Navigating the Fast-Paced Cyber Security Sector

On Episode 25 of The Cyber Security Matters Podcast we were joined by Jaye Tillson and John Spiegel, who are passionate cyber security evangelists and the co-hosts of “The Edge” by SSE Forum podcast. Jaye has over 20 years of experience in the cyber security industry, across IT infrastructure and zero trust architecture, while John’s background in the industry includes overseeing major projects for global retailer Columbia Sportswear. Read on to find out their perspectives on why the cyber security industry is moving so quickly. 

John: “I talked about paying off your security, which is also referred to in the industry as ‘defence in depth’. So why are people looking to move into this model? Security’s got to be simplified and streamlined. Visibility is hard when you have eight or nine point products that are chained together for remote access, or when your products don’t have API’s that integrate. Security is really hard when you just think about technology and you don’t think about the business outcomes. 

Primarily, what’s driving this change is simplified platforms which bring together technologies that were siloed. Companies are also looking to reduce their costs, not only from a vendor perspective, but from an operational perspective. On top of that, both Jay and I fell into security because of the way applications and workforce are distributed. Now you’ve got to have a different approach to security. Similarly, the way networking and security is transformed and delivered is changing. 

For you to be a player in it from a vendor perspective, you have to have the full stack. You can’t just be a networking vendor and rely on another vendor for the security aspect anymore, you have to bring both together because that’s what provides visibility, simplicity and the platform effect, which is what customers are looking for. 

Another interesting piece is David Holmes (who is an analyst for Forrester) did some research, and they asked customers who had moved over to this SASE and SSE model if they are still using the same vendors as they were using previously. Is there any buyer’s remorse? Are they looking to go back or maintain that relationship? The answer in almost 85% of the cases was ‘No, there’s no buyer’s remorse, we’re happy and we’re not looking to go backwards. This is a better approach.’ What does that mean for the industry? It means that the incumbent vendors out there are under threat. That’s why you will continue to see consolidation within the industry.”

Jaye: “I realised that having people on my network who were able to go everywhere and see everything or potentially hack everything was concerning. That’s how zero trust came about, which is built on the concept of only giving access to devices and applications that people need access to for their roles. You constantly check in, monitor and give visibility, and both SASE and SSE are based on that structure. 

Then you’ve got the consolidation element within the market. Recent statistics show that CISOs have over 100 security tools within their environment, which is impossible to manage. That’s because if you have a problem within the environment you won’t know which vendor to go to, where the gap is, what tool it is, or what you’re looking at. Consolidation is bringing more products under one banner and within one user interface, which simplifies your security. Cyber Security is a difficult place to work because you’re constantly under threat or being attacked, the legislation is constantly changing and it’s a very high pressure environment. If you can consolidate and become more simple, not only is it easier from a support perspective, it gives a better user experience.

There’s talk that ransomware is kind of dropping off, but that’s clearly not the case. We need to make everybody’s life simpler by removing and reducing the attack surface and simplifying administration, product and efficiency for the users. Zero trust is a huge thing in the USA, and the government is doing things about it which are flowing down into legislation across EMEA. Once people start to realise that their tools sit on top of that, there’s going to be a snowball effect.”

To hear more from Jaye and John about their work in the industry, tune into Episode 25 of The Cyber Security Matters Podcast here

We sit down regularly with some of the biggest names in our industry, we dedicate our podcast to the stories of leaders in the technologies industries that bring us closer together. Follow the link here to see some of our latest episodes and don’t forget to subscribe.     

Harnessing Satellite Intelligence

As satellite technology develops, we are seeing a huge change in the way that we use the data and intelligence it provides. On Episode 26 of The Satellite & NewSpace Matters Podcast we spoke to Kateryna Aheieva, the Head of Business Development at LuxSpace, about how these applications are being developed and the impact they could have on the wider world. Here are her insights: 

Satellite intelligence is becoming a hot topic. Every single day I see more and more companies discussing it. In my previous jobs, the main business was taking pictures from space and selling that data and value-added information to customers from that. Talking to clients and partners, we realised that the requirements on data are actually quite high. It’s not only about the resolution or the quality, but also about the amount of data that can be provided from the space system to the end user that is important. If you want to create a value added service, you have to utilise a lot of data points and have a powerful source of information. So the satellite or the space system itself should be very powerful. 

