20.09.2023 • TopstoriesCybersecurityCloud

Pierre Racz Part 3: "Unsafe Computer Networks are an Annoyance for the Whole Industry"

In part three of this three-part interview series with Pierre Racz, President of Genetec, he is telling us why cybersecurity should be very high on everybody’s agenda to protect the industry and why going in the cloud 100% is the wrong answer.

Pierre Racz, President and CEO at Genetec. ©Genetec
Pierre Racz, President and CEO at Genetec. ©Genetec

Genetec was one of the first companies in our industry who started to talk about cybersecurity. What was the reason?
Pierre Racz:
We sort of stumbled into this. It‘s not like we woke up one day and said we need to do something. It was our customers, who told us that something happened to their system and we had to help and invest a lot of energy to sort things out.

Unsafe computer networks are an annoyance for the whole industry. We all should apply the same thinking we have applied during the pandemic. Like kids have to take their flu vaccines, so that they don‘t make all the other children sick in class, we have to run our computer anti-viruses and we have to have good computer hygiene, because the internet is precious, and we can‘t let it get sick.

I think that cybersecurity should be very high on everybody’s agenda to protect the whole industry. You should have different layers of protection, so maybe they come into the first layer, but then that would set off the alarm so that you can stop them. Those investments pay off. We have a customer and two years ago they had a cryptoware attack that got into their facility. The cryptoware took out all of their systems except ours, because our Streamvault system uses pre-hardened appliances that meet the latest cybersecurity standards, pre-configured out of the box.

In your opinion, what are the most pressing challenges your customers ­currently face and what special demands do they have?

Pierre Racz:
With a more general view, to ensure business outcomes is still the biggest demand. We concentrate on solving the business problems that our customers are trying to achieve. This is maybe the big differentiator between us and most of our competition. We work with our customers on business outcomes. We don‘t sell the technology, we sell business outcomes and I think that explains a little bit about how we operate and who we are. This is also why we do take things like cybersecurity more seriously than others. It’s important to us to be a good corporate citizen.

That is about the mindset. What about technology, what is the biggest ­challenge here?

Pierre Racz: 
One thing that keeps us busy, both internally and externally, is system architecture and data storage and finding the right equilibrium between what is installed on premises and in the cloud. People that have the answer‚ ‘100 % in the cloud‘, have the wrong answer. And people who think that all organizations are the same, that‘s another wrong answer. So, the challenge is to find out what is the correct optimization of what you put in the cloud, and what you keep on premises.

We have one big customer that keeps all the video recordings on premises because in fact nobody ever goes and watches the video. But all the management software and the permissions are done in the cloud. All the user interfaces are distributed via the cloud, that‘s their optimization. Another large organization has everything in the cloud and, even if you are in the same building and the camera is right next to you, you have to go to the cloud and come back because they put all their security data in the cloud. That‘s the way they want to run their business.

In short, there is no easy way to figure out what is the right answer for a given organization. The Web 3.0 architecture is a hybrid architecture with some of your workload run on premises, some of them run in the cloud. It‘s not easy to predict which is optimal for any given customer, but we can run simulations based on over 10,000 different test cases sitting on top of about 100 different test strategies. Each test strategy is the idiosyncratic configuration of one of our customers. Within about 15 minutes, we can set up a test for our customers. We run these simulations based on anonymized configurations of their systems. They can give us an anonymized database, we strip out all the names, the locations, but we have the number of cameras, and we know where they’re grouped together, and we know what kind of quality their connections have. On the latest version of the software, we can do a full-scale test of our customer‘s system, a full-scale simulation of our customer‘s facility.


Special Interview Series with Pierre Racz, President and CEO at Genetec


This is an article of our jubilee issue. Click on the button to find all of the interviews and the e-paper.

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