You are currently viewing Quest Software's Tod Weber on Defending the Federal Government's Enterprises – WashingtonExec

Quest Software's Tod Weber on Defending the Federal Government's Enterprises – WashingtonExec

Tod Weber, Quest Software

Tod Weber knows what keeps federal leaders up at night these days.

“Cybersecurity is probably the most compelling concern right now for the federal government. A lot of people are continuously worried that the next ‘9/11 event’ is going to be a cyber hit on the government ⏤ power grids coming down, or hacks on critical infrastructure,” he said.

As chairman, president and general manager at Quest Software Public Sector, he’s working to ensure that doesn’t happen.

While others in the GovCon space take a broad approach to cybersecurity, Quest Software is targeted. Federal enterprise IT systems rely heavily on Microsoft products, which in turn depend on Active Directory for authentication. Roughly 95% of the world’s enterprises including the U.S. federal government rely on Microsoft Active Directory. That’s a massive potential risk.

“The challenge is that Active Directory is not very secure in general. It’s got lots of vulnerabilities to it,” Weber said. “Microsoft itself has stated that there are 95 million attempted attacks on Active Directory every single day ⏤ and it’s the keys to the kingdom. If somebody gets into that, they can basically go anywhere they want to go.”

With that in mind, Quest Software is laser-focused on defending Active Directory. “That means we monitor it, so we can tell if someone’s doing something nefarious, literally in real time. If [attackers]are trying to do something, we can flag it and shut things down,” Weber said.

“We greatly simplify the identity and access management around Active Directory, and in the worst-case scenario ⏤ if something should ever happen ⏤ we have the ability to fully recover all of that information around the Active Directory,” he said. “If there’s a ransomware attack or something like that, we can bring everything back and reset the environments to the way they were before they attack.”

That high level of specificity in turn serves as a competitive differentiator.

“I frequently attend Gartner conferences that are specifically focused on cybersecurity, and there will be 150 or 200 vendors in there. I specifically look for organizations that are talking about Active Directory, and they’re non-existent,” Weber said. While others may include Active Directory protection in a broader set of cyber offerings, they typically don’t go as deep.

“It’s one thing just to be able to talk to Active Directory, or just to interface with it. It’s another thing to be able to sit around it, monitor it, manage it, change it, recover it, migrate it,” he said. “We are literally at a hyper-enhanced level of capability. Our company has this unique niche, and we’ve been doing it for a long time.”

Given the federal government’s $100 billion enterprise IT spend, and the prevalence of Microsoft in the federal ecosystem, Weber said there’s ample opportunity to grow the Quest Software footprint. To drive growth, he’s looking first to build upon existing successes.

“A lot of our growth strategy is based on the success of our existing customers. We’ve got more than seven million customers using the core pieces of our solution in the federal government, a lot of them in the Department of Defense,” he said.

When the company proves its abilities in one DOD agency, that often will create windows of opportunities in new areas

“Based on that success, we can go to the next component that is adjacent to whatever DOD agency we’re in, and say: Hey, you might want to talk to your colleagues over here. We’re doing a great job for them.” he said. “And we’ve got the ability to stand this stuff up pretty quickly. It’s not a situation where we go in and take two or three years to roll something out.”

In scoping out those potential opportunities, Weber said he focuses on the places where Quest Software can do real, practical good. “I got into this business to help solve problems. We want to bring value to the government, to help them execute on their mission,” he said. “We focus heavily on those places where we know we can just knock it out of the park.”

Still, it can be challenging for a GovCon to get its voice heard amidst all the noise. And it’s gotten harder since COVID, Weber said: Harder to make the personal, face-to-face connections that drive business growth.

“It’s often about brand awareness and getting the word out about what we can do,” he said. “WashingtonExec really helps us there. The ability to have those one-on-one meetings with key government executives is invaluable.”

With 35 years’ experience in the GovCon space, Weber said he’s pleased to be leading a team dedicated to supporting the federal mission. “I like working with a group of people that are extremely talented and extremely efficient at what they’re doing ⏤ guiding them to the right place, and ultimately making that difference,” he said.

“At Quest, we’re both extremely focused and very agile. We have the backing of a billion-dollar software company, and we can move left or right very fast,” he said. “I like that combination, and I think that does really well for the government. We’re solving real problems, and helping to defend the country.”