Kevin Gray is an award-winning journalist. His work has appeared in Wired UK, The New York Times Magazine and The Wall Street Journal. He is a former business news producer at CNN and the former executive editor of Popular Science.
Currently, he’s editor-in-chief of Tanium’s digital magazine, Endpoint. The site is dedicated to helping business executives and IT leaders understand the management and security challenges — as well as the opportunities — posed by distributed business, so they can effectively use technology to connect with customers, empower employees, and achieve better results.
Here’s more from our interview.
What is Endpoint?
Kevin Gray: Well, I hope Endpoint is a useful, go-to resource for business and IT leaders. We’re covering topics that they care about, or should care about, because our stories have to do with today’s massively distributed workforces — enabling them, securing them, and creating new business with them.
Our audience is pretty demanding. They’re the same people reading The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Bloomberg, and Techcrunch. We know they want information that gives them a competitive advantage. It’s one reason Endpoint works almost exclusively with award-winning journalists who have come from those media outlets. They know how to report a story and speak to the needs of this audience.
The people who read us — CEOs, CIOs, CTOs, CSOs, as well as IT practitioners, and anybody involved in security, risk, and IT operations — need the latest solutions to their shared problems, or they need information on the latest innovations that competitors are using to get ahead or gain market share.
So how do you decide what to cover?
Kevin Gray: We go out and talk to these same people, talk to their peers, talk to analysts, academics, regulators, start-up founders (we do a lot of talking, or actually a lot of listening), and distill the information we gather. I like to think of us as our audience’s personal competitive intelligence agency.
And because we operate like a news service, we land some great interviews, like with Cristiano Amon, Qualcomm’s next CEO, Brian Moynihan, the CEO of Bank of America, Accenture Executive Chairman David Rowland, and Maggie Wilderotter, the former CEO of Frontier Communications. (I recently referred to Maggie as a rock star CEO, a once-cool phrase that dates my professional life to the 1990s.)
But we’re also publishing nuggetty service stories, with IT and security leaders in mind, on things like good IT hygiene, the basics of solid endpoint management and security, the lingering importance of strong passwords (see the Colonial Pipeline breach for proof), and the need for zero-trust security.
And we do deep-dives on how DevSecOps teams are using a shift-left approach to software development. And we’re doing it in a way that, I hope, that informs c-suite leaders on these crucial topics that affect their business.
What’s most exciting for you about your job?
Kevin Gray: I started my career as a newspaper reporter covering federal and county courts in New York. I kind of liked the good guy/bad guy aspect. I learned a lot about law, trial procedure, regulatory issues, and the importance of relying on facts. I got along well with prosecutors whose jobs were like mine: to tell an audience (a jury or judge) a story based on facts they had uncovered.
That’s part of the reason I like cybersecurity. We’re on the side of the good guys. But it’s also interesting from a technical standpoint — how do we stop the bad guys from wreaking havoc on companies and communities and governments? We see that play out almost weekly now with the ransomware attacks on the American business and infrastructure. I like to think that Endpoint is doing its part to educate business leaders about how to prevent a breach and prepare for one if it happens.
Are there any stories you can point to on the site that you’ve been particularly proud of?
Kevin Gray: I think our coverage of the ransomware crisis has been solid and timely. We’ve covered the basics of best security practices, like good IT hygiene and the importance of a zero-trust security model. But we’ve also covered the bigger systemic issues, like the need for government and private partnerships and the need to strengthen software supply chain security and report breaches quickly.
But if I had to pick my favorite, it would be our ongoing coverage of the digital health revolution. Tanium’s new healthcare CIO Sanjay Joshi recently told me that last year’s VC spending on digital health totalled $24 billion. That’s just remarkable. And there are so many devices and endpoints that digital health uses that I’m excited to see the amazing innovations. As a former science and tech editor and someone who has covered the health sciences field for years, it’s pretty cool to be part of that conversation.
What’s coming down the line for readers to get excited about?
Kevin Gray: Bunch of things. For one, we’re going to be looking at how CIOs and CTOs are transforming manufacturing. With the public health crisis ending, we’ll be doing some on-site reporting at factories using “lights out” (entirely robotic) manufacturing.
We’ll also be turning our attention back to smart cities and autonomous vehicles. We’ll be talking to state CIOs about how they plan to deliver consumer-grade experiences with government services (like the DMV or business permitting).
I’m also creating a regular thought leadership series for people inside Tanium. We have amazing people on our board, some recent hires (like Sanjay) that we’re all excited about, and, most crucial right now, our human resources (HR) and facilities teams who are working with employees to figure out what the future of work looks like, whether it’s at our new headquarters in Seattle, our homes, or likely some hybrid of both.
I’m also planning to launch a newsletter in the third quarter so our audience can get a regular roundup of stories tailored to their interests. He doesn’t know it yet, but Sanjay will likely be a big presence on the site and the newsletter. Not just because we both nerd out on healthcare topics, but because you can always count on him for a Frank Zappa shout-out.
To read the latest news, analysis of industry and economic trends, and original reporting that points the way forward, check out Endpoint.