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Making sure innovation is part of our DNA

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Monday, May 20, 2019

David Coffey is head of the global engineering team at Forcepoint. In that role, he is responsible for fostering a culture of innovation, experimentation, and discovery to support Forcepoint’s mission as a behavior-centric cybersecurity organization.

I spoke with David at the recent RSA Conference in San Francisco about two key aspects of his job: ensuring that the engineering team, drawn together from many disparate companies, is unified under a single engineering culture, and using programs like our annual hackathon to enable our engineering teams to experiment. Videos and transcripts are below.

A Shared Discipline for Innovation

Forcepoint has always had innovation as part of its culture. One of the key hurdles that Forcepoint has had is how to build a single engineering culture itself, and make sure that innovation is part of that DNA.

Forcepoint came from five or six different organizations historically. One of my charters given to me from CEO Matt Moynahan is to build a One Engineering Culture. And innovation, it’s fundamental to that. We have great engineers here at Forcepoint. Helping them show what they can do and how they can do it, by giving them not just the vehicles for doing that but also a common shared discipline for innovation: that is fundamental to success.

Enabling Engineers’ Great Ideas

The hackathons that we’ve had have been phenomenal. We’ve had great ideas, from how do you stop people from taking pictures of laptops and screens, which is a big problem from a DLP perspective, to understanding better ways to understand how humans are interacting with devices for the human behavior analytics perspective that we’re doing. So you’re enabling these engineers who have these great ideas that are always kind of in that back burner location, to give them that vehicle to show it, to do it, and to prove it, for the wider aspect of Forcepoint.

About the Author

Sarah Vela

Sarah Vela is senior manager of digital communications for Forcepoint.