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For decades, security companies and experts, myself included, have pushed the mantra “Security first.” We prided ourselves in studying and predicting the evolution of threats within an industry. Those in the industry worked hard to be in front of those threats with sophisticated and new technology. The industry grew exponentially in anticipation that corporations big and small would build their business with security as a primary priority in mind.

It didn’t happen.

Instead, organizations were pummeled with breaches while corporate and government reputations took the hits. Not one industry or field was considered full proof. Instead, money was spent on security solutions that just ended up being band aids for the issues. Full, expensive security bundles were and continue to be purchased yet not fully implemented. It begs the question – where do we, as a security industry fall down? Believe it or not, it has little to do with the technology. It’s my belief that most security providers have a huge blind spot. Security providers fail to do what every other successful company does – listen to our customers.

It’s that simple. We need to be an industry that puts customer service first.

Most security companies have the simple mantra of “if you build it, they will come.” Security providers often fall into an echo chamber, insisting that their expertise within security outweighs the need to take customers opinions, wants and needs into account.

Customers don’t always need expensive solutions or platforms. In fact, it’s my belief that pushing unnecessary products will turn customers off to security as a whole, making the job of defending their systems even harder. We learned this very early at Hillstone Networks. Rather than focus on selling myriad security solutions, we needed to focus on what our customers wanted. What were their pain points? How can we keep them as safe as possible within the confines of budgets and size. We looked to be partners with our clients and give them as must protection as possible. We finally took our own advice and put their needs ahead of ours.

With this new shift in priorities, what ended up happening was exactly what we had hoped for. We have deep relationships with our customers. Our specialized technology is widely recognized by industry experts. We are recently recognized by our customers in 2021 Gartner Peer Insights Customers’ Choice for Network Firewalls which is one of our most coveted honors. By listening to our customers, we have shaped our technology to meet everyone’s needs. Is it perfect? By all means no – but it’s a start. It’s the first step into reshaping client/vendor relations and improving the way the industry must work.

It’s time for other network security companies to step away from the echo chamber and truly hear the customer. It’s the only way we will all win this battle against the bad actors.

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