I had first joined Palo Alto Networks in 2014, but left after about three years to explore some different opportunities and to spread my wings a little bit.
I certainly have fond memories of my first tenure with Palo Alto Networks in Melbourne. In 2014, we had a tiny office and a very small team, but we were very close and worked hard. We had a hell of a lot of fun in those early days — it had that startup kind of feeling.
Returning to join the Cortex team is like being at a startup within the mothership. It’s back to those early days of Palo Alto Networks—that startup feeling—being in Cortex but having that maturity and security of the bigger organization around you. Palo Alto Networks realises that people are our most valuable asset, and that is evident in the fact that many of those people from those early days are still working for the company today.
One of my core beliefs is that cybersecurity and privacy are fundamental human rights in the modern age, and I love that I am again part of a company that is actively working to protect these rights for our customers, enabling them to live their digital lives and conduct their business online in a more secure fashion.
I found other benefits in coming back to Palo Alto Networks, particularly FLEXWORK and FLEXBenefits, which really helped with the disruptions due to COVID. FLEXWORK gave me the opportunity to complete a Master's degree in Cybersecurity Policy and Risk Management, because I was able to use the time that I would normally have spent commuting on the train for studying, meaning that I didn’t have to take extra time away from my family.
FLEXWORK is another example of the maturity of the organization, where they trust their people and say: "Hey, you've got a job to do. And you know how best to do your job and we're going to trust you to do it. Do it wherever you want. Do it whenever you want, just do it.”
For anyone considering a return to Palo Alto Networks, I would say that no matter what prompted you to leave, go back and have a look at us again. I was working at a competitor when an opportunity came up to join two of my ex-colleagues on the Cortex team at Palo Alto Networks. I did my research. I found the maturity of the company had increased — from the breadth of the product portfolio, through the way the company presented itself and discussed its competition, to how it supported its employees with career development pathways. I found that compelling, and here I am.
At Palo Alto Networks, by helping organizations to improve their cybersecurity postures, we're helping people to be safer and more secure, and we're helping to protect their way of life in the digital age. And that's what keeps me getting up every day.