Sababa Security is an extremely dynamic company: in just 3 years it has collected a stock market listing, a company acquisition, and a tremendous growth in terms of revenues and employees. And that’s not the end of the story, because we are pleased to welcome Paolo Emiliani and Massimo Romagnoli. They are joining the company as Directors of Central/Southern business development, with the goal of bringing Sababa Security’s offering to enterprise customers in the central and southern Italy. Want to get to know them better? Read the interview!
Paolo: I have almost always worked in the enterprise market, both in the private and public sectors. I have spent the last 15 years working for international vendors. First as Technical Account Manager, then Europe Technical Manager and finally Head of Global Presales, with focus on OT security, Threat Intelligence, Vulnerability management processes, Threat Hunting. I have also been Responsible for the delivery of security services on the territory. In the last years I worked specifically on the engineering of proposals for major projects involving Italian critical infrastructures. After that, together with Massimo, I launched a start-up specialized in Mobile Core Network Security.
Massimo: For the past year I have been managing this company highly verticalized in the Telco security market. I took care of all the sales for the Middle East and African market. Going back in time, I worked for the same international vendor Paolo mentioned. Together we had to bring the company’s offering to the Italian market – both in central and southern Italy – with a special focus on vulnerability management, application security and OT security. From this point of view, we can say that we were really among the forerunners in Italy to carry out projects on industrial security for important critical infrastructures when these topics were still little explored.
Massimo: The main goal is to improve Sababa Security’s brand awareness in central and southern Italy, particularly in Rome, and then bring the company to the enterprise market and so to customers such as large utilities, Public Administration and many others.
Paolo: To achieve these goals, it is important to properly convey the expertise that Sababa can bring to the market and to make all its capabilities and peculiarities known and valued by large customers. This is achievable by being constantly present and supporting customers and partners anytime, collaborating with them.
Paolo: All of our experiences – many of which have been abroad, with clients from different cultures, with very complicated and slow purchasing processes, as well as complex and long sales processes – have made us stronger and allowed us to know so many realities, learning how to work around obstacles while pursuing the objective. I think all of this can be leveraged in Sababa, starting with the contacts we have, but also the knowledge of processes, technologies and types of approaches that large enterprises require.
Massimo: My experiences will help me bring important new partnerships into Sababa across central and southern Italy with the goal of increasing our revenues as quickly as possible. During all these years, we have had the opportunity to dive into the enterprise market and get to know so many vendors. Therefore, we will try to create new synergies with Sababa, get strategic customers and let them learn the value and know-how of this company, both as a third-party platform manager, but also as a provider of specific cybersecurity services.
Massimo: Definitely improving Sababa Security’s brand awareness: while in northern Italy, in fact, it is already a well-known and well-regarded cybersecurity company, in central and southern Italy many enterprise customers – or rather many service providers that often act as intermediaries – still don’t know it. The second challenge will, clearly, be to enter a market populated by competitors. However, I strongly believe that Sababa’s values will be highly appreciated and we will be able to get the better of many other players.
Paolo: As Massimo said, we are definitely in difficult and competitive market, where there are many entities, but really few have real cybersecurity capabilities. Therefore, we will have to do a great brand positioning. The other challenge I see, however, is more internal. From what I have been able to understand so far, Sababa is at a historic moment of significant growth, but this has to go hand in hand with the ability to scale the services, the competencies, the proposition, and it is not easy at all. We will try to bring added value to this development stage with our skills and experience.
Massimo: It has always been my dream to learn more languages. Apart from English, I know some Spanish and would like to improve it. Having had the opportunity to travel a lot, I have realized how crucial it is to know the native language of the place where you are in.
Paolo: I would like to work in diplomacy, to help in mediating existing conflicts in the world. I think there is more and more need for diplomacy nowadays.
Paolo: Definitely what I have already found in this environment, which is great enthusiasm and a lot of determination. Having passion for your work is the basis from which to start. To make a long story short I would say enthusiasm, ability and a lot of honesty. There is nothing wrong with saying “I can help you up to here or I just can’t help you”. Being transparent helps to increase your credibility in the eyes of the client, who will then not perceive you as the one who has to sell something at all costs. At the same time, this allows you to build the dimension and recognition of the company, and people always remember who is a valuable and loyal partner.
Massimo: To grow such a young company successfully, the three main mantras for me are enthusiasm, innovation, and thinking outside the box. And despite my few days of experience here, I immediately felt that these aspects are all well established. First and foremost, I appreciated its innovative character. Sababa has characteristics that greatly differentiate it from similar companies in today’s market. Continuous research, being present in peculiar areas – such as automotive – or having such a team of pen testers are aspects that can make this company grow very quickly. These are all characteristics that I do not find in other similar, perhaps even larger, players.
Paolo: I chose Sababa because of the enthusiasm, innovative spirit, expertise and great flexibility demonstrated. I also appreciated the transparent relationship that was established right from the start. Sababa responded positively to all my expectations.
Massimo: I can only confirm what Paolo said. In evaluating this project I really appreciated the innovative character of Sababa and the enthusiasm of the group, which is really overwhelming. The journey that this company has taken in a very short time is extraordinary. Together with Paolo, we also considered a career in much more structured and larger organizations that are definitely less dynamic in facing new market challenges. This made a real difference for me.
Massimo: Help others and you will be rewarded.
Paolo: Do things right and with honesty and you will always be recognized, no matter how many people try to go over your head and get in your way. But also work with passion, doing the best you can, and all the good things will come as a result.
Massimo: Have a comprehensive internal awareness and vision before you start compulsively buying any security solution that will make you feel more secure. Understand what the business needs are, the maturity of the staff themselves, and then develop an operational planning based on the actual needs.
Paolo: I would recommend having full and total visibility of your networks, your assets, your processes and network flows. very often people make assumptions or try to imagine what the problem must be, but this is not the right attitude. Preventive remediation is an exercise that can hit the mark, but it can also fail because it is about guessing. But who is willing to guess at their own expense? We need a structured approach that means having full visibility, analyzing real context risks, continuously testing what we implemented. It is not an easy thing, but it will pay off.
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