John Grancarich is known as someone who builds trust and opens doors for customers. As Executive VP of Product & Growth Strategy for Fortra, he works closely with customers to ensure solutions really make a difference in their lives. He’s a tech visionary who reimagines the possibilities of what can be achieved and then makes thing happen. Here’s his take on what’s happening in the industry and a look at how Fortra is responding
Working in cybersecurity is both exciting and challenging. What issues are you seeing customers face right now?
Cybersecurity is the most complex technical space I've ever operated in, and our customers need advanced tools to manage the sophistication and frequency of attacks. Many security teams have too many solutions from too many vendors. It’s become a big, disconnected mess. Managing all these applications adds cost and administrative overhead — yet there aren’t enough people to handle it all. In fact, there is a global workforce gap of around 2.72 million security professionals. It’s not surprising 60% of organizations report a staffing shortage in this area that places their business at risk.
With all the security alerts and alarms coming in, it's hard to distinguish signals from noise. Companies have to maximize the capacity of existing staff. This means reducing redundant, repetitive work that crushes productivity. These are incredibly talented, highly trained, skilled people who are burned out doing the same thing over and over and need relief.
How does Fortra plan to help them?
We’re very focused on supporting our customers in three main ways:
1. Unlocking new use cases through multi-product integrations: We’re looking at advanced use cases that bring multiple products together to solve complex security challenges. Bundling and integrating best-in-class solutions increases their value to customers and expands the problems we can address. For example, our secure file transfer customers can seamlessly safeguard their critical information with threat protection and data loss prevention technology using our Secure ICAP Gateway.
2. Deploying AI-powered cyber intelligence and efficiency at scale: We’re starting to figure out how to incorporate intelligence and automation into solutions and bundles to create smarter, more efficient security offerings. Applying our automation expertise for security operations will mean companies aren’t so much at the mercy of the skills shortage. The customers we’ve talked to have said automating even 25% of their routine, repetitive work would be transformative. This would allow these experts to focus on a higher-order level of tasks like security architecture and strategy.
3. Unifying solutions on a native cloud platform: We have an opportunity to create a powerful common platform that removes complexity and redundancy in security operations. Building a workflow engine across all products means we can pull in integrations for unprecedented levels of flexibility. We want to put the power back in the hands of the people who need it the most – the security operations teams. Not only will a common platform give customers sophisticated tools from a single vendor, but it will also consolidate services and support for a better overall experience.
What amazes you most about Fortra?
We truly live up to the word ‘Help’ in our name. It’s a powerful word. We want to become the partner you come to with your most pressing and complex cybersecurity issues and trust us to help you. We are going to work incredibly hard to earn that trust and deliver for our customers and partners. There’s real passion and care that we invest to help customers succeed. Regardless of how the company grows and the additional solutions we add, the service and support experience is a permanent part of our DNA. This high-touch model is unique in our space where it’s so easy to lose that bond.
What excites you most about working in the cybersecurity industry?
We want to think big and lay the groundwork for the next chapter in the security journey. We don’t want to censor ourselves in terms of what's possible. Jeff Bezos has this great quote which goes something like: Be stubborn on vision but flexible on details. That resonates with us deeply. It's easy to just see the difficulty in the problems you're trying to address and say they’re impossible. We want to use our engineering training and our product minds to break problems apart and solve them systematically.
Personally, I’m driven to build the must-have security platform for organizations that are serious about security. Part of this is amplifying what the typical security operations professional can achieve by an order of magnitude — think 10x, 20x. Why shouldn’t this be doable? Just because no one has done it really well yet isn’t an acceptable answer for us. This will help solve the skills gap and make each person more productive, valuable, and have greater job satisfaction. I’d love to see Fortra become the standard to swing the pendulum back in favor of security teams. These are the people we are driven to help succeed.
If you could change one thing about the industry, what would it be?
There’s stress in every job, but security professionals are breaking under the pressure. There’s this pervasive sense of fear. Our customers stay awake at night worrying about what’s lurking around the corner. They wonder what’s going to trigger the alarm the next time — or if the alarm will even be triggered.
What if we could flip this around and actually inspire people to be part of something positive? What if we could create a movement?
In cybersecurity, there is no magical finish line or perfect solution. Anyone who tells you that is spinning a tall tale. The target is changing every day, but that gives us an opportunity to rethink things and look at it as what it really is: a never-ending journey toward getting better. But the technology is also improving. We can move with the target because of the variety of solutions we offer. We have an amazing arsenal of tools, services, and industry leading expertise, and we can bring them anywhere in the world.
We’re ready to help.