7 Questions For Mike Arrowsmith, NinjaOne’s New Chief Trust Officer

‘We have to be able to supply that trust. We have to be able to be forthright. There are many things we can do as an organization to supply that trust, and it starts with cybersecurity,’ says Mike Arrowsmith, NinjaOne’s new chief trust officer.


Mike Arrowsmith believes gaining the customer trust around data should be “embedded in everything that we do.”

“I believe that with trust, we’ll set ourselves up for success,” said Arrowsmith, who was just tapped as chief trust officer at NinjaOne, the Austin, Texas-based remote monitoring and management software firm.

Arrowsmith, who took the position in late January, previously headed Splunk’s cybersecurity program and, most recently, served as head of information security at oncology company Guardant Health. As NinjaOne chief trust officer, he will evaluate its cybersecurity, IT and DevOps infrastructure so that the company can scale while meeting the demands of customers. He will also play a significant role in hiring and expanding these teams, which are expected to double this year.

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“The interesting thing about Ninja itself is the growth trajectory that they’re on,” Arrowsmith told CRN. “The 75 percent year-over-year growth in terms of sales is a huge indicator to me and a target of where we are going. We are getting into our global expansion, so for me those are other opportunities to continue to learn and apply some of those similar skillsets I’ve learned elsewhere.”

CRN spoke with Arrowsmith about what his new role entails and why customer trust is the of the utmost importance.

What attracted you to the position at NinjaOne?

I’m coming from a company called Guardant Health where I was responsible for building out the cybersecurity program from the ground up. Prior to that I was at Splunk for about six and a half years and did the same thing there. A lot of what drove me to Ninja is that maturation journey. Looking at organizations from a cybersecurity/IT perspective and being a part of that growth story is something I’ve always enjoyed.

What are you excited to learn in your new role?

The title, chief trust officer, is new so it’s a new function that we’re seeing more and more of as a trend in the space. I think there will be a lot more of learning to do with that chief trust officer role. In my previous experience and being able to shift organizations like Splunk from an on-premises software company to a SaaS organization or even at Guardant Health focusing on electronic personal health-care information, it’s the idea behind what is customer trust with products specifically targeting the data that is shared with these organizations.

I think this is a great opportunity for me to dive in and not only share a lot of my experiences and background, but also to learn. It’s a very interesting challenge and I see a lot of opportunities with SaaS products focusing on what does it mean to protect customer data and to provide assurances that that data is readily available back to organizations. It’s also about making sure that we’re doing the right thing with the data.

Your first priorities will be scaling and aligning the company’s internal teams and resources. How do you plan to tackle that?

A lot of that comes down to setting that foundation properly. There’s a number of initiatives that we’re working on that are tied to that, such as optimization of our gross margin, looking at what does it mean to have customer trust and putting the voices of our customers into our products and services that we deliver. But it’s also about trying to shift more to a risk-based cybersecurity approach so that we understand those risks that are implacable to our customer base. We have to make sure we take into consideration them as a voice as we make those decisions. A lot of what we’re doing with our products and services is establishing that trust with our customers to ensure that we have foresight so we can continue our global march across this world.

What is one important security aspect MSPs should be focusing on?

It’s even beyond MSPs. Just general organizations that are exchanging information, what are they doing with that information and how are they securing that. The MSP really should be asking a lot of questions on how a product organization that is rendering services is securing my data. We have to be able to supply that trust. We have to be able to be forthright. There are many things we can do as an organization to supply that trust, and it starts with cybersecurity.

What emerging security trend are you seeing right now?

Fundamentally, securing the data is number one. All of the interactions between organizations, they’re exchanging some form of data. MSPs are going to continue to be a higher target [of cyberattacks] just because of their exposure and the downstream of customers those MSPs bring into the market. It’s that heightened level of, ‘What are you doing with my data and what kind of an attack am I exposed to?’ Over the course of cybersecurity it’s always evolving, always shifting.

Chief trust officer is a new role at NinjaOne. What excites you most about the position?

It’s a newer role but we’re seeing a broader adoption of it throughout our industry. What’s exciting to me is really that voice of the customer. A lot of times, in past roles, we’re solely focused on cybersecurity, we’re solely focused on privacy. This role is really putting all of those elements together and shaping that voice of the customer. When we typically hear that customer, in technology we’re focused on the product management … how do we sell features to that organization and how do we drive that revenue.

What makes NinjaOne better than competitors?

I have looked at so many variations of the competition in this space and what’s interesting about Ninja is that it is a SaaS product, it is a modern product that allows for multiple operating systems, multiple endpoints to be deployed within an environment and provide that single pane of glass, that visibility that IT and security organizations are truly looking for.