise in investment on the security front of the application; as per a recent survey by Market Watch, the global application security market size is growing at a CAGR of more than 18 percent over the forecast period 2020-2027.

We have always focused on enabling our customers to provide a secure digital experience to our customers. Our Distributed Cloud App Infrastructure Protection (AIP),helps businesses to tackle the challenge of managing and protecting their application from security threats by detecting threats in real-time across the entire infrastructure stack, guarding against emerging and unpredictable threats with enhanced telemetry collection and analytics. A combination of rules and machine learning is used to detect threats in real time across the entire infrastructure stack: cloud provider APIs, virtual machine instances, containers, and Kubernetes. With behavioral-based detection, AIP can identify insider threats, external threats, and data loss risks for modern applications.