Cyber Leaders of the World: Chris Grundemann, Research Category Lead for Security and Risk at GigaOm
From the many things that have crossed your desk, what technologies and trends are you currently most excited about and/or most worried about, and why? That’s really tough to answer because I believe that everything we cover is timely, relevant, and important. Of course, some trends do stand out, especially the ones that cut across multiple technologies. Focusing on the security space I’d say that Zero-Trust and all of its enabling technologies are most exciting to me. Mostly because it seems to finally be being accepted on a much larger scale than it has before. It’s something we’ve talked about for a long time inside of the cybersecurity world, but that received a lot of push-back from enterprise executives and others previously. Perhaps because it’s an architecture and a mindset more than a technology, and because there are many moving parts in practice. Things like IDaaS (Identity as a service), UEBA (user & entity behavior analytics), MFA (multi-factor authentication), and of course ZTNA (Zero-Trust network access), plus so many more all play a part. Maybe it’s due to my networking roots, but I’m also very interested in the convergence of networking and security. We cover this space at GigaOm primarily in our SSA (secure service access) set of reports.
Chris is smart, diligent and focused, and knows how to lead a tight team. His hands-on experience and industry analysis is second to none, but he’s still grounded and approachable. At GigaOm, Chris conducted, then was a key player executing on an end-to-end review that was pivotal in shifting the company from a smaller analyst business dealing with rapid growth, to an established player in the analyst market.
Jon Collins, GigaOm
I enjoy working with him on a professional and personal level.
Diane Turley, tw telecom
Chris is a strong team player with tremendous attention to detail. His approach was always well thought out with solid backing tohis ideas. His role and growth in the company were key to itssurvival. He was also very willing and able to wear multiple hats and was a flexible asset to have on hand.
Mikael Rasmussen, WavMax Broadband
Chris is a compelling leader that raises up those working for him, a knowledgeable technologist that can offer insight and guidance, and a eloquent speaker than can both lead discussions and present. If looking for someone to lead an organization to the next level, Chris’ input and direction would be invaluable. His knowledge of networking and the ability to identify what needs to be done next, then acting on it are also strong suits for Chris.
Don MacVittie, Ingrained Technology, LLC
We appreciated his work ethics andclarity of thought. His mind was always on the “next step” and kept us all on our toes.
Ed Partch, American Tech Support
Chris is a superior problem-solver withgreat people skills and ability to ask the really hard questions. Ateam player who is engaged and approachable, I expect Chris will have significant impact in the tech industry.
Deb Gerring, CableLabs
I have worked with Chris on several projects over the years. His leadership, cooperation, and execution skills are first class. Chris looks at the big picture, identifies necessary actions, builds a plan, and gets the project done
Richard Jimmerson, ARIN
Chris is a really hard working person. Very smart technically &could handle issues very promptly. Was very nice working with him.
We hired Chris with high expectations. He quickly proved to be agood choice as he grasped new concepts exceptionally well andshowed an aggressive personal learning regimen, surpassing his peers. I would highly recommend Chris in his future endeavors.
Ryan Privette, Virtela Technology Services Incorporated
Chris is a consummate professional. Motivated, expressive,talented in everything he attempts. His skills in making thingshappen for the better are top notch.
Mark Woodworth, CableLabs
Chris is one of the most brilliant technologists and charismaticspeakers I’ve met in a long time. He’s an absolute creative, has amind focused on solutions, and is driven by a deep belief in whathe does. He’s both an inspirational leader and great colleague. I’d work with Chris again any day of the week.
Lia Kiessling, Internet Society
One thing everyone should know about Chris, he always providesnothing less then quality customer service and technical support. His professionalism and skill far exceeds all expectations because he always goes the extra mile.
David Corbett, tw telecom
Chris is always happy to contribute to a discussion or to an issue and is more than happy to lend a hand to both assist team members with their tasks or to lend his expertise in order to benefit the requestor. He is constantly providing knowledge transfer in a peer to peer manner, engaging others to work together to move a project forward or to resolve an issue. Most importantly, Chris is an open and honest communicator about whatever the topic of the moment is, something that is refreshing in today’s world. I could always count of Chris to lend his opinion or his ideas to any subject matter, and this becomes an important contribution for any team. Chris has tremendous talent and is a very hard working, team player. I would welcome Chris to my team at any point in the future.
Paul Diamond, Markley
Chris is an engineer and leader of the highest caliber as demonstrated by his ongoing volunteer responsibilities within the Internet technical community and his unwavering drive.
Connie Kendig, Internet Society
Chris is one of the most professional individuals I have ever worked with. His dedication to the success of our organization was paramount. I always relied on him to engage in intricate troubles knowing they would receive appropriate attention and follow through. Chris is an immediate asset to any organization and is most certainly.
