Cybersecurity is a hot topic at the moment and we are seeing more and more businesses invest their money and time into ensuring that their data and their online systems are protected. Things weren’t always this way and when my friend Bharat Bhise HNA set up his own cybersecurity company he was met with a great amount of rejection and a lack of interest. Bharat however knew that he was doing the right thing and since we have seen high profile hacks and data thefts to a number of businesses large and small, the customers have not stopped coming. I asked Bharat recently what it was like to work in this industry and we spoke for hours about how things have changed. If this is an industry which interests you, here is what it is like.
Unfortunately, much like physical crime, the criminals are usually further ahead of the game than those who are trying to stop them. Every time that Bharat’s team comes up with a new way of stopping hacks and cyberattacks, it forces the hackers to find new ways of getting it done, which they more than often do. Cybersecurity therefore is basically about constantly reacting to changes in the way that criminals do things, to prevent them doing it going forward, until they come up with a new strategy.
Something which many companies like Bharat’s offer is ethical hacking, which is where they invite a company to try and hack into their systems to test whether or not they are strong enough. This is the fun part of the job and given that many in cybersecurity started out as small time hackers, they really love the challenge of trying to break down walls, designed to stop them.
Bharat’s job can be very challenging and there are a number of factors behind that. Firstly he faces the challenge of trying to convince business owners that the threat of a cyberattack is very real and could happen to them. Whilst many people are beginning to change their minds about the need for cybersecurity, there are still a great many people who just don’t get it. Another challenging aspect of the job is when the hackers learn to breach one of their systems and they must go back to the drawing board to find another way to stop them.
Bharat and I often joke when we see how hackers and cybersecurity teams are represented in the movies, full of glamour and fast paced coding action. If you were to look at one of those ‘expectation versus reality’ split screens however, you’d see that the story told in the movies is vastly different from the reality. Bharat’s office is like any other and there is little excitement that goes on there, especially when it comes to designing code to keep the hackers out.
A rewarding career but not like you see in the movies.