An Interview With Ben Ari


Ransomware attacks have sadly become commonplace and increasingly more brazen. Huge enterprise businesses, gas pipelines, universities, and even cities have been crippled by ransomware and forced to pay huge ransoms. What can an individual or a business do to prevent and repel a ransomware attack?

In this interview series, we are talking to cybersecurity experts who can share insights from their experience and expertise about the "5 Things You Need To Do To Protect Yourself Or Your Business From A Ransomware Attack." As a part of this series, I had the pleasure of interviewing Chris Konrad.

Chris is a 25-year veteran of the cybersecurity industry who has built and led various teams in consulting, sales and professional services. In his role as Area Vice President, Global Cyber at World Wide Technology (WWT). Chris is responsible for to creating, executing, and owning the security go-to-market strategy for WWT's Global Business. His team is responsible for solving the most challenging problems that WWT's customers face with innovative cybersecurity solutions. Previously, Chris served as a key participant and Team Captain on the State of Missouri Cybersecurity Task Force, he is a current member of the FBI's InfraGard New York Metro Region.


Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dig in, our readers would like to get to know you. Can you tell us a bit about how you grew up?

Thank you. I appreciate the opportunity to be a part of this very important topic. I grew up in Maryland as the youngest of four kids. I went to college in Pennsylvania and was a college football player, youth coach and now I am currently an advisor for a nationally ranked high school football program when not focused on cyber.

Is there a particular story that inspired you to pursue a career in cybersecurity? We'd love to hear it. 
I got into cyber in 1998 when a trusted friend asked me to join his start-up business and convinced me that this "cyber thing" might be a good opportunity for us. The rest is history, and I am now proud to be Area Vice President, Global Cyber, at World Wide Technology.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began this fascinating career?

I have had the opportunity to meet many thought leaders around the world who have given me some incredible advice on the importance of culture, core values, grit, determination and focusing on the fundamentals. From those conversations, I've learned that its key to not over complicate cyber and most importantly, communicate to the executives in business terms.

You are a successful leader. Which three-character traits do you think were most instrumental to your success? Can you please share a story or example for each?

Patrick Lencioni wrote a book called, "The Ideal Team Player," in which he talked about people being hungry, humble, and smart. Those three traits have helped define my entire life even prior to reading the book.



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