Jim Meslovich, CenturyLink Business for Enterprise
Chris consistently generates and delivers on new and creative ideas both within the guided bounds of a project or team goal as well as when left unbounded and allowed to explore. In addition Chris is a great team player willing to help whenever asked. Chris is also a competent and organized leader with great communication skills capable of managing projects from inception to completion.
Joey Padden, CableLabs
Chris has the talent to completely embrace and encompass atechnology and from that drive results. It is obvious that Chrisenjoys sharing his knowledge base and ideas with others. It wasa pleasure working with Chris.
John McQueen, Broadcom
Through the several tasks that we spent together in a professional environment, I have seen Chris accomplish things that many would consider impossible – both as a professional and technically – and neither has been a disappointment. Chris is a calculated risk-taker. He has an uncanny way of determining what the target market needs and has the capability of tweaking his designs and implementations accordingly. As a pragmatic leader and a realist, he can grasp ideas in a holistic manner and still pay attention to minor details. Chris has a well-deserved reputation as someone who is diligent and personable – two qualities that define him completely. As someone who is a creative thinker and possesses a can-do attitude, Chris is a pleasure to work with.
Kyle Smith, Markley
Together we conquered many challenges, won impossible battles in the vendor industry and created a unique security practice. He has an interesting set of talents of being an engineer, innovator, and a thought leader, but never mixes any of these roles. That is what makes him successful as a leader. “Never be comfortable” is what Chris would tell me, which is what pushed me to do my first tech talk. I now have dozens behind me within some of the largest conferences known in the security vendor industry. Chris is nothing short of supernatural.
Leo Cruz, Myriad360
Chris is a talented technologist with a keen eye for marketing. This combination of skills has been a powerful asset in his role. Over the course of the 4 years that I worked with Chris, he presented at numerous events & conferences, and was a thought leadership partner. He was pivotal in honing Myriad360’s mission and developing a cohesive strategy for the company. Chris earns my highest recommendation.
Kirsten Gonzalez, Myriad360
Chris is technically creative, hard working, and extraordinarilyeffective at working with both internal and external technicalexpert communities. A pleasure to have had on the team atCableLabs. I fully expect him to significantly move his organization and the industry.
Tom Lookabaugh, CableLabs
Chris is extremely knowledgeable and, more importantly, readilyshares that knowledge with his peers to promote better overall understanding and improvement.
Dan Zumar, Virtela Technology Services Incorporated
I count my time working with Chris among my most rewarding professional experiences. Chris is someone with a voracious appetite for knowledge and a desire to understand the world around him. While these traits make him an incredible thought partner that excels at introducing new concepts and riffing off the ideas of others…it also makes him a multiplier, someone that helps others sharpen their own thinking by forcing them to be more introspective, to be more curious about what’s possible, and to think critically and objectively about the reality of a situation.
Chris is a tide that raises many boats, not just through his ability to cultivate innovation and promote positive disruption, but by the example he sets. Chris is one of the most accountable people I’ve ever known and consistently demonstrated a knack for bringing order to chaos, prioritizing diffuse – and often conflicting – objectives, and producing positive outcomes in situations where the deck seemed stacked in such a way that that doing so appeared impossible.
Rick Kenney, Myriad360
Chris was an amazing colleague to work with. I admire his ability to understand very technical concepts as well as business and market driven ones. He has amazing stakeholder management skills, and has the ability to build relationships and manage working groups and teams. He is a true leader who is very passionate about whatever he is working on. His desire for framing strategic direction and leading execution would be an asset to any organization. I would welcome any opportunity to work with Chris again.
Rupal Patel, CableLabs
I’ve never met anyone who worked as hard as he did at learning and absorbing new skills and technologies and then applying them to his work. He’s a very fast learner and an asset to anyone who has the fortune to work with him.
Kaelyn Bowman, Virtella Communications
In a wireless organization the network your products operate on needs to be reliable, dependable and operating at top efficiency. Chris made sure that was a reality. Chris was a leader in the day to day operation of our network, on initiating improvement designs for the future and helping out the other departments to close performance gaps. There was never a problem to hard to solve, a solution he was not willing to seek out or a cutting edge idea he hadn’t already researched.
Wayne Gibson, WavMax
Chris is an exceptionally energetic individual, a talented thinkerand an accomplished public speaker. He is a very rewardingperson to work with due to the level of organization he brings toevery project. He has vision and probity, a rare combination. I has been a great privilege to work with him.
John Springer, ARIN Advisory Council
Chris helped us build our security and networking practice success that continues with us today. He also contributed across the organization by conducting listening tours to identify and then help design operational strategies for areas of the business we wanted to better optimize. Chris’s focus on execution helped set the standard for delivering high quality and important research to the market.
Ben Book, GigaOm
It was a pleasure to work with Chris. Chris possesses verydetailed technical knowledge and solid experience, but neverlost sight of his strategic and business goals when using that knowledge and experience.