Research interview


Increased market presence and expanding markets

Verisec is positioned as a security software player within digital identity and information security in the Nordics, and is expanding its business in EMEA. We have interviewed CEO Johan Henrikson.

Can you elaborate a bit of the development of the European expansion that you are performing today and its importance going forward?
The European expansion plans that were announced in conjunction with the IPO covered a sales presence in Spain, Germany and UAE (Dubai). These  activities were planned for 2015, and were largely completed during q1-q2, which was earlier than originally planned. In addition to the European expansion a support and sales office has also been established in Mexico in order to support existing customers and develop new opportunities.
Cyber criminality is a global concern, and the same applies to technologies designed to mitigate these risks. During the past 18 months we have also seen a broadening of the market from the traditional industries comprising mostly of critical infrastructure (such as banks, healthcare and government) to encompass other industries such as insurance, automotive, media and gaming.  The product set developed by Verisec address the security concerns for these industries on a global scale, but requires a sales and marketing presence. Because of these market characteristics it is important for Verisec to establish a sales presence in strategic regions. This expansion allows Verisec to combine a direct touch sales model with support for regional / country based partnerships.
 What will be your primary focus during the remainder of the year?
Primary focus for the remainder of the year will be to get the newly established offices productive as fast as possible. Besides product know-how it is also important to understand the marketing requirements and potential partnerships for each region. In addition, it is fundamentally important in a distributed organization to have a strong corporate culture and a consistent messaging in terms of brand across the markets. This will give Verisec a good foundation to build on for 2016.
In what areas do you feel a large inclination to improve currently?
Increased market presence across multiple regions will require continuous improvements in terms of partnership programs, certification training and technical collateral to support our local sales teams and partners. Work is already in progress to improve this material, but will remain a work in progress as feedback from the marketplace will probably require regular updates and additions to this material. As Verisec enters new markets, a certain amount of local adaptation (in terms of language and in some cases messaging) will be required.
Have you seen a rise of interest of the product portfolio during the first half of the year relative to last year?
Yes, we have seen an increase both from our traditional industries such as banking and government, but also from “new” industries. In addition we are seeing an increased awareness of the weaknesses associated with the mobile platform. Considering the importance of  the smart phone and tablets for providing mission critical services to customers, partners and citizens the security and integrity of these platforms will only increase in importance.  
What is the latest in the IT-security market (M&A, growth pockets,  etc)?
I think what we are seeing is a convergence of multiple trends that together are compounding the awareness and need for IT security solutions. As mentioned earlier a wider range of industries are starting to realize the risks they face with cyberattacks, not least due to some hacking attacks aimed at well-known global brands that has received a lot of media coverage lately. We can also see that cyber threats are rising in ranking in different international risk management surveys, indicating that top management are starting to take the threats more seriously.
We also see an increase in the use of cloud based services and mobile applications has created an increasingly distributed computing environment where traditional perimeter-based security measures are no longer sufficient. As more and more devices and sensors are added to the internet (IOT), the volume of data that will require protection will also  inevitably increase. There are very few large  industries left in the world  today that are not dependent on a fully working IT infrastructure for its day to day operations.
The rise in cyber crime with multiple widely published successful hacking attacks is also making the topic of cyber risk mitigation a question for the board of directors in many organisations.