Interview With Dave Kleidermacher
- By Raegen Pietrucha
What’s your current state of mind?
Frustrated that we seem to be losing ground in the security battle — rate of intrusions increasing, and society’s collective will to do something about it lagging. Any competent hacker can commandeer practically any computer system. Stuxnet, RSA, Sony … These should be a wake-up call, but responses are the same old song and dance: patch and pray. Nevertheless, I’m determined more than ever to throw this status quo onto its head.
What’s the greatest challenge you face today?
We’ve become numb to the daily deluge of attacks. … Over the past couple decades, Green Hills has perfected a methodology for securing software and systems in “high robustness” environments, where high-value resources must be protected against even the most sophisticated attackers. Our biggest challenge is getting people … to understand that something can be done, and then demand high robustness solutions from the world’s technology suppliers.
What do you see as your biggest opportunity?
Organizations that can deploy something that can’t be hacked have an incredible competitive advantage. If somebody could come in and say, “I can leapfrog the competition because my software, data, computers, networks are literally hacker-proof,” that’s an incredible opportunity for customers and for the world.
What would you consider your greatest achievement?
When Green Hills achieved its first EAL 6+ high robustness certification, that was a watershed moment. No software on planet Earth had ever been certified to this level of security under the international Common Criteria standard. This achievement proved that there’s a way to change the status quo. This certification was performed under the auspices of the United States F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program. Since then, the methodology has been applied to commercial, consumer-grade products — PCs, smart phones, printers — proving that high robustness is practical.
Where are you investing the most within your company this year?
Virtualization technology that allows us to host, on a single microprocessor, multiple guest operating systems — such as Linux and Android — with high robustness isolation between them, while ensuring real-time, safety and security-critical functioning of the system.
What is your greatest concern for the MPS industry?
Printers and related office equipment have become first-class IT devices or end points on the network, and they need to be secured. The MPS industry needs to offer solutions that protect the enterprise from the same kinds of vulnerabilities and attacks that plague PCs and servers.
What qualities do you look for when making key hires?
Really, really smart people … We hire from the top engineering universities, and we look for people who can deliver extremely high quality at high rates of efficiency, because that’s what we need to offer our customers.
If your customers were to describe your company in three words, what would they be?
“The security experts.” Maybe another shot — to be more specific: “high robustness experts.”
Managed print services or managed services?
Managed services. Managed print services happens to be one of the important industries adopting remote managed equipment more than some other industries, but by no means is it specific to print and imaging.
What’s the biggest concern your customers have today?
It’s “How do I achieve a high level of security in a way that doesn’t slow down my business? How can we retrofit a solution like secure managed print services without adding schedule or cost?”
How would your employees and co-workers describe you?
“I often describe Dave as one of those one-in-a-million who is a combination of technical expert but also extremely articulate, funny and fun to be around. How often is the genius at a company also the life of the party?” — Gordon Jones.
Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
I’m probably just as guilty as the rest of the world of using the term “security” too loosely. People say, “I want something to be secure,” and that by itself is meaningless. Secure against what? What are you trying to protect?
Why do you hold your current business position today?
I love what we do. What do we all want in our careers? We want to make a positive difference in the world. Dramatically improving security in the technology area, which increasingly affects every human — I can’t think of a better place.
What trends have you seen in the MPS industry?
Connectivity. Remote management. Huge software content in devices.
Who is your next hire?
We just hired a whole new group of engineers. We have hiring software developers down pretty well. What we don’t necessarily have down is hiring good technical marketing people. But some of us wear multiple hats …
This article originally appeared in the October 2011 issue of The Imaging Channel.