Focus Magazine: Security

Mention the name Marty Roesch to anyone remotely interested in cybersecurity, and their ears will inevitably perk up. You see, he’s a celebrity in the cybersecurity world, having created Snort, a network Intrusion Detection System back in the late 1990’s. Now Roesch is the Chief Architect of Cisco’s Security Business Group. In a recent interview with Focus Magazine, he talked candidly about the current state of security and how he got his start.

Focus Magazine: You’re the founder of Sourcefire, which Cisco acquired in 2013. What’s it like going from leading your own company to joining the behemoth that is Cisco?

Marty Roesch: It’s very different. You go from waking up under the flag of your own creation every day to waking up under this new flag and it’s a different vibe. I’d say to some degree, it’s less visceral. I started Sourcefire in my house back in 2001, so it was very much every bit of me in that company. This is a lot bigger, and you can make bigger changes in the industry on the one hand, but on the other hand, it’s not as organic. It’s a huge professional company with a major global impact and you have to think differently when you’re operating on that scale.

I have very strong opinions on the right ways to use certain areas of security, especially when it comes to keeping hackers out of your networks, but I’m a little more tempered these days. I can certainly dig my heels in, but I think as a group, especially at the leadership level, we have a lot of mature people who know a lot about security, who are capable of getting to a decision point where we can all live with the result. I think the group at Cisco is a good-natured group that really does see the opportunity to improve security on a global level.