Interview: GCA Exec Director Andy Bates on his plans for UK, Middle East and India

Hello and welcome to the first of three interviews with our Executive Directors. Today we are talking with Andy Bates about his plans for UK, Middle East and India.
So without further ado
Andy: What are your in region objectives for 2020?

Hello Gill & everyone and thanks for your interest, We would like to distribute the toolkit to at least 100,000 small businesses increasing the effectiveness of GCA and our partners solutions. India and the Middle East are key new focus areas and we would like to recruit 3 Ambassadors to support our work here. Ambassador help us to understand cultural nuances. The Ambassador Programme has worked very well in New Zealand, Australia, UK and Switzerland but is especially critical when entering new countries, cultures and regions. Finally we are looking to increase our scale and continue to hire more great people. Personally I am keen to raise an incremental $1million in 2020 to further the mission. This will come from a combination or premier partnership fees, standard partnership fees and innovative projects.

That’s an ambitious target Andy.
On that, why are these important and how will they contribute to GCA’s global mission?

I’m particularly excited about the projects we have on the roadmap but we can only execute these with the help of partners either in terms of contributing threat data, funding, people or infrastructure. We have had brilliant help from organisations such as Email-Auth, Lloyds Banking Group,LORCA, BT & Verizon. In the past we have been funded by seed funding and our partners have added kudos to our mission and guided our direction. 2020 is the year where we start to change this model into a multi funded GCA with projects which we hope will eclipse the outstanding success of previous GCA projects like Quad9.

How can the community help?

Firstly we have published our roadmap and ideas on the forum, hence I have not been verbose here. The community forum helps us get wide scale visibility and therefore support for our ideas. One partner’s project manager recently said to me “this project is fundamentally changing the game - this is so exciting”. This is great to hear but better to publish on the portal. Also we hate spamming people which is why we don’t do it. The community allows a vibrant discussion area rather than “transmit only” mode.

The toolkit will only hit it’s targets if it is what people want, hence we need feedback via the community. We have also expanded the team since I joined in Sept 2017. We now have 8 people in the UK from a starting point of 2. Counting Europe this has gone from 2 to 11 with more recruitment underway. The community is a great way to share knowledge and give support. There are millions of businesses we can help and even with 10 people supporting my region this is a difficult scale position. The Community Forum gives an exponential force multiplier.

Finally in cyberspace I feel like the world is fighting a fire using fire extinguishers. Proper fire fighting involves removing the oxygen (dangerous) reducing the fuel and removing the source of ignition. The community and especially the ideation space should allow us to think on the higher planes, this is where some of our 2020 projects which we are piloting in my region have come from and generating excitement which we are keen to share.

Thanks Andy, any final thoughts and how can people reach you if they have any questions or offers of help?

I’m happy to take any questions here, join us at Cyber Trends on 30th April Mansion House, London Cyber Trends or contact me via the website

And just following up on Cyber Trends, this is being replaced by two (identical) morning webinars for small businesses and two (identical) afternoon webinars on DMARC. We hope you will join us for those, as well as later in the year when we hope to reschedule at Mansion House.