Parvinder Walia, Director of Sales and Marketing for ESET, Asia Pacific and Japan, shares why organizations need to review and remedy their cybersecurity practices in today's digital age, the importance of cybersecurity education, and why IT security management is everyone's shared responsibility. Parvinder also gives us an inside look into ESET's work culture and what makes it an employer of choice.
In light of the gig economy becoming increasingly relevant in the present-day workplace and with the workforce being employed across multiple companies, what would be your take on making an organization secure when it comes to data integrity?
As the gig economy advocates for organizations to hire independent contract workers for short-term engagements, it’s important to ensure that access to data is restricted to only what is necessary. In doing so, this would mitigate any risk for the company, ensuring that sensitive data remains protected from unauthorized access. Although this may make things slightly inconvenient for the independent contractors, from an organizational standpoint, the security of their data is more critical.
According to you, how should companies across Asia brace themselves for the increasing talent gap in the corporate space?
Talent shortage will always be prevalent, not just in Asia, but globally across various industries because of how our job landscape is constantly evolving. These days, we are seeing a need for IT professionals, specifically cybersecurity specialists, because of the increased reliance on data usage, prevailing new technologies like Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, and overall global digitalization. Organizations should invest in talent development programs for their employees and continue to provide training for skill enhancement. Also, create a positive working environment and culture that people want to work for and aspire to grow with.
In the wake of increasing threats in terms of malware and ransomware (e.g., WannaCry) to organizations, what are the ways in which businesses can overcome such threats?
Cybersecurity is no longer just the responsibility of IT professionals; it has become everyone’s responsibility. Organizations need to implement cybersecurity solutions as well as educate their employees on best practices while online.
It is important to note that while there is a myriad of different cybersecurity solutions available in the market, there isn’t a one-stop solution for all. Organizations must first understand what their specific needs and requirements for cybersecurity are. In doing so, they will then be able to correctly identify the right solution that’s suited for them.
Cybersecurity education should also be a consideration for organizational employees. There have previously been cases that have resulted because of human errors and unfamiliarity to the ongoing cyber threat landscape. In these cases, the breaches could have been avoided if the employees were educated on how to identify a phishing email or a potentially malicious URL link.
What is your assessment of the prevailing skill gap in the IT industry in domains such as network security and cybersecurity? How has ESET been able to ride over the tide in the present circumstances?
The cybersecurity landscape is constantly evolving due to the widely increasing adoption of digital solutions—both for businesses and consumers. The talent gap within the IT industry is an issue which globally, many are trying to resolve; however, it will not happen immediately. The company culture at ESET has led me to be a part of the organization for over ten years now. Throughout my time here, I’ve been given the opportunity to grow in different departments and hone different skills. ESET has cultivated a culture that encourages growth internally, which has led to many employees being at the company for longer periods.
Articles 17 and 18 of the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) create an avenue for easy transfer of personal data among service providers. As an IT security organization, what is your assessment on the same? Why is such a regulation important for present-day companies?
The value of data has exponentially grown over the past few years. With the implementation of GDPR, organizations are responsible for the way they handle data. As a cybersecurity solutions provider, we see this as a positive step towards organizations implementing cybersecurity solutions to ensure the safety of the data which they are handling. As the reliance on data continues to grow, this regulation ensures that companies are responsible for keeping the data safe.
As a part of ESET, how do you foresee Blockchain and AI being implemented in talent acquisitions in the coming years?
The use of Blockchain and AI has been something that has grown rapidly in recent years. The implementation of AI has generally promoted efficiency in various processes, whilst Blockchain is a growing list of data. Therefore, in the future, companies will rely on AI to shorten the process of recommending the most suitable candidates for specific roles within the organization, based on the data and experience of the individual.
What is ESET’s success mantra for maintaining an impressive record when it comes to employee turnaround?
ESET cultivates a learning culture, whereby employees are given the opportunity to gain experience across different departments and pick up new skills. I began my journey with ESET as the Channel Marketing Manager, wearing different hats such as Marketing, PR, Product Marketing, and Product Management. Being exposed to the different roles provided me with a broader perspective and a better understanding of the sales and marketing industry. Another key aspect is people management skills, wherein no two individuals are the same, and bringing out the best in each of your teammates takes knowing their strengths and weaknesses well.
What are the new-age skills that you would advise existing and prospective talent to acquire so as to be prepared for the challenges in the IT security space?
Cybersecurity has evolved to become so much more than cyber skills. While having the technical know-how is still important, being flexible and adaptable would be beneficial to address the evolving landscape. In today’s digital age, the people tasked with defending our digital spaces should be able to rise and adapt to any challenge that they may face.
Why do you believe it is extremely pertinent to enforce a cybersecurity policy across the organization? Why is it relevant to sensitize employees regarding the same?
Keeping an organization secure should be the collective responsibility of all of its employees. A standardized cybersecurity policy to which all employees adhere is necessary to prevent the likelihood of cyberattacks occurring.
What is so refreshingly different about the work culture at ESET that it stands out as an employer of choice?
My time at ESET has been such a fulfilling experience that I had not realized that it has already been over ten years! Everyone is very approachable, and the company culture brings out a sense of comradery among its employees. Overall, ESET has provided me with countless opportunities to learn and grow that have motivated me and kept my passion going. I feel that it is only right that I give back to ESET and do everything I can to make an impact while learning along the way.
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