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Five-minute interview: Dean Porter, F-Secure

Dean Porter, UK and Ireland country sales manager for corporate sales at F-Secure, reveals his passion for Chelsea FC and his appreciation for hip hop

Hi Dean, tell us what you do for a living.

I’m Dean Porter, and I’m the UK and Ireland country sales manager for corporate sales at F-Secure, a global cyber security specialist.

Why are you the right person for this job?

My passion for cyber security and the experiences I’ve had in the industry. I’ve seen the challenges faced across the board from an end-user perspective, but also those that face the security partners trying to assist. This helps me to collaborate with our partners to deliver the best security strategies to our customers.

What gets you up in the morning?

My young daughter and plenty of coffee, usually. But besides that, the feeling that I’m genuinely making a difference in the world.

Who helped you get to where you are today?

I’d say almost everyone I’ve worked with and anyone who’s given me advice – good, bad or ugly. I always try to listen to all advice I receive and interpret it in my own way, so you could say my career has been something of a team effort.

What is the best or worst business advice you have received and from whom?

The best advice I’ve ever received was from my current boss, who told me to always listen and be present in a meeting. Rather than just waiting for your chance to speak and deliver another “pitch”, you need to really engage in conversation with everyone you meet. Any questions you ask should be to help reach a point of clarity. 

What advice would you give to someone starting out today in IT?

Never be afraid to learn new things and be confident. The IT industry is constantly evolving, especially when it comes to cyber security. There are always new challenges and things to learn, whether it’s in regard to people, process or technology. Taking an attitude of continuous learning and having confidence in your ability to deliver will help you progress your career.

Is it possible to get through an industry conversation without mentioning ‘digital transformation’?

I don’t use the term much in conversation myself. It’s become a bit of a buzzword in recent years. If you’re really listening to someone’s needs instead of just pitching at them, you won’t need to throw those kinds of terms out there to get your point across.

What does the next five years hold for the channel?

The channel has become increasingly crucial in recent years. At F-Secure, we’ve made some major structural changes to align with our channel, such as the implementation and support of our Global Partner Programme.

Dean Porter

“Taking an attitude of continuous learning and having confidence in your ability to deliver will help you progress your career”

Dean Porter, F-Secure

I believe the channel will continue to play an even more important role in helping vendors to scale, bringing more value to end-users, and it will be even more vital to have a network of trusted partners for both those delivering security and those in need of it.

Tell us something most people do not know about you

I would say that I’m a huge football fan and support Chelsea FC, but the first question I ask anyway is who they support, so I know what I’m dealing with! But seriously, I’m quite an open and transparent person so there can’t be much that people don’t know about me. Unfortunately, I don’t have any secret exciting life hidden away somewhere.

What goal do you have to achieve before you die, and why?

I’d love to be able to give something back based on my own life experiences, past challenges and achievements, that could really help people who are struggling in life. I’s like to help people realise that you can overcome your challenges and anything is possible if you put your mind to it and apply yourself.

What is the best book you've ever read?

Of Mice and Men is one of the books that I’ve always remembered studying from my school days. For me, it reflects on life struggles, companionship and the effects of loneliness – some key factors that are very real to people currently, and are encouraged to be talked about more openly.

And the worst film you’ve ever seen?

There are too many to mention. Put it this way, any time my wife has the choice on film night, I know it’s going to be added to this list.

What would be your Desert Island MP3s?

My interest in music is so widely spread I could make do with pretty much anything (with the exception of pop music, maybe). Rap/hip hop is my favourite genre for the lyrical content and wordplay, I really love listening to the storytelling. That being said, give me a bit of Frank Sinatra and the Rat Pack any day of the week.

If you could be any animal for a day, what would you be and why?

Some sort of large bird – how cool would it be just fly around from place to place? Beats getting on the tube in Central London!

If you were facing awesome peril and impossible odds, which real or fictional person would you most want on your side and why?

Chuck Norris, obviously! I heard a rumour that he actually built the hospital he was born in.

And finally, a grizzly bear and a silverback gorilla are getting ready for a no-holds-barred rumble. Who is your money on and why?

Well, they’d certainly beat the hell out of each other. My money is on the gorilla though – they’re smarter. Intelligence will find a way to win over physical strength.

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