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Quickpass’ New Cybersecurity Education Director: It’s Not About Sales Pitches, It’s About Value

CJ Fairfield

‘For so many MSPs, they treat a cybersecurity process as a sales pitch, and it shouldn’t be a sales pitch. We’re not trying to convince you that you need it. We need to educate everyone so that they understand the value of it.,’ says Scott Davis, director of cybersecurity education for Quickpass.

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Quickpass Cybersecurity’s new director of cybersecurity education, Scott Davis, says a part of educating others is listening and learning.

Quickpass is a Vancouver, Canada-based vendor that provides privileged access management offerings. Davis, who took the position Tuesday—a new role within the company—said the cybersecurity process shouldn’t be a sales pitch.

“For so many MSPs, they treat a cybersecurity process as a sales pitch, and it shouldn’t be a sales pitch,” he told CRN. “We’re not trying to convince you that you need it. We need to educate everyone so that they understand the value of it.”

Davis comes to Quickpass with more than 20 years of channel experience, both as an MSP and a vendor, with his most recent position as a sales engineer at Liongard, a deep data platform vendor. Outside the channel, he teaches cybersecurity classes at NuPaths, a focused IT educational track co-founded by Harrisburg University in Harrisbug, Pa.

In his new role, Davis will continue to provide thought leadership guidance and presentations internationally and focus on topics such as cybersecurity, compliance, management, on-boarding, business planning, workflow design, project management and more.

“It’s a way to continue what Quickpass is already doing in helping educate others in the community on not just what Quickpass is doing, but ways to improve the entire cyber ecosystem from MSPs to customers to vendors,” he said.

Davis will also be attending Quickpass’ Fantastic Forum events, the company’s latest venture that consists of small peer-to-peer gatherings and an inaugural trade show later this year.

Davis spoke with CRN about what he wants to accomplish in his role and how he plans to spread his knowledge of cybersecurity and the whole IT ecosystem.

 

 

What does your role entail?

I’ll be going to events, speaking, doing thought leadership sessions, educating the MSPs, educating the end customers on how Quickpass helps them but also on just other ways that we all can improve as a community. I’ve put a tremendous amount of effort in just being a knowledge base, being able to share information. Even if it’s not a Quickpass answer, it’s being able to give a direction for you. It’s helping others in the ecosystem, others in the community do a better job at protecting their customers.

 

What attracted you to Quickpass?

I think I was silently looking for another opportunity, really looking to promote education. At the end of the day, that’s what I love doing. That’s why I even do some night classes throughout the year with Harrisburg University. It’s sharing the knowledge that I’ve gathered and continuing to learn from others because every good educator has to continue to learn. I love going to events because I learn something new every day. It’s really going to more events, speaking at more events, sharing the knowledge that I have and helping people find a new tool.

 

A lot of security experts I’ve spoken with say it’s all about education, and here you are doing just that. Why is having a role like yours so important in the channel community?

It’s critical because education is fundamental to everything that we do. We need to educate everyone so that they understand the value of it. For example, multifactor authentication—I talk to people all the time that say, ‘I have customers that are pushing back on it because they don’t want to have that extra step. It’s going to slow down the process, slow down productivity.’ I say, ‘You’re not educating it. You’re not educating what it is, how it works or the value of it.’ When you educate properly, the value of what this security tool does or what this functionality does … when you go and ask them to implement it, it’s already sold—if it costs more money or not. Education is critical in so many aspects of technology, and cybersecurity is really at the forefront of it in every conversation.

 

What are you most excited about in your role?

I’m most excited about sharing the knowledge, not just sharing the knowledge but continuing to get to listen and learn from others. I think that’s what a lot of people forget. When they get to a mentor-type level or a leadership-type level they say, ‘I’m at the top. I’m the one on the stage, I know everything.’ But even when you are the one presenting, there are 10 different ways that you can do the exact same thing. That’s what I love about technology. While I may have a proven methodology in my mind that works that’s going to get us from Point A to Point B, there are 10 other ways to get to Point B in the audience. And you know what, four or five of those may be faster, one of those maybe even better. If we refuse to listen to those in the community, we’re doing ourselves a disservice because we’re in essence shutting down the ideas of others, the other ways, the other thoughts. Promoting education is just as much about listening and learning as it is about educating and teaching.

 

On your first day you attended a Quickpass Fantastic Forum. What is your role at those events?

There are no presentations at the Fantastic Forum lunch. There’s no pitch. It is just a friendly conversation. Being someone that’s been in the MSP space, someone that’s worked in enterprise IT, someone that’s been a vCIO, a director of operations that has handled sales and now in the vendor space, being able to share the knowledge that I have that’s working in France or Australia or the U.S., there’s a wealth of knowledge that I can share just from my own experiences. And being at the table, when we get into a marketing conversation I can share some of the things that we did for marketing and helping the on-boarding process in the vendor space. One of the things I love doing at every show is stopping by every booth and learning what products are out there, seeing what’s new, what’s exciting. So when someone comes up to me and says, ‘Hey, I’m really looking for this tool that does X,’ I can say, ‘OK, so there’s three or four that I know of of the ones that I’ve seen. I really liked the conversation I had with so and so and this is why.’ I like being an advocate for the entire community not just, in this case, Quickpass.

 

 

Learn More: Cybersecurity
CJ Fairfield

CJ Fairfield is an associate editor at CRN covering solution providers, MSPs and distributors. Prior to joining CRN, she worked at daily newspapers, including The Press of Atlantic City in New Jersey and The Frederick News-Post in Maryland. She can be reached at cfairfield@thechannelcompany.com.

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