Sun, 10/30/2022 - 09:00

Ivan Dudin, Regional Sales Director, on the best way to stay protected and how to build a great team

acronis ivan dudin
Ivan Dudin, Acronis Regional Sales Director

Shortly before our interview with Ivan Dudin, Acronis's Regional Sales Director, several government websites in Bulgaria, the one of the Presidency included, were attacked. Acronis, a global leader in integrated cyber protection solutions, helps organisations of all sizes to stay safe in the increasingly dangerous digital world. Its idea is simple, but ingenious: a single, multi-purpose software solution. The company's largest unit, which includes the company's R&D division, is based in Bulgaria. Ivan Dudin, tells more about what makes Acronis and its solutions outstanding.

What are the biggest threats to the cybersecurity of companies and individual users in 2022?

The threats in 2022 are not new, we have seen them in previous years. However, certain things became more dangerous and the volumes of the threats have significantly increased.

For example, ransomware and malware, which have been around for some time, have become so dangerous in 2022 that they can ruin not only IT infrastructure, but whole businesses. Losing your company is a lot more serious than having one server down.

That's the main trend for 2022.

The other is the scale of the attacks. They are not something isolated that happens somewhere far away once per year, or a month. Hundreds of attacks take place everyday around the world.

Are users and organisations prepared for this new environment?

Amazingly, no. There is more awareness of the dangers of attack, but I believe that too many people still underestimate the situation. They believe that their organisation is too small and insignificant to be attacked and that they are not going to be affected.

I want to urge everybody to reconsider. No company is safe, regardless of its size or importance. In the past couple of years attacks have become very cheap as they became automated. They are not a big investment anymore, so more organisations are being targeted.

It is similar to the Covid-19 pandemic. There is a vaccine but too many people believe that they will not catch the virus or will have it lightly.

What solutions does Acronis provide? Why do they work and are effective?

It is very simple. Our solution is quite unique on the market. It is an AI and ML based protection for your data from anything – loss, theft, ransomware, everything. Usually all of these functions are performed by 2-3 different softwares: antivirus, backup etc. Instead, Acronis offers one solution, one agent, one platform, one console and interface. It does everything that you need to stay protected.

The Bulgarian office of Acronis is the biggest unit of the company. What is the biggest challenge in your work?

Yes, that's true. Currently, the Bulgarian office of Acronis has about 650 people, but it is difficult to cite numbers as we hire new people on a daily basis. We are quite happy with how our Sofia office is developing, yet there are challenges.

Every IT company in Bulgaria will tell you about the lack of talent and how hard it is to find qualified professionals. I will give you an example with numbers. At the moment, we need to have about 1,000 people in the office, but we struggle to find this talent.

Of course, we cannot allow ourselves to passively observe the situation. We are proactive and have started educational initiatives that aim to create our own IT experts. This year, for example, together with the Schaffhausen Institute of Technology and the Jacobs University Bremen we started offering new training opportunities to Bulgarian students interested in practical skills in quantum computing, intelligent autonomous systems, symbolic artificial intelligence, system security and the latest in software engineering.

The other challenge is the political instability in Bulgaria. A business – any business, likes stability. We do not like the uncertainties, the inability to predict what will happen tomorrow. When you offer something to your employees – as a salary, working conditions, social benefits, you have to be able to hold your promise. Political instability makes this hard to achieve.

What makes Acronis's talents different from the ones in other Bulgaria-based IT companies?

We are sure that our people, teams and experts are totally different from the others. To understand what separates us, we need to go back to the early stages – on how we hire. Building a different team starts from here. We hire only top-level experts. We are looking in all areas – product management, developers, IT experts, security experts, but we seek only top professionals. The mid-level experts are not acceptable for us.

Then, for us it is important to offer excellent conditions to our employees from day one: salary, social packages, how we handle our people. My personal understanding is that we should not talk about them as human resources, but as human capital. If you think about your staff as a resource, you will treat them like a cost, and this is not good. But if you think about them as human capital, you treat them as your investment.

We are investing a lot in our people. We train them and create conditions where they can feel really like in a family, a family they are proud of. It is a simple thing, but in the beginning all new hires ask me are they obliged to wear Acronis t-shirts at the office every day. No, it is not obligatory. Our employees choose to do it because they are proud of being a part of our family. This makes Acronis team different. Our company is not a place where you come every day and receive a salary. It is something that you are happy to be a part of.

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