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An Interview With Michelle Drolet, The Founder And CEO Of Towerwall

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Below is our recent interview with Michelle Drolet, CEO Towerwall:

Q: Could you provide our readers with a brief introduction to Towerwall?

A: I founded Towerwall in 1999 to provide data, network and web cybersecurity services for the Northeast and Caribbean.

What sets us apart is that we don’t take a “one-size-fits-all” approach. We focus on the preparedness side of an incident and call upon our partners who specialize in other areas, such as in forensics. We offer vulnerability management and penetration testing for networks and applications. We also do architectural reviews. We help organizations define what their risk tolerance is. We walk them through a security crisis, then together we build security strategies and information security management programs.

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Q: Can you give us insights into your services?

A: One example of an innovative service we offer is our onsite “virtual CISO” personal service to fill in for the chief information security officer (CISO) role as needed. Many of our clients have signed on to this.

The methodologies we have adopted to evolve our services include understanding risk and risk tolerance, performing a risk assessment on behalf of an organization against an agreed upon information security framework, and then building out a customized program which includes a long-term strategy.

We also help organizations determine where they rate on the maturity capability model. Critical to the success of the program is defining roles and responsibilities in a step by step process in order to progress the program forward.

Q: What are your main target markets?

A: Towerwall’s customized approach to information security helps our customers understand from a risk perspective where they are and where they need to be. Pro-active security is a win-win for everybody. Typically, we aim at mid-size businesses under a billion dollars in revenue. Our clients include, AMG, Middlesex Savings Bank, WPI, CannaCare, Allegro MicroSystems, Smith & Wesson, Foundation Medicine and other organizations concerned about protecting their data.

We couldn’t be in business without relying on our partners. We work closely with many industry-leading software vendors like Sophos, LogRhythm, Varonis, AlienVault, ForcePoint, DarkTrace, Qualys, Ericom, KnowBe4, Armis, Pcysys and others.

Q: What are you most excited about in the industry at the moment and what future trends are you expecting to see?

A: We see more business coming to us in the areas of regulatory compliance, integrated risk management and vulnerability program management, to name a few. Trends we see include but are not limited to information security program development, policy development, and incident response plans with table-top exercises.

We’re excited about changing corporate culture so that employees become more steadily aware and educated about enforcing security standards and best practices. Cybersecurity awareness training, for example. Other interesting areas involve running technical assessments like network and application testing, and teaching people how to prevent things like ransomware.

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Q: How do you stay current with trends in technology?

A: All our employees walk, talk, and breathe information security. Our team is made up of senior level engineers and consultants. Every year my team brings together security gurus and vendors to our Towerwall-sponsored Information Security Summit hosted at a local college. We’re now in our 8th year.

To stay abreast of new developments in cybersecurity, I run a monthly blog, InfoSec At Your Service in CSO magazine and regularly contribute to Forbes.

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