A chat with Wolfgang Kandek, CTO, Qualys…

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On November 8th, I attended the Qualys Security Conference 2012 at the Berkeley hotel in London. At the end of the day, I was lucky enough to catch up with Wolfgang Kandek, CTO of Qualys.

The Future of Technology

We talked about the future of technology and what it will mean for the security industry. Kandek’s predictions were bold, yet realistic. “People might not be aware yet, but before long, everything will be connected to the net. Your car tyres will have an IP address”, he gave as an example. “It’s going to be great but there are security aspects.” If we can get to grips with the security challenges and address them appropriately, greater connectivity will actually make us more secure, he argued.

Skills Gap

I’ve asked pretty much everyone I’ve interviewed recently about the skills gap in the industry. Kandek agreed that we do have a drought on our hands. “We need more talent. Education institutes are not reacting to infosecurity”, he said.

He not only advocates the promotion of the industry in schools, but also insists that schools are responsible for educating children about information security best practice. “We should be teaching infosec as soon as we give them a smartphone or let them go online”, he says. Agreed.

“I would recommend that anyone that likes IT take a look at the security industry – it’s better paid, and it’s more interesting”, Kandek insisted. “It’s a challenging area to draw people in – we prevent bad things from happening and we don’t have the metrics in place.”

Metrics to measure effectiveness of information security would certainly help to attract talent into the industry and prove that “we’re not fear mongering”, said Kandek, while also wishing for infosec intelligence to be shared beyond vendor boundaries and to overcome the issue of data sharing.

Closing the Gap

Kandek explained to me that it is through partner events, industry events and forums that the information security industry has a better chance of closing the gap with the bad guys. “Attackers are faster and more agile than us, but the industry is on a positive route. We may just be able to close that gap”, he told me.

Coming soon: I’m trying to arrange a time to do a profile interview with Mr Kandek, so watch this space…

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