WordPress security, and website security more broadly, is constantly improving to address evolving security threats.
Sucuri, a popular website security company, is stepping up its game to take security to the next level. Just last week the company announced its new partnership with Yoast. According to the announcement, this partnership comes at a time when Sucuri is undergoing some other big changes in messaging and branding.
To better understand what this means for the future of Sucuri (and their approach to wesbsite security), I reached out to Tony Perez, CEO of Sucuri, for some insight.
Here’s what he said:
Q: Can you elaborate on the vision behind the new partnership (with Yoast), and some of the other big changes Sucuri has been making?
A: As with most companies, you are always forced to sit back and evaluate your position. Both in the industry you support and the communities you’re engaged with.
In the process of self-actualization it’s become apparent that in many ways we had become complacent and had stopped providing the value that is expected of us, both by our clients, the community and ourselves.
This in turn has forced us to think hard of who we are, in the process it’s brought about some of the changes you’re alluding to.
Sucuri has always been a security company, first and foremost, built by technologists with a crazy idea that we can make a difference and make the web a safer place. Daniel and I have decided to reset that course alignment and immerse ourselves back into this model.
This is where you see things like the partnership you allude to with Yoast.
The partnership in it’s purest sense serves two distinct purposes:
A) It provides a mechanism to amplify issues when they arise. As a community, when it comes to security, we must figure out how to get the word into more inboxes. We have to figure out how to bridge the divide between the website end-user and the greater community as a whole.
This is honestly what drove my last personal post on the Dilemma that is WordPress Security.
B) It was an effort to illustrate how organizations can achieve more through tighter collaboration. I’ve always personally been a believer that individuals achieve more in teams than by themselves. I think that this partnership with Yoast, as Chris Lema alludes to, and I think it is the beginning of many more.
I think the every day website owners will begin to demand it. The problem of WordPress security, and website security as a whole, is not one that is going away. If anything it’s becoming a more prominent an issue. As WordPress continues to grow, both in adoption and market share, it’ll become an easier and more appealing target for attackers. This is the sad and unfortunate reality. As such, these partnerships, and other similar initiatives, are a necessity in today’s online world.
Q: Does this signify a new phase in Sucuri’s lifecycle?
A: Yes, absolutely, without a doubt.
As an organization we have to figure out where we are, where we are going and more importantly, how we can make the most impact whilst creating the best value. What we do well, and what we don’t. It’s time we turn a new leaf, evolve our business from early pubescent years to adulthood.
As an organization you will continue to see thought leadership in both the technical and non-technical aspects of Security. It is time that we get some leadership in the domain; nothing is more infuriating than the noise and confusion that end-users are challenged with on a daily basis when it comes to Security because of the minutia you find littered across the interwebs.
If this means getting more active, and more succinctly articulating the issues in an open and closed forum, then so be it.
For the longest time, Sucuri was known for malware detection and cleanup. That phase in our life is done. We are a website security company. We specialize in offering website owners the best security solutions available. Does it mean we still offer malware detection and cleanup? Absolutely, but it also means we do so much more as well.
Our goal, when it comes to end-users is simple, and it’s time we make that clear to every website owner. Security is not a simple switch or flip of a button; no it’s a concept of good posture and a complete process. That posture is achieved through a concept of Defense in Depth, and that is what our products are built on and what every website owner will soon learn.
Q: Will we continue to see Sucuri partner with other plugins and products in the future?
A: I think you can say that’s probably a safe bet. More importantly, I think and hope that will it will really achieve is more discussion.
Q: What, in your opinion, does Sucuri partnering with popular WordPress plugins mean for WordPress Security?
A: I think it signifies an evolution in the thought process around security across the WordPress development ecosystem. I think you can also expect partnerships to extend beyond plugin shops, including theme and service shops as well.
It’s not via one mechanism that you achieve change, but through all of them.
Q: Can you provide some insight into any other big changes that Sucuri has in store?
A: I think some of our biggest changes you will see can be felt today. We are reinvesting heavily into those things that made us great and loved, our technology and our insights. Those are the things that made us a company and will carry us forward into our next phase. We have a well-known and respected voice; it’s on us to use it responsibly. Will we make people upset? Possibly. We adhere to our internal processes and those defined by the security domain at large, not any one specific community. Remember, we support a variety of communities that extend well beyond WordPress.
You will continue to see an evolution in our branding, specifically our messaging. You can already see some of that in this interview and you will continue to see that get carried across our website and the way we engage. I think this is a very important aspect how we get the right tone across to every user.
Speaking of users, you will see us focus heavily on them; they are the biggest vulnerability today. We will move beyond events like WordCamps and Community events and into areas that end-users actually participate in, not to say we won’t support them, but we will be thinking outside of the box. Our focus is education and awareness, and to achieve that we have to get in front of the right audience.
Our research teams will continue to work tirelessly to identify the latest threat vectors, reverse engineer the latest payloads and most importantly, share that information as it becomes available. We see thousands upon thousands of infected and attacked websites a week, we feel it’s our responsibility to share as much information and data as possible.
One of our biggest differentiators has always been our customer service. We are far from perfect, but in the space few can come close. We employ over 40 security professionals around the world. This allows us to provide 24/7/365 support, allowing us to be there for our clients when they need us most. It also provides a beautiful environment for security analysis and debate, one of the things that allows us to continue to push relevant content to the world. I think you will continue to see us focus on our customer support and client engagement, it’s inevitable. Security provided by real humans, that’s what every website owner wants and that’s what we want to deliver.
Lastly, you’re going to see a lot more emphasis in our products. You’ll see increased unification across the entire stack. You have likely already seen the reference to the Website AntiVirus and Website Firewall across our different properties and that will continue to evolve. Our goal is to provide one simple security product for every website owner—detect, cleanup, and protect every website. To do this we must continue to invest in our research and technology, continue what we have been doing the past four years, and push to stay ahead of the bad guys. We owe it to the communities we support and more importantly, the clients that depend on us to keep them safe and clean.
You can find Tony on twitter @perezbox!
Marie Dodson is the assistant editor at Torque. She graduated from Cornell University with a degree in Biology and Society. She enjoys wine, good books, and travel.