Interview With Ross Delaney - CMO at MEGA

Updated on: June 3, 2024
Shauli Zacks Shauli Zacks
Updated on: June 3, 2024

In a recent interview with SafetyDetectives, Ross Delaney, Chief Marketing Officer at MEGA, shared insights into his career journey and the unique attributes that set MEGA apart in the cloud storage industry. Delaney’s passion for technology and problem-solving has driven him to lead marketing efforts for MEGA, a company renowned for its emphasis on data security and privacy. Based in New Zealand, MEGA has grown to become one of the world’s leading personal cloud storage providers, offering end-to-end encryption and zero-knowledge privacy to its users. Delaney highlights MEGA’s commitment to empowering individuals with complete control over their data, distinguishing the company from its competitors.  

Can you tell us a bit about your background and how you became the CMO of MEGA?

I love to understand what makes people and technology tick.  Over my years across various leadership roles and industries, I’ve always gravitated towards businesses and teams that focus on solving big problems, especially problems that make lives easier and better.

What drew me to MEGA was the challenge of helping more people across the world understand the importance of data security by making it more simple and accessible.

Our head office and executive team are based in New Zealand, right down the bottom of the world. It’s not often you find a global success story like MEGA down our way.  New Zealand is typically known for Lord of the Rings and the All Blacks national rugby team, so who would have known that one of the biggest personal cloud storage providers in the world was born out of our country of just 5.3 million people?  Being part of that story is what I am privileged to get behind.

I’m proud to be part of a company that’s empowering people to retain total control of their data. Threats to personal data security are only increasing, whether it’s the growing number of cyberattacks and data breaches, or the questionable use (or misuse) of personal data by large global organisations. At MEGA, we’re giving people an storage service they can trust because privacy and security are a the heart of what we do.

I’ve also found that throughout my career I’ve loved working for the underdog or less-known companies and competing against the bigger players. My passion lies in helping businesses reach their full potential. This spans from modernising payment technologies to growing private clouds in the era of public and hyperscale cloud competition. At MEGA, I’m excited to capitalise on our strengths of security, encryption, and data protection as more of our lives move online and into the cloud.

What differentiates MEGA from other cloud storage services in terms of security and privacy?

What really sets MEGA apart from other cloud storage services is that we were built with privacy by design, not as an afterthought (or a policy a legal team puts in later). At MEGA, we’ve spent the last decade educating over 300 million people worldwide about the importance of data security, and we aren’t stopping there.

We have a huge opportunity to help educate more and more people across the world on the importance of looking after your data. But MEGA’s  differentiator is that,  people don’t have to worry about how their data may be used – our products have top-tier privacy and security features built in that make data breaches or misuse virtually impossible.

We have seen that other cloud storage providers have started to add privacy and encryption features, but MEGA started with these principles a long time ago. We’ve pioneered end-to-end encryption, particularly zero-knowledge encryption. This means that users are always in control of their data — you encrypt it, it’s yours, and only you can access it.

Our approach to data security is crucial because, as we’ve seen, big companies often become targets for hackers. When our competitors are hacked, user data often gets exposed. In MEGA’s case, even if we were hacked, our customers data would remain encrypted and safe.

This provides users with absolute peace of mind that they are in control of their data.  That differentiates us from other players out there in the market, and it’s what makes MEGA so successful.

What trends are you seeing in the cloud storage industry, particularly in terms of security?

The trends we are seeing in the cloud storage industry, particularly concerning security, focus on three main areas.

  • First, there’s a growing wave of global awareness of the importance of data security and working out that encryption is now table stakes for cloud products.People are becoming more conscious of how their data is protected and managed. Every week, global media outlets report new hacks and compromised companies. We are close to getting to “mainstream” levels of awareness and demand for truly secure technology products.  The interest in cloud security has surged, reflecting an increasing global awareness and concern about data protection and cybersecurity amidst rising cyber threats and the widespread adoption of cloud technologies.
  • Second, is the desire for simplicity and consolidation in services.Customers are increasingly looking for solutions where they can pay once and get access to all the features they need, rather than dealing with multiple cloud SaaS applications. This is similar to the media industry where we have seen the fragmentation of the content landscape meaning you might need 2 or 3 streaming service subscriptions to get access to the content you want.We have taken these global learnings and to address this, we’ve invested in bringing more value into our plans. Beyond cloud storage, we offer an encrypted chat and meetings service, a VPN product, plus we have more major products coming later this year. This approach lets users to subscribe to MEGA and access a variety of services, providing incredible value without the need for multiple subscriptions.
  • Third, we’re noticing a significant trend of people losing trust in big tech organisations and moving away from them as a result.Often, when you buy a mobile phone or laptop, you’re pushed into using a cloud storage service offered by the device’s operating system provider . People are growing tired of being boxed into those brands. We have seen a sharp increase in users who want a trusted alternative for their photos, videos, and important documents. They want this option to be independent of the big tech brands (especially as it is becoming clearer a lot of data that has been stored on those brands are being used to train generative AI models).

