Category: Top Management
Name: Stu Sjouwerman
Why nominated: Convinced that the human element of security was being sorely neglected while organizations overly relied on technology to save them, Stu Sjouwerman created KnowBe4, a provider of new-school security awareness training that helps employees recognize cybercrime and social engineering tactics before they can fall for them.
Profile: Sjouwerman is the founder and CEO of KnowBe4, which hosts an integrated security awareness training and simulated phishing platform used by more than 3,000 organizations across a wide prism of industries, some in highly regulated fields like healthcare, finance, energy, government and insurance.
And to prove that Sjouwerman's own workforce is not exempt from following proper security practices, all KnowBe4 employees are subject to mandatory, extensive security awareness training from day one.
Sjouwerman's prior venture was Sunbelt Software, an anti-malware software company he founded and later sold in 2010.
A serial entrepreneur and data security expert with more than 30 years in the IT industry, Sjouwerman has authored four books and has served as editor-in-chief of an IT security e-zine and an email newsletter distributed to over 100,000 IT system administrators.
What colleagues say: “Stu is one of the legends in security…He is a voracious consumer of knowledge, and knows more about the needs and wants of the enterprise than anyone I know. He's also published several excellent books on security and IT system administration. Originally trained as a teacher, his love of pedagogy now extends to his work, where he has built an amazing business delivering a world-class solution in the security awareness space… He also has a knack for making the complex simple, and in a world where the security landscape has been getting more and more obfuscated behind a blizzard of acronyms and often purposeful confusion on the part of vendors, that's a skill that's sorely needed.”
- Alex Eckelberry, member, KnowBe4 board of directors
“Stu is one of my favorite people in the world; and certainly the most engaging, energetic, and forward-thinking managers I've ever had… Additionally, Stu has managed to build and sustain an engaging and fun corporate culture, even as we are in a sustained hyper-growth phase. The company culture has been noted as one of the best in the area…”
- Perry Carpenter, chief evangelist and strategy officer, KnowBe4