In an increasingly digital world, companies and the data they produce are inseparable. For every personal and professional activity conducted online, there is data to protect — and information to exploit. 

Every 11 seconds, a business will fall victim to a ransomware attack, and that cadence will accelerate to every two seconds by 2031, reported Cybersecurity Ventures. 

As individuals’ and organizations’ digital footprints become more expansive and detailed, digital extortion via ransomware is increasingly prevalent. These attacks target the digital realm but have far-ranging, real-world consequences.

In September of 2023, ransomware attacks resulted in severe operational disruptions for properties on the Las Vegas Strip, forced public schools to cancel classes and led to the closure of California-based healthcare provider locations — all in the span of one month.

These threats are not confined to any specific location or professional field. In the first quarter of 2023, one in 31 organizations worldwide experienced weekly ransomware attacks, according to a report from The Check Point. 

“Ransomware is everywhere. There’s news of new attacks almost every week,” said Principal Product Manager Mike Driscoll, who helped develop a system within Nasuni’s hybrid cloud storage solution to protect customers from this nefarious, costly form of cybersecurity threat. 

 

“Ransomware is everywhere. There’s news of new attacks almost every week.”

 

At Nasuni, Driscoll is part of a cross-functional effort to make cloud-native global file systems not only accessible to businesses but also protected from looming threats. 

Driscoll shared insights into the collaborative, customer-focused approach to creating products that enable resiliency against threats that may not have existed in yesteryears but will increasingly be present in the future.

 

Why did the company need to build this product? What impact will this product launch have on the business or its customers?

While Nasuni’s file system provides incredible data protection and recovery capabilities, our customers wanted more. They needed to know when an attack happens and who is involved, and they wanted the system to respond automatically. Our Ransomware Protection add-on can drastically reduce the scope of a ransomware attack from hundreds of thousands of files to a small handful that can be recovered with just a few mouse clicks.

 

What role did you play in developing and launching the product? What tools or technologies did your team use to build the product?

I am the product owner and defined the initial acceptance criteria. For one of the releases, I used Figma to create an interactive UI mockup. I used this mockup while interviewing customers and internal stakeholders. The fact that it was an interactive design using existing elements of the Nasuni UI made it much easier for customers to understand the features. This led to much more productive meetings with higher levels of engagement than a static presentation would have produced. 

In one customer meeting, we were told that our plan provided capabilities “far beyond what other people have.” During a panel discussion with several customers where the mockup was demonstrated, one response was, “Love everything you just reviewed. Please work overtime to make this all happen.”

After refining the mockup based on customer and stakeholder feedback, engineering used it while building the production UI. The underlying services are written in Python with Django as the web framework.

 

What obstacles did you encounter along the way? How did you successfully overcome them?

The original design was to plug into an existing subsystem. However, issues arose with that design when engineering started their planning work. We shifted to a different subsystem after further discussions between engineering and PM. While we had to give up on some of the planned features due to the shift, the new approach brought along its own benefits. In the long term, we’ll also be able to develop the features we had to leave behind.

 

Nasuni team members listen to a presentation.
Nasuni 

 

What teams did you collaborate with to get this across the finish line? What strategies did you employ to ensure that cross-functional collaboration went smoothly?

PM, engineer, marketing, customer success, customer experience and finance — basically everyone other than HR. We employed regular updates: sprint reviews, our new product introduction process, customer journey mapping, product steering committee presentations, internal technical training and brief videos demonstrating the key capabilities. Collaborating with the go-to-market team allowed us to promote the new product and make a splash in the industry. The key was open communication and consistent touchpoints.

 

“Everyone in the company is responsible for delivering quality products that delight our customers.”

 

When you think of other companies in your industry, how does your employer compare to how you build and launch new products?

Core Nasuni values are integrity, teamwork, quality, transparency and accountability. Everyone in the company is responsible for delivering quality products that delight our customers. The company is truly committed to the success of our customers, and it shows in how highly our customers rate us on our NPI scores and how many customers are willing to share their positive experiences with Nasuni with their peers.

 

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