News Item

​UpGuard CEO encourages the Pacific to embrace the digital era

News 2 Sep 2017

At this week’s Pacific Wave Samoa, Co-Founder and Co-Chief Executive Officer of UpGuard Mike Baukes will tackle the difficult topic of understanding the challenges and benefits in developing states, in embracing the digital era.

Pacific Cooperation Foundation (PCF) in collaboration with NZ Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) and with the support of the Samoan Government and Samoa Chamber of Commerce and Industry, are hosting the forum at Sheraton Aggie Greys Hotel on Friday (September 8) – a side event during the 48th Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) Leaders Meeting.

The ultimate goal of the Pacific Wave is to unleash technology to enable new capabilities, skills, careers, and lifestyles within the Pacific to drive prosperity for the livelihoods and wellbeing of people, and it will focus on areas such as youth entrepreneurship; growing and managing your own business; innovative ideas using technology; and providing an iwi perspective on business, and exploring possibilities to collaborate.

Mike - a Samoan citizen, who attended Leififi College, along with Alan Sharp-Paul, co-founded UpGuard, which specialises in cyber resilience, and scores the security risks of companies across the world.

UpGuard's origins hail from Australia and it has grown to have offices in Singapore, Sydney and San Francisco.

Mike is delighted to be taking part in Friday’s Pacific Wave, the first to be staged in the region, and he says it is timely.

“Samoa is a central location, which interests us greatly for a number of socio-economic and political reasons.

“Suffice to say we will be making further announcements in the coming months.”

He adds that every aspect of our lives, families and communities are now dependent on technology.

“This cultural digitisation means forums like the Pacific Wave offer an opportunity to create a colloquial setting for participants to educate and share practical advice on the challenges and opportunities technology offers the region.”

During his presentation, Mike is hopeful he will shed some light on the challenges and benefits in embracing the digital era throughout the Pacific.

“The digital era not only offers a great deal of opportunity for emerging economies, but more importantly represents a potential for sovereign states to ‘level the playing field’ when it comes to income, education and human development with other countries.

“There are however inherent risks, that need to be understood and mitigated to ensure this experience is seen as a net positive to local cultures and economies, instead of something feared and potentially controlled.”

It is also Mike’s goal at the Pacific Wave to inspire a shared understanding of the potential for business to harness the digital-era and techniques to transform local labour economies into digital economies that are global but recognised culturally as Polynesian.

See the Pacific Wave flyer HERE and programme HERE.

Mike Baukes bio:

Mike Baukes is a leader in the emerging cyber resilience and cyber risk field, empowering companies in regulated industries to make informed decisions regarding how to manage business risks created by technology.

Mike is the Founder and Co-CEO of UpGuard, a Cyber Risk company based in Silicon Valley. UpGuard is the first cyber resilience platform for the cloud and the data center. To-date UpGuard has raised $33M in venture capital.

UpGuard's proprietary technology continuously evaluates the operational integrity of an organization's IT infrastructure both internally and externally and calculates the potential risk for future intrusions and outages.

In addition to his current role, Mike contributes to the Forbes Thought Leadership Council as a thought leader in Cyber Risk and Cybersecurity. He has also appeared in Dark Reading, Recode, TechCrunch and Insurance Business Magazine. Prior to in 2012, Mike worked in in senior technology and M&A roles for financial institutions such as ANZ, Lloyds Banking Group, and Commonwealth Bank of Australia, leading teams in technology and strategy.

Mike is also an active startup investor. Since 2013, Mike has been an investor and mentor for Startmate, Australia’s premier accelerator program.

Mike is a Samoan citizen having gone to school at Leififi College and much to his parents chagrin is a dropout of the University of the South Pacific.

Visit UpGuard for more information and LinkedIn to view Mike’s profile.