Meet Erik - The cyber security manager at Westermo

Erik Johansson has been with Westermo since 2015. Previously, he worked for ABB in the same role. Today, he helps Westermo raise awareness of the cyber security risks and how to best possible avoid or prevent them.

What is your role at Westermo?
I have worked here as the cyber security manager since February 2015. I am responsible for cyber security related things
regarding our products and solution offerings. I help writing requirements for our products and solutions and discuss how we can best implement them, and meet customers to hear what they think. I track vulnerabilities and make sure we take care of them in our reviews.

We already had very competent people working with some of what I do, but I help them coordinate things. One of the thing that strikes me here, is the amount of highly-skilled and competent people working so well together. That is something that still fascinates me and I am very happy to be here.

How did you become a cyber security expert?
Software development and software architecture is my background. I began my career at ABB in 1988, but left it later for a smaller company working with digital identity management. That is where I started working with cyber security full time. In 2008, I came back to ABB Network Management as a cyber security manager.

What is a typical day at Westermo like for you?
This is what makes my day interesting. I don’t know how my day will be like. There are no typical days here. There are always good days. There are very seldom bad days, but the days that might be bad from a security perspective are instead very interesting to me, personally. In that sense, they are good days too.

It has been a lot of marketing positions and a lot of documentation of material that has been produced. I have been travelling a lot to seminars and speaking at events too. Some events are customer-based, some we pay for ourselves but I also get speaker invitations. There is definitely an interest out there.

How do we find the cyber security vulnerabilities?
We find most of them by tracking the available communities. We look at public disclosures. We do not do much internal assessments ourselves today. That is something that we want to strengthen and work more proactively with.

What is the biggest challenge with cyber security?
Being one step ahead is one thing we will never be able to be. So the answer is try to raise a general awareness, for example, to make sure we don’t open attachments in our emails that will infect our computers with malwares of different kinds. We try to make our customers understand the threats and to help them use our products in sensible ways in production environments.

We are all the same, but the major difference between the home-user and our customers is the perseverance of the attacker. We have threats where groups of individuals have the time, the resources and the skills to go for specific, critical infrastructure targets. They can attack a target for years. 2015, in Ukraine three substations were taken out using malware. The way they did it was exactly the same way we all get infected. It all begins with an infected email attachment, but the difference is this will not happen to you at home. At home you are generally attacked, but the methodology and the technology are the same.

It is not the technology that is the problem, it is the way people behave. It is nice to have good technology like our products, but focusing on people and their behaviours is more important. What will protect you is your knowledge.


Jenny Sjödahl becomes new sales manager at Westermo

Jenny Sjödahl becomes sales manager at Westermo. The role involves responsibility for all Westermo sales offices around the world. She comes from ABB Control Technologies, where she was responsible for automation products globally. Prior to that, she was Local  Business Unit Manager for Sweden and northern Europe. Jenny has held several other senior positions within ABB.

Westermo is in an ambitious growth plan since 2015 and the company has increased sales by 17% over the last year. The growth plan includes a strong focus on increased sales, primarily in "Edge Network Solutions", which includes robust Ethernet switches and routers.

"I am very pleased to have been chosen to lead the global Westermo sales organisation.  Westermo is an exciting company with high growth ambitions that is investing to expand further. I look forward to being part of the Westermo culture and to work with the whole Westermo team," says Jenny, who will start her new job in August.

"A key success factor for Westermo is that we have built up a strong local presence in the markets where we operate. We make data communications solutions for industrial and infrastructure systems. These systems reliability is often crucial to our client's business. Jenny has extensive expertise in this type of systems from her time at ABB. She also has extensive experience in leading system product business internationally and will be able to contribute valuable knowledge to our organization and our customers," says Lars-Ola Lundkvist, CEO of Westermo.

Westermo has offices with local sales and technical support in Sweden, Finland, United Kingdom, France, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Singapore, China, Australia and the USA.

Jenny Sjödahl will start at Westermo in August, 2016.

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