To bring some insight into the Product side of cybersecurity, Votiro VP of Product Management, Eric Avigdor, was featured on the Hacker Valley Media (HVM) podcast, hosted by Ron Eddings and Chris Cochran. During the show, Avigdor shares his unique approach to leadership, as well as the need for those in the industry to practice humility. He explains how Votiro is innovating the content security space and offers advice for new Product Managers looking to do the same.
In this blog, we recap Avigdor’s discussion with HVM. We encourage you to watch the full video below:
Cybersecurity is Like an Orchestra
Avigdor talks about how his love of music prepared him for working in the cybersecurity industry. When composing music, a musician must have a vision and then figure out how to bring that vision to fruition. A Product Manager needs that same skill.
“Cybersecurity is an orchestra of many different instruments. As a Product Manager, my role is to ensure all the different parts come together and oversee the nuances of fine-tuning what’s right and wrong. It is just like composing a song or any piece of music. In both cases, you are building something out of nothing.”– Eric Avigdor
Challenges within Product Management
Avigdor talks about the two different aspects of Product Management: inbound and outbound. An inbound Product Manager is focused on executing the product roadmap. How do we define new features and bring them to market? On the other side, an outbound Product Manager is focused on getting the features in front of the right customers. What are the right marketing messages and how can we compete effectively?
Avigdor feels that a significant challenge is to ensure these two very different worldviews work in tandem. It’s about having great ideas and bringing those ideas to market.
Avigdor says that despite the fact that many organizations expect the Product Manager to know everything, a good Product Manager must have a good dose of humility and understand that no, we don’t know everything and that we must listen well to truly understand the problem before we can come up with a solution.
“Through experience, I found that I truly enjoy the customer discussion and the discovery sessions with prospects. I like asking the right questions and truly listening to the responses — a skill that takes many years to learn well.”– Eric Avigdor
Tying the Whole Story Together
Avigdor unveils the secret sauce to being a successful Product Manager. He says that while many companies build their success on an amazing product, that alone is not enough. You must find ways for the entire organization to work in sync and drive toward the same goal.
It’s important that what Avigdor and the team is building can be explained to the sales team and customers or explained to channel partners or MSSP partners so they can transmit the same story to their customers.
“For me, Product Management goes way beyond user stories and personas and a really nice UI and user experience. It’s that intangible magic that happens when you tie the whole story together.”– Eric Avigdor
Avigdor spent most of the past two decades in the identity and access management space, initially with engineering and then with product rules. He was involved with multi-factor authentication products, cloud services single sign-on, adaptive authentication access management, and identity management. At one point, an opportunity came his way from the content security space in a company called Votiro. The whole idea of malware was new to him, and Votiro’s underlying concept was mind-blowing.
Avigdor describes how surprised he was by Votiro’s level of innovation. For example, Votiro has been leveraging machine learning way before ChatGPT was even a thing. The company’s innovative Zero Trust approach to file security helps companies deliver safe and functional files to their users and applications wherever and however files enter. Unlike detection-based file security solutions that scan for suspicious elements and block some malicious files, Votiro’s technology disarms and reconstructs each file, ensuring every file that enters the organization is safe and free of any threats.
Advice for Aspiring Product Managers
Avigdor has some advice for engineering professionals thinking of switching to product. He circles back to the need for humility. While of course, engineers know a lot about the product, they must recognize that they do not fully understand the market, the use cases, and the pain points.
“I’d say an engineering person moving into Product Management definitely has an advantage because the technical acumen gives you a whole lot of credibility when you sit in front of a security team or an IT team. Don’t abuse that knowledge. Use it to listen better, to better understand the problem, and to provide better solutions.”– Eric Avigdor
Get in Touch
Make sure to watch the full interview here. And, if you’d like to learn more about Votiro, we have plenty of resources for you to check out. And if you’re looking to try Votiro for your organization, you can request a free 30-day trial and get started in no time.