Made by Members: Sandra Tobler
When it comes to a woman making it as CEO of a young cybersecurity company, no one can hold a candle to her: With Futurae, Sandra Tobler (40) is revolutionizing the interface between data protection and the user-friendliness of today’s digital services.
Mobile banking, e-banking and any customer portals are indispensable for modern everyday life. Thanks to the "Innovator of the Year 2020", log-ins, transaction signatures and the like are more secure to use than ever before. Her approach: She puts user needs before technology, so end customers benefit from secure solutions, without having to understand them first.
Sandra, what challenges do you see in digitization?
The more different services are moved into the digital world, the more situations there are that need to be adequately protected for customers and for their end users.
And Futurae is now bringing the right solution to the market?
We work enthusiastically on providing users with intuitive, user-friendly products for every type of service. Maintaining this balance between IT security and user-friendliness is not so easy. Because we all know: SMS are no longer secure. New ways are needed to protect online services adequately and easily for us users.
How did you react to your award?
The Innovator of the Year 2020 award means a lot to me, as it is great recognition for the whole team. We have come a long way.
Where do you integrate innovation into your everyday life?
I think everyone should constantly improve themselves. This is important to me personally, but also to everyone in my team – because IT security is very fast-paced. Everything is changing all the time and therefore it is simply not good enough to develop a static software product. That is our customer promise: We are always on the front line, responding to current events.
What else inspires the Innovator of the Year?
In my private life, interesting people and exciting discussions. Professionally, I have the privilege of being surrounded by smart people every day – the best IT security researchers, for example. I am inspired by people who push others to grow. People who put the cause before internal politics and personal gain.
You’re a co-founder and CEO in a male-dominated industry ...
I come from a family of entrepreneurs, however, it was never really my goal to create something on my own. It is a very exciting area of work for me personally though. I see a clear development in IT. Data shows that diversity contributes to successful IT projects. That’s why we make sure new employees bring a complementary skills profile and diverse background.
What makes you proud when you think about Futurae?
I am proud of what we have achieved so far as Futurae. Our company has managed to build a software stack from the ground up, acquire over 100 customers around the world, and mostly in very heavily regulated industries such as financial services or healthcare. Millions of users use our security platform every day without knowing it. And for us, it’s an incredibly exciting journey to prove that it’s possible to build an internationally successful company out of Switzerland.
Looking back: Would you do anything differently?
Lots, if I had the chance (laughs). However, an important part of any learning process is to constantly reflect. What was done and how? What decisions were made and why? And what conclusions can be drawn from this?
And what have you learned in the last five years?
Through founding the company, I learned to make many decisions very quickly. And that every decision I make has far-reaching consequences – for me and for others. A great deal of pressure that you have to be able to handle.
Do you have a wish for your future?
I hope to constantly grow and learn from my journey. And that I am surrounded by competent people who I can have a lot of fun with and who push each other to grow.
You’re getting your American Express Card soon, aren’t you?
I’m looking forward to getting the Platinum Card and trying out all the additional services, which sound exciting for a busy schedule like mine. Especially when I have to organize trips again. It is extremely helpful to have an assistant to support me on these journeys.