Francesco Taccone, CEO of Negg, which has been named the 2018 winner of the prestigious "Excellence of the year, Innovation & Leadership – Cybersecurity" Prize, has been interviewed in Milan for "Le Fonti Awards" alongside the CEO summit.
Mr Taccone, Negg has been awarded "Excellence of the year, Innovation & Leadership – Cybersecurity" Prize, what is it like?
"We are indeed honoured to receive this prestigious Award, which is valuable, meaningful especially in the light of the fact that cybersecurity is a highly competitive field. Being awarded the “Excellence of the year, Innovation & Leadership - Cybersecurity” Prize is a tribute to Negg but also to our employees, the lifeblood of Negg, whose with their hard work and self-sacrifice make a major contribution to the growth of the Company. There are two things that I would like to underline about this Award. On the one hand, Negg since the beginning aimed at discovering young talents showing creativity and genius, two essential qualities to approach this challenging sector. Often I select personally the engineers assuming that they will grow professionally and they will choose to stay in Italy. Being awarded this Prize means that we made our point. On the other hand, today I am seeing my idea materializing. Usually, in the beginning, we test on purpose our new employees by giving them highly challenging tasks. The thing that makes me really upset (which usually I am not!) is to see a yielding attitude in the young because I truly believe that if you can imagine something then you can create it, you just need to find the right way. So, I cannot take "it is not possible" as an answer, nothing is impossible. This prize is a concrete example. We have imagined it and today we have it".
With the steady increase of cyber threats, the attention of companies on the possible risks increased as well, what is the real scenario in the cybersecurity field?
It is a fact that a lot of companies nowadays are taking an interest in these new topics, there is much talk of cybersecurity, communication and innovation but, in my opinion, the approach is often not correct, usually too simplistic and slow. These days we talk a great deal about the "Internet of Things". We have to manage thousands of pieces of information from smartwatches, cars with an operating system in place, and obviously from laptops and smartphones. All these information are potentially at risk. I believe that companies, and not only companies, should take these issues very seriously because cyber attacks and hacking are severe problems. The threats can be really different from a breach of a personal email with limited damages to attacks against banks, hospitals and, in the worst case scenario, governmental accounts which might cause the loss of classified information. This must be avoided. But how? Firstly, with proper training, which makes it possible to identify the potential risks and try to prevent them. Each employee should be trained to keep a high degree of attention for the purpose of carrying out the daily workload. Of course, a cyber attack may also breach industrial, intellectual or commercial property rights, patents, licences and sometimes the damages are irreversible. In this respect, my best advice is to invest in training and to rely on companies, like Negg, which are able to guarantee adequate protection to their data and systems by preventing cyber attacks or, at very least, to curtail the consequences in case of a breach".
What are your new plans for the coming year 2019?
Firstly, we will commit ourselves to enhance our technology, to deliver reliable, trustworthy, high-performing, easy to use products and services for all our old e new customers. We want to be beside not just the biggest companies and the Governmental Institutions, as it is now, but also to the small and medium-sized enterprises. We want to help them to approach the world of cybersecurity to become aware of the risks and do not underestimate them. Another new, and this is a preview, in the planning of 2019 we have the opening of the Negg Academy. It is a new excellence training program, which aims at creating a new gold standard of cybersecurity at all levels, from the beginner to highly specializing courses lasting three years, where candidates can be enrolled even with low-to-medium skills and become real ethical hackers. This because the world is changing so rapidly and in case of a cyber war we should be able to defend but also attack, especially the institutional players shall be highly skilled. At the very least, we want to enhance our results. Every year Negg invests a large amount of money in research and development. Research is the key word in this field. So we want to increase our investments, and why not maybe next year we can be awarded again with this coveted Prize".