Our strategy is laser focused on addressing these trends and MEGA is poised to further capitalise on these as a pioneer in data security and encryption.

File sharing is a significant feature of MEGA. How does the company ensure that users remain in control of their data when sharing files and folders with others, even those without MEGA accounts?

The single biggest thing we do to keep people in control of their data is encryption. User data is encrypted at rest and in transit, ensuring that only they have access to those files and folders. It’s like the crypto market, where people manage their wallets and keys, understanding that if they lose that information, it’s gone. The same principle applies to MEGA; our unique value is that users are always in charge of their data.

To further ensure security, we implement additional measures to protect links, data, and accounts. For example, if a user shares their wedding photo album with family and friends, they can use password-protected links with time controls, so those links expire after a set period. This feature gives our customers the freedom and confidence to manage their shared data securely.

We also incorporate robust access management and security features. Two-factor authentication is available by default, ensuring users are secure from the start when accessing their data. We’re diligent in reminding users to remember their passwords and recovery key because, if they lose access, we can’t help them retrieve their data. This approach underscores the importance of user control and responsibility in maintaining data security.

What are the most common misconceptions people have about cloud storage security?

I think one of the biggest misconceptions people have about cloud storage security is the assumption that just because data is in the cloud, it’s inherently secure, stored safely, and won’t be lost. Whether you’re looking at the consumer market or the business market, most technologies require you to take extra steps to ensure your data is secure, encrypted, and backed up.

The brilliance of MEGA is that it handles all of this for you. MEGA takes complex security processes and automates them, so users don’t have to worry about how it’s done. They can trust that their data is secure, encrypted, and backed up..

There have been numerous instances where people think their data is safe simply because it’s in a cloud application or stored with a cloud provider, only to find out their data was compromised. We’ve seen high-profile cases where celebrities’ data was hacked, or major cloud storage providers were breached, leading to users’ data being compromised. The technology MEGA uses makes breaches like this virtually impossible.

Another major misconception is the belief that data stored on a cloud provider’s servers will be there forever. This is something people need to be very cautious about. Whether it’s one of the bigger, global cloud companies, or one of the many smaller competitors that have popped up in recent years, it’s important people assess the track record of any potential cloud storage provider and consider if their data will be secure long term.

Companies like MEGA that have been around for over a decade have invested significantly in their infrastructure and have robust practices to ensure data safety and security, including proper data deletion protocols.

What innovations in cloud storage technology are you most excited about?

The most exciting innovation in cloud storage that I’m thrilled about is the open data movement which will eventually let people to securely pick and choose how their data is used across globally diverse technology platforms. Having worked extensively in open data and open data policy, I’ve seen the importance of putting people in control of their data and deciding where and how it can be used with their consent.

This concept aligns perfectly with MEGA’s philosophy, as we’ve always prioritised giving users control over their data. The next step is to enhance this control, allowing users to decide how their data is used in various applications with their explicit consent. This level of control is essential as we move forward, especially with the integration of data into generative AI models.

Generative AI thrives on data input, but it’s crucial that users know how their data is being used and can trust that it’s being handled ethically. This innovation will give people the confidence that their data is not just becoming a product for big global organisations but is being used in ways they have agreed to and understand fully.

At MEGA, we’re developing features that further enhance data control and transparency, ensuring our users feel even more secure and empowered and reinforcing our commitment to security and privacy.

About the Author
Shauli Zacks
Updated on: June 3, 2024

About the Author

Shauli Zacks is a tech enthusiast who has reviewed and compared hundreds of programs in multiple niches, including cybersecurity, office and productivity tools, and parental control apps. He enjoys researching and understanding what features are important to the people using these tools.

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