Among the many strategic changes that finance leader Danielle Murcray has helped to put in motion during her multi-chapter CFO career, perhaps none better reveals her mantle as a strategic leader than the move by cybersecurity firm AttackIQ to adopt a 100 percent–remote U.S. workforce.
With the arrival of the pandemic, Murcray—like many of her CFO peers—became laser-focused on the company’s finance liquidity and operational efficiencies. At the same time, though, she felt compelled to communicate the health and well-being of the company more broadly.Read More
“I really sought to promote stability across the organization and looked to instill trust with employees and investors,” comments Murcray, who credits the same aspects of her leadership outreach with helping AttackIQ to leverage the advantages of a remote workforce.
“I spend quite a bit of my time making certain that we are overcommunicating and collaborating in different ways so that people feel that we are together even though we are not physically together anymore,” explains Murcray, who moved to Montana from California back in late 2020 after the company announced that its U.S. operations would be moving to a remote model. It subsequently closed its Santa Clara headquarters and San Diego offices.
“From the results of our own surveys, we realized that most employees did not want to go back to the office anymore, so we could see that being 100 percent–remote would be a huge competitive advantage,” reports Murcray, who adds that since the decision, more than a dozen AttackIQ employees have relocated out of the state of California.
Says Murcray: “I think that leading through the pandemic is now become something of a defining moment in my career. –Jack Sweeney
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CFOTL: Tell us about AttackIQ … what does this company do, and what are its offerings today?
Murcray: AttackIQ built the industry’s first breach-and-attack simulation platform for continuous security control validation. We use automated insights to help cybersecurity teams confidently verify that their defenses are working, which then in turn helps to protect their reputation and assets. We also deliver the attacker’s-eye view of breach risk, which enterprises need to verify the efficacy of their significant security investments.
We really have two priorities in particular.
The first one is to continue to create a flexible business model. AttackIQ still has a healthy portion of the $44 million that we raised in our Series B financing, there’s still a significant amount of uncertainty in the market right now, with the rise in interest rates, the potential recession, the continuation of COVID, and so on.Read More
This uncertainty requires a financial model that can be flexible and really adapt to a changing environment. Regardless of whether these changes are positive or negative, this is just really important.
The second thing is to really focus on people. I have HR and talent acquisition as well, so because we’ve gone 100 percent–remote in the U.S., helping with this process has really transformed my role. I’m heavily focused on rethinking employee engagement, finding ways to keep employees feeling connected while being fully remote, and collaborating with some large teams in a couple of different locations. This really includes the entire recruitment-to-retention process.
If the pandemic has taught me anything, it’s that companies really need to continue to find creative ways to keep employees motivated. Communication and collaboration are just very, very important to ensure that employees feel part of the team even when they can’t all be together. This is something that’s going to continue to be very important for AttackIQ and many other companies that have chosen to go remote.
These are the two areas on which I’ll be focusing most during the next 12 months.
“If you are a female in a male-dominated role, it’s important to believe in yourself and know that you earned a seat at the table. Be confident in sharing your opinions, don’t apologize for speaking your mind, get comfortable with saying ‘no,’ and don’t be afraid to ask questions.” –Danielle Murcray, CFO, AttackIQ
AttackIQ | www.attackiq.com | Los Altos, CA