Intelligent CIO APAC Issue 28 | Page 80

Personally , I am interested in metaverse security as a topic of discussion , since it ’ s one that will become very important , very quickly , especially after the inevitable first big metaverse data breach . I am also keeping a close eye on any technology that can improve the sustainability of humans , plants and animals on planet Earth .
How do you deal with stress and unwind outside the office ?
I used to spend my weekends playing with technology , installing new hardware , or understanding things to break into them . Now , I spend most of my time outdoors , working with beehives , playing with dogs , chasing chickens around in the garden or growing Australian native edible plants and berries . Sometimes , I do allow some IoT devices to enter my garden for the purpose of monitoring it when I am traveling overseas .
At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic , I picked up Muay Thai boxing which keeps my heart rate up and allows me to completely clear my mind twice a week ! I also enjoy spending time with my family , and we can be found doing anything from bushwalks , cooking and scuba diving , to Friday evenings looking at what my eight-year-old has built in Minecraft .
If you could go back and change one career decision what would it be ? to incorporate precision , role-based training on cybersecurity across all staff . With the cybersecurity skills gap reaching a point where it is impossible to close , it makes sense that we upskill the cohorts we have at our fingertips .
What are the region-specific challenges when implementing new technologies in APAC ?
Sometimes , the enablement of new technologies can be difficult , and for APAC-based global companies , their workforce can extend through multiple countries , each with different languages and cultural considerations . It ’ s important for tech companies to recognize this when building solutions to ensure maximum adaptability and adoption without barriers .
Very often , there is also a preference for purchasing technology from big , established brands from overseas ignoring the start-up technology in the local market , which can be way more cutting-edge , innovative and offer local support . It ’ s important for countries in APAC to nurture those local companies as they can become the next big global cybersecurity brand in 10 years .
What changes to your job role have you seen in the last year and how do you see these developing in the next 12 months ?
Sometimes I find myself wishing I ’ d paid more attention to the finance and accounting classes at university , but realistically , I ’ d have looked at moving out of Belgium sooner ; it ’ s a very small country and the opportunities in cybersecurity can be quite limited .
What do you currently identify as the major areas of investment in your industry ?
Running a fast-growing global scale-up , your company and your role needs to evolve every year . While I used to do a lot of problem-solving and was busy with day-to-day opportunities in all aspects of the business ( sales , product , people ), my role is changing and focuses more on empowering my experienced leaders , giving them the direction and resources to do what they are far more experienced in than I am .
In cybersecurity , there is almost a hyper-focus on investing in automated security tools and it feels like there is new , must-have tech every other week . With so many companies adopting remote working on a permanent basis , it ’ s no surprise that tools concentrated around protecting endpoints and the cloud are really taking off .
What advice would you offer somebody aspiring to obtain a C-level position in your industry ?
Passion , persistence and resilience have worked really well for me and it ’ s something I am looking for in any C-level hire nowadays .
Extended detection and response ( XDR ) tools seem to have everyone talking , while a lot of others are focused on security technology with Machine Learning , Blockchain and Artificial Intelligence .
However , many organizations are still missing the basics of cybersecurity and realizing the need
In most industries , networking is incredibly important , and cybersecurity is no exception . Keep honing your skills and don ’ t be afraid to connect with people at conferences , peer events and meetups . You never know who you might run into and when they might reach out for an opportunity that won ’ t make its way to LinkedIn . p
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