We talked toVíctor Ruiz, founder of SILIKN, a technology startup that develops and promotes a cybersecurity hub based on open technologies. This is what he said:
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these times of COVID-19?
Víctor Ruiz: These have undoubtedly been difficult times – both work and personal – but we have found that the best we can do is adapt. Adaptation in highly complex environments is essential, and this has allowed us to continue with our activities and to learn to be more creative.
Tell us about yourself, your career, how you founded SILIKN.
Víctor Ruiz: SILIKN is created based on one objective: to protect the digital life of people and companies. We are living in a time where cyber threats have increased, and cybercriminals are preparing better and better and developing highly sophisticated tools. In Mexico, as in other Latin American countries, there is a strong digital divide, so the adoption and use of technological tools has not been as fast as required. This makes Latin American countries perfect targets for cybercrime. Therefore, I made the decision to create SILIKN, a technology startup with a focus on cybersecurity. At SILIKN, we give training, conferences, webinars, content, consulting, and we offer cybersecurity solutions that are accessible to any type of company, regardless of its size or sector in which it operates. SILIKN also collaborates to train future cybersecurity specialists so that they can create their own startups or work for a company.
How does SILIKN innovate?
Víctor Ruiz: SILIKN makes information about the cybersecurity sector accessible. In general, technical issues are complicated for people and companies that do not have much contact with the technology sector. At SILIKN, we create an entire ecosystem so that organizations can prevent or mitigate cyberattacks through advice, content, and education specifically focused on cybersecurity.
How does the coronavirus pandemic affect SILIKN finances?
Víctor Ruiz: Like all companies, SILIKN has also been affected by financial issues because the budgets of many of the clients have been reduced – because many companies have decided to acquire technology for remote work instead of purchasing security technology. -. However, SILIKN is growing because it is helping companies avoid being victims of cyberattacks and offering suitable solutions for each type of client.
Did you have to make tough decisions regarding human resources, and what are the lessons learned?
Víctor Ruiz: There have been no difficult decisions for SILIKN. We are a team, and we stick together. Only united can we move forward and achieve our goals. Human resources are the most important part of SILIKN: a prepared team that has the mindset to solve problems and that is ready to face any cyber threat.
How did your customer relationship management evolve? Do you use any specific tool to be efficient?
Víctor Ruiz: Before the pandemic, SILIKN operations were already based on telework, so we kept working as normal. In this sense, SILIKN continued to use tools for videoconferencing and cloud storage. Even SILIKN helped some of its clients to use the tools and to continue working efficiently.
Did you benefit from a government grant, and did that help keep your business afloat?
Víctor Ruiz: No. The government of Mexico has no interest in helping entrepreneurs. But this has been something that we have been able to take advantage of in order to be more innovative, without having to depend on the government. Mexican entrepreneurs are the most creative in the world, so we hope to overcome this crisis on our own.
Your final thoughts?
Víctor Ruiz: Throughout history, there have been attacks based on religion, race, economy, politics, ideology, survival, sexual preferences, group affiliation, and so on. It is the first time in history that we are exposed to any kind of attack… for nothing. Anytime, anywhere we can be attacked. Why is cybersecurity important? Because a protected world allows us to continue with our lives and strive, fulfill our goals without having to worry about being attacked. But, everything changes when it happens to you. Today we must take care of each other. Learn and teach. Teach and learn. Because what is at risk is not the future … it is the present.
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