Simon Chassar started his career running his own optimisation consulting business before moving into business operations, looking into how companies can manage their data to transform and grow their businesses. He then joined Cisco Systems, where he was in networks, data and then virtualization. After more sales roles at different companies, Chassar moved into sales leadership. His career in cybersecurity began in 2017 at NTT, one of Claroty’s services partners, which then led him to join the Claroty team at the start of 2021. He says owing to his experience in a variety of departments, he would describe his background as pretty broad.
So, why cybersecurity?
Chassar says when he first joined NTT, his initial role was to transform five security companies that had been acquired by the firm, which led to an excitement for using services with technology to protect customers from malicious actors. “I later joined Claroty because I started to become interested in what the technology was doing for its clients in industrial systems, plus the fact that cyber criminals were finding more ways to exploit vulnerabilities in systems beyond IT. It’s a sort of cat-and-mouse game around protecting organisations from being breached, experiencing downtime, and having their operations compromised – not to mention suffering from reputational damage and regulatory penalties. This is what interests me most about cybersecurity and why I’ve decided to stay in the industry,” he says.
Chassar concludes because the field of cybersecurity never sits still and is ever-changing, it will continue to hold his interest in the future.
And in terms of his role at Claroty, what inspires him?
Chassar places an emphasis on his colleagues and other people who are also on this journey with him, and solving problems for people along the way. “Whether it is personal careers, or how they want to grow and to better themselves, or whether it’s a customer and solving a problem for them, it’s about the different relationships with everyone that I enjoy,” he says.
Chassar describes his leadership style as one of building trust and empowering others by taking them on an inspirational journey and acting as an inspirational leader, enabling everyone involved to work as one. “I try to empower individuals to take on responsibilities and accountabilities as much as they can,” he says. “That builds great wellbeing and harmony and when you get that harmony you get momentum and discretionary productivity. That in turn leads to overperformance, and that’s what I enjoy.”
So what is Claroty exactly and what does the company do?
Chassar describes Claroty as the leading industrial cybersecurity company, protecting everything within the four walls of a production site, plant, or building.
“When you think about it, everything is connected in the field we work in. It might be a programmable logic controller (PLC) managing the number of tins of beans generated off a conveyor belt. It could be a CCTV camera that’s watching the doors or other areas in a distribution site. And it could be all the way through to an elevator in the building, as well as heating and power controls,” he explains.
This, he adds, means more and more organisations are looking at technology to optimise and automate factory and production processes. “Using algorithms and technology is essential to speed things up, because the supply and demand chain is accelerating on a global basis. With all this connectivity, all these components that go on within the four walls of the industrial site start to become potential entry points that need to be secured. This is where Claroty, as the industrial cybersecurity company, leads this particular market.”
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