Constellations were having to get much bigger in order to perform. At LuxSpace, we’re building satellite platforms in the 50-250 kilogramme class, which is a completely different system. It’s a very capable platform for certain applications with very high resolution imagery for agriculture, thermal imagery, etc, which results in high density and very good quality data. Because the space world is occupied by engineers, we are often building systems that there isn’t currently demand for, just because we can push that boundary. So we have a lot of systems built, but not all of them are utilised in the proper way or maybe at the maximum capacity. So I truly believe that space systems could have a better use when they get more intelligent. 

There is a huge opportunity to utilise this intelligence from satellites. When multiple systems or subsystems are taking pictures and sending them to the ground station, when the space system has a diverse list of tasks, when you need less operational capability on the ground to perform that task, and when the space system itself is capable of making some decisions, and analysis to decrease the amount of work that needs to be done on the ground, it will be huge. The system itself is becoming more capable too. Intelligence is coming. 

And a couple of companies around the world are working in that direction. They have onboard computing capabilities, not only for close Earth spaces like low earth orbit, but even higher orbit and also interplanetary missions which could satisfy the needs of the system that is flying far away from Earth and has to be independent and tasking itself. We also see the potential in this market, and the contributions we can make to society by moving the direction of space intelligence instead of bringing the capacity of objects up to a certain level, because applications like communication from space or the internet from space still require certain coverage, but some applications, especially institutional technology demonstration, can be made more smart. 

To hear more from Kateryna, tune into Episode 26 of The Satellite & NewSpace Matters Podcast here

We sit down regularly with some of the biggest names in our industry, we dedicate our podcast to the stories of leaders in the technologies industries that bring us closer together. Follow the link here to see some of our latest episodes and don’t forget to subscribe.     

Speaking Up About Impostor Syndrome

During the Women In Telco miniseries on The Connectivity Matters Podcast we’ve been putting a spotlight on diversity in the industry. That includes covering topics such as impostor syndrome, which we discussed with Richa Daga in the miniseries’ fourth episode. Richa is an Embedded Software Engineer at Cisco, and she is the winner of the 2022 WomenTech Global Conference Speaker of the Year Award. Here are her insights on the impostor syndrome and how to tackle it: 

Impostor syndrome is a topic that is being talked about because people do feel it. That is a reality that occurs. A programme that I took part in at Cisco had a cohort of female leaders from different teams. As we talked about it, we all realised that most of the time it’s only in our head. Imposter syndrome is like wondering “Do we really belong here?” Once you start speaking up and sharing what is going on in your mind, you’ll discover that several other people in the room might also be feeling the same way. We all question “Should I say that thing or not? Is it right or not?”, but we don’t realise that other people wonder the same thing. 

If you waste time contemplating whether or not something is the right thing to say, someone else will say it and be recognised for their idea. These things keep happening. You have to have the courage to say what’s in your mind. That can be a difficult process, and it’s hard to get out of that thought process because we fear disagreements and rejection. We don’t want to disagree with what is happening in the room. That is why we don’t want to be our natural selves, because we want to feel accepted. 

When we build inclusive and equitable environments, people can share their perspectives at all levels of the business. We need to stop comparing ourselves to people who have 5 times more experience than us and take the opportunities we have in front of us. We also need to focus less on output and more on input, and value what people are contributing. We should be empowering, motivating and encouraging people to speak up, shed their inhibitions and come out of their shells. Courage is what helps us get rid of impostor syndrome. They’re all small changes, but we should try to do our bit to get rid of impostor syndrome.” 

To hear more from Richa, tune into Episode 16 of The Connectivity Matters Podcast here

We sit down regularly with some of the biggest names in our industry, we dedicate our podcast to the stories of leaders in the technologies industries that bring us closer together. Follow the link here to see some of our latest episodes and don’t forget to subscribe.     

Facing Challenges in the Cyber Security Industry 

The Cyber Security industry faces challenges on a daily basis due to the nature of its work. However, its challenges aren’t just security threats. On Episode 24 of The Cyber Security Matters Podcast we were joined by Michele Chubirka, a Cloud Security Advocate at Google, to talk about the wider challenges in the industry. Michelle has led a remarkable two-decade career in cyber security and has a background as a cloud native expert, giving her a wealth of insights into the space. Here’s what she shared with us: 

“Information security can be a struggle. There’s something called witnessing windows or common shock, which is when we see the small violence and violation that happens in our day to day lives. Well, that’s information security to a tee. You have the big breaches and traumatic events – you’re reading about it now with the movement hacks, ransomware, etc. – but every day you experience the vulnerabilities in your organisation. You report on them, saying ‘Hey, you have these vulnerabilities and they don’t get remediated’, and the solution technically seems very simple, but it’s really an adaptive challenge because it has a lot of dependencies and unpredictable human beings are involved. 

