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Aaron Gamewell Stays Vigilant Against Hackers, Lack of Planning

3 min read
Aaron Gamewell joined Secure Banking Solutions, now SBS Cybersecurity, of Little Rock and Madison, South Dakota, in 2016, where he is president, CEO and managing partner.

Before working for the provider of cybersecurity and other information technology products for the banking industry, Gamewell was executive vice president and COO of the Arkansas Bankers Association. He has more than 20 years of experience in banking, leadership and operational management, including stints as senior vice president of lending at Bank of the Ozarks and as vice president of marketing and financial-related services at AgHeritage Farm Credit Services. After leaving banking in 2008 and before the ABA post, he worked with startups and venture capital groups in a consulting capacity.

Gamewell says he “runs on little sleep and lots of adrenaline,” and keeps a notepad by his bed to write down thoughts or ideas that wake him.


What are the biggest mistakes you see your customers make?

A.) One of the biggest mistakes is allowing their managed services providers to audit their own IT equipment and practices. …

B.) Not budgeting for or investing in technology. Every business is a technology-driven business. All businesses must invest in people and technology.

C.) Not training and educating employees to recognize cyber risks; this should be an ongoing program to educate and mitigate risk of cyber data breaches. Humans are the weakest link when hackers are looking for victims, and the tactics are changing minute by minute as the risk of loss grows for the business and the reward of easy profits line the hackers’ pockets.

D.) Some executives think they can hand off the responsibility for IT and forget about it until something doesn’t work properly. … The executive team and board of directors should understand their company’s IT infrastructure and risks.

What advice would you offer to young professionals in your field?

I encourage young professionals to find a company where they understand the culture and see themselves thriving within that company. Do your research on the company and its leadership.

As part of the interview process, ask for a senior level team member to serve as a mentor and meet with that person monthly to ask questions and get feedback. Continue to learn about your industry, but immerse yourself in reading about leaders that you admire. …

Always remember your title doesn’t make you a leader. Focus on building meaningful relationships. Help others to achieve success and your career will soar.

What is the biggest challenge your business, and industry, faces?

Cybersecurity is a young industry and continues to evolve and mature. The part of the industry that is maturing the fastest is the criminal aspect. We will never stay ahead of the criminal hackers’ exploits. But we can stay educated, vigilant and proactive to make it harder for them to execute and monetize their crimes. …

Because cybersecurity is such a young industry we are facing major shortages nationwide for talent. … Another significant issue that is a passion for me and for our company is [increasing] gender and racial diversity within our industry.

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