Vibin Shaju, General Manager at UAE, McAfee Enterprise
What does ‘security’ mean to you?
Protecting millions of families, including mine, from online threats is the epitome of security to me. It’s scary if we think about the number of connected devices in our homes and places of work — whether protecting enterprises or critical infrastructure of a nation, security ultimately touches each one of us, in one way or another.
What made you want to work in the industry?
I have always wanted to work in a job and in an industry where I feel I am making a tangible impact. Whether it’s keeping a hospital or educational institution from being attacked or working with law enforcement to take down a cybercriminal operation, cybersecurity gives me the ability to protect people and organisations, every day.
If you could change anything in the industry, what would it be?
I would love to have a global cybersecurity standard and policy where in every organisation and nation state agrees to collaborate and share threat intelligence in order to protect the digital sphere and citizen’s privacy. Right now, cybercriminals are exploiting this gap to extract data and bring down critical assets; something we are seeing more and more frequently.
Describe a funny thing that happened to you recently?
Something that always makes me smile is when organisations deny any use of cloud applications and then when we do an audit, we end up discovering hundreds of cloud applications and assets; the so-called “Shadow IT” being active in their environment. Unfortunately, this isn’t a laughing matter and shadow IT is a real concern for several organisations.
What’s the most important trend you see today?
I would have to say that it is the speed with which organisations are moving to the cloud. Whether its applications, infrastructure, DevOps, or services, the move has been faster than anyone could have anticipated, just a few years ago. This requires us to rethink everything we have built over decades, specifically as it relates to governance and security practices. There is no strict boundary anymore where you can enforce controls and as a consequence, terms like ZTNA, SASE and SSE are gaining popularity as they help mitigate some of the challenges associated with cloud security.
What three words define you?
Participative Leadership, Respectful, People First.
If you didn’t work in security, what would you be doing?
I love travelling, and particularly the opportunity to meet, interact with and learn from people of different cultures. Luckily the job I am in affords me this opportunity, though less so in the last few months!
What’s the most interesting thing about you that we wouldn’t learn from your CV?
The first time I travelled any measurable distance from home was at 21 for work. It was also about the same time that I got my first mobile phone and motor vehicle.
What is one thing you would make compulsory in the office and one thing you would ban?
I am a big believer in teamwork and cultural collaboration so for me, making diversity a part of the hiring process would be my ‘compulsory’. What I would ban – well I am a big people person, and my pet peeve is people sending an email when they can just walk across and chat in person. Not only does this foster camaraderie but more often than not, results in faster decisions. So, I’d ban unnecessary email!
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I do not plan for much in advance. I firmly believe that if I plan for the year and do things the right way, for the business and the people who are around me, I will inevitably make good long-term decisions.
Rebecca Morpeth Spayne,
Editor, Security Portfolio
Tel: +44 (0) 1622 823 920