A lot of security people experience burnout after a while, because you want to do the right things, but there’s a social issue where people don’t or won’t collaborate well enough to solve the problem. Cyber Security is a challenging field because people are drawn to doing technical things and being engineers, but then find out that they have to work with people, which is a very different skill set. When I started, teams were super small and you could solve a problem end to end yourself. That’s not the case anymore. Now you have huge teams of hundreds of people working on a single application. Now you have to worry about getting people to talk to each other. You have to resolve conflict. 

I wish somebody had taught me to improve my people skills as well as focussing on my technical skills in my professional development. The social science that I’m studying is restorative practices and restorative justice, which is about building human capital or social capital by finding ways to repair harm, restore relationships and build community. If our organisations and companies aren’t communities, we’re going to struggle to build a truly secure cyber environment. 

The problem is that people are really attached to this idea of security being like law enforcement or a military framework. We think of threats as attackers, and there’s a lot of accepted victim shaming. When something happens within an organisation and the bad guys leave, you’ve got to clean up and recover from the trauma of what happened. That’s when the blame shifts. People start asking ‘Who can we blame internally for this problem?’ Then you get some victim-perpetrator oscillation where there’s a blaming game. Then the victims are being held to account as perpetrators because they didn’t secure their systems or they didn’t do the things that you asked them to do. That’s not helpful. 

There are a lot of reasons why developers don’t always write secure code or update their dependencies. Sometimes the systems that security people put in place are not friendly or easily consumable. Developers may be under really tight timelines and they’ve got way too much on their plates, so how much is really their fault? There are often swirling, interpersonal, conflict-ridden situations that create anger and resentment, because security professionals are doing their best but they feel like they can’t make enough change. This is exactly what happens when you’re faced with these witnessing windows, where people are disempowered but aware of what’s happening. When you’re in that situation, you know what the problem is but you can’t change it, the results are stress and eventual burnout. 

That’s really the problem with information security right now. People are building great technologies and there are new techniques coming out every year, but the attacks only get worse, and the job seems to get harder. So what are we doing? I think the reason that the situation is the way it is is because we’re having people problems – it’s not simply a technology problem. 

To learn more about the challenges facing the Cyber Security industry, tune into The Cyber Security Matters Podcast here

We sit down regularly with some of the biggest names in our industry, we dedicate our podcast to the stories of leaders in the technologies industries that bring us closer together. Follow the link here to see some of our latest episodes and don’t forget to subscribe.     

The Future of Aerospacelab

The satellite industry is a rapidly developing space, with new technology and applications emerging at a steady pace. On Episode 25 of The Satellite & NewSpace Matters Podcast we spoke to Benoît Deper, the CEO and founder of Aerospacelab, about how he sees the future of the industry unfolding. Aerospacelab was founded in 2018, with the aim of making geospatial intelligence both actionable and affordable, with its fully vertically integrated approach. Just last month, they launched their second satellite on a falcon nine rocket. Following these advancements, we asked Benoît about what we can expect to see from the company next. 

What’s the most exciting recent development that you’re working on now?

What we’re building is quite interesting. We are trying to find the right balance between custom and standardised satellite buses, and we are iterating on that. What we discovered so far is that fully standardised buses are not what the customer wants, because they want to feel special and have their particular needs and requirements met. But, at the same time, they like the standard price. The real challenge is to find something that looks like a customised product, but has a price tag that is more in line with the standardised product. It is quite exciting to oscillate between the two sides and find a path where we believe we can converge to create something that is exciting for our customers. 

What are you most excited to see Aerospacelab achieve in the next 3-5 years? 

Now it’s a matter of scaling and being profitable. So again, it’s quite interesting to see what our technology will look like after the first couple of years. We have started to see some territory that would allow us to do that. Not everything is going according to plan, because as Napoleon said, ‘the plan is only valid until the first shot is fired’. However, we’re on track to meet our KPIs. Not that far in the future we hope to be profitable. For a NewSpace company that is huge, because it’s a small world where we have many brands, and we talk to each other quite often. Not that many NewSpace companies are actually profitable out there, so we’re excited to reach that goal. 

To hear more from Benoît about the future of the industry, tune into The Satellite & NewSpace Matters Podcast here

We sit down regularly with some of the biggest names in our industry, we dedicate our podcast to the stories of leaders in the technologies industries that bring us closer together. Follow the link here to see some of our latest episodes and don’t forget to subscribe.