Founder and CEO of KnowBe4
Stu Sjouwerman is a serial entrepreneur and data security expert with more than 30 years in the IT industry. He is the founder and CEO of KnowBe4 Inc, provider of the world’s largest security awareness training and simulated phishing platform. Along with his CEO duties, Sjouwerman is editor-in-chief of Cyberheist News, an ezine tailored to deliver IT security news, technical updates and social engineering alerts. He is the author of four books, with his latest being “Cyberheist: The Biggest Financial Threat Facing American Businesses.” Sjouwerman is a five-time Inc 500 award winner.
Why We Chose Him:
KnowBe4, the provider of the world’s largest integrated security awareness training and simulated phishing platform, is used by more than 26,000 organizations worldwide. Founded by data and IT security expert Stu Sjouwerman, KnowBe4 helps organizations address what Stu sees as a critical part of cyber security: the human element.
It may be seen as ironic that the human element is so important to this hardcore tech company. Actually, it’s the whole idea behind why Stu started the company. Even when the “perfect” software could be created to solve a problem, human error was still the main issue in so many cases.
Stu explains, “The idea was that the human was the weak link in IT security. But how are you going to manage that problem?”
So, a huge part of what his company focuses on is aiding, educating and improving human behavior -- and inspiring people to do the right thing is a big part of that.
“Ethics is what you do when no one is looking,” Sjouwerman says.
Stu has won the Employees’ Choice Award, honoring top CEOs, from Glassdoor, ranking in the top 10 in the U.S. in the small and medium business category, with a 98% satisfaction rating. Employees commonly comment that “Our CEO, Stu, really has what it takes to be the best leader in this industry” and describe the company as having “open communication and a fun work environment.”
Along with appreciation of the human, knowledge is the key commodity at the foundation of Stu’s work -- which is why he focuses on educating the workforce.
This approach sets his company apart from those offering anti-virus products. In fact, he observes, “Attackers are getting better and the anti-virus market can’t keep up.” He believes relying on it gives a false sense of security.
He also wants to make an impact on smaller businesses, educating those owners as well, believing they overlook the importance of security because they don’t think of themselves as conglomerates that would need it.
For putting the people back into tech, we are proud to honor Stu as a Social Capital leader.
Tenure at Current Position
|Studied educational sciences at Universiteit van Amsterdam|