First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Matt Alderman: Stir crazy, but we’re all healthy and doing fine.
Tell us about you, your career, how you joined Security Weekly
Matt Alderman: That will take way too long…. Basically, I started in security in 1996 as a consultant, helping organizations secure Windows and their networks. I’ve worked for and advise various security startups. Paul, our founder, and I worked together at Tenable, where I was VP of Strategy. Paul and I developed long-term strategies for both application and container security, including the acquisitions of Arachni and FlawCheck. After the acquisition of Layered Insight, where I was Chief Strategy & Marketing Office, by Qualys in October 2018, Paul asked me to help him run Security Weekly, which was just acquired by CyberRisk Alliance. I hold a BS in Electrical Engineering and MS in Computer Engineering from Case Western Reserve University and am a CISSP.
How does Security Weekly innovate?
Matt Alderman: Through video and audio… As one of the oldest security podcasts, we’ve been doing video and audio podcasts for a long time. We’ve expanded that capability to webcasts, training, and soon virtual events. We’ve always had remote capabilities via Skype and Zoom and have only expanded those investments.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Matt Alderman: Luckily, we were always set up for remote/virtual podcasts. The biggest change was with our sponsors and prospects, as budgets became tight. We worked very closely to help the transition from physical to virtual activities through various incentives, allowing us to continue to grow.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Matt Alderman: Luckily, no. We kept all of our employees on the payroll and continued to produce our content without interruption. However, we did have to change the way we sold. We’re also looking at new formats to continue to expand our offerings to our sponsors and audience.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety, how do you project yourself and Security Weekly in the future?
Matt Alderman: Bourbon and cigars :)…. But seriously, we have one of the most unique cultures, which really helps us cope with stress and anxiety.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Matt Alderman: Cyberwire, Risky Business, and Darknet Diaries. Our expertise (all of our hosts are security practitioners) and our breadth (7 podcasts per week) help us produce more in-depth content than our competitors. The acquisition by CyberRisk Alliance will only help us grow that content through research, virtual events, and eventually more podcasts…
Your final thoughts?
Matt Alderman: You need a strategy and an exit plan. If we had not prepared for this journey back in 2018, we would not be in the position we are in today with a successful acquisition. Planning and hard work do pay off.