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Q&A with Miguel Llerena: How Tanium is Addressing Cybersecurity Challenges in Latin America

Weak technology infrastructure paired with a still-nascent digital revolution means Latin American companies need help improving their IT and cyber hygiene


Miguel Llerena, Regional Vice President of Alliances and Channels in Latin America, joined Tanium in 2019 to help a geography that is sorely in need of security and IT solutions. Over the past two years, Miguel and his team have played a critical role in selling much-needed infrastructure into a region where industrial control systems — think oil, gas, and electric plants — incur over one cyberattack per hour, overwhelmingly on workstations.

We sat down with Miguel to better understand the current landscape in Latin America and how his team is helping this vulnerable region.

Miguel Llerena, Regional Vice President of Alliances and Channels in Latin America,

Miguel Llerena, Regional Vice President of Alliances and Channels in Latin America

In your mind, what is the most critical problem faced by businesses in Latin America?

Miguel Llerena: Latin America is, in general, behind the US in adopting new technologies. Customers still don’t have full visibility of their endpoints or of what they have on the network. The level of cyber hygiene in Latin America is much worse than in the US. What we’re really helping companies with is giving them that visibility on their endpoints and improving their IT hygiene. You would not believe the size of the companies that we’ve engaged that have very limited or no visibility on their endpoints.

We focus heavily on infrastructure and operations today. With COVID, all companies face a new problem, right? Employees that are now working from home. Customers say, “I lost visibility on those remote endpoints, and I need to get a solution for that.” Right now, everything has to do with IT infrastructure and operations from vulnerability, asset control, and patching. That’s most valuable right now for customers in the region.

And when it comes to cybersecurity?

Miguel Llerena: Latin America is the most attacked region. I believe they suffer more cyberattacks than any other region in the world. Hackers know that companies lack the technology to protect and defend their estates. Half of the customers that we’ve recently engaged with proof-of-concepts have been attacked or are going through an attack right now. We find customers with thousands of vulnerabilities on their endpoints, and they don’t even know about them. We’re doing one right now for a very large company in the region. On 500 endpoints, we uncovered 2,000+ vulnerabilities.

On the risk and security side, we face a lot of competition. Most of the companies in the region already have endpoint detection and response (EDR) solutions because other security companies entered this region far earlier. But still, businesses lack a lot on the operational side, so that’s what stands out more from our platform.

How are organizations handling the latest Log4j vulnerability?

Like the request of the world, Log4j has been a significant problem in Latin America. We are working with customers to identify the vulnerabilities in their environment using Tanium Reveal. For example, one customer found the Log4j library in an application they developed in-house.

Our team has been working diligently to help customers through this crisis. We’ve developed a short demo to show how Tanium can find this flaw. You can watch it here:

What makes selling into Latin America right now unique for your team?

Miguel Llerena: We are the only sales region without a sales force working directly within the countries we serve, so we are building it 100 percent through our partner channels. This is a vastly different strategy, and it’s my responsibility to make this work. Right now, we are still in building mode but already have partners like Ingram Micro, PwC, and Telefonica in place. We are enabling all of our partners and selling Tanium even with COVID at hand and doing all of the work remotely. I have not been able to visit the region I’m building during the pandemic. It’s been a challenge, but we’re here and moving forward.

What excites you about your mission as you look forward?

Miguel Llerena: The huge potential. We are extremely excited about the responses we’re getting from the events we do, the interest in the technology from customers and partners and the results it offers. I’m also excited about this team. We’re a small but growing team, and we work extremely well together. Everybody knows what to do, and everybody’s willing to wear multiple hats.

I’m excited about the opportunity in the market and the technology that we continue to develop. I mean, we keep growing. Tanium keeps growing. The platform keeps getting stronger and better. So it is very exciting to be able to bring this type of technology to the market.

If you would like to see a demo of how Tanium can help your organization manage and secure your endpoint environment, contact our team at [email protected].

Tanium Staff

Tanium’s village of experts co-writes as Tanium Staff, sharing their lens on security, IT operations, and other relevant topics across the business and cybersphere.

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