Shrian Ramsamuj, Cyber Security Professional, Grindrod Bank will be presenting at the CISO Africa 2020 event in February 2020 and we caught up with him to find out more about himself and his current view of the industry.
Corinium Global Intelligence: To kick off, please tell us a bit more about your career, from tertiary studies to your current. This can be a brief history – what is often interesting to note is the fluidity of career paths.
Shrian Ramsamuj: I started my IT career off in Networking as a call centre agent where I progressed through the ranks of different support levels to senior support handling complex MPLS VPN issues as well as managing outsourced firewalls for customers. I then took on a role whereby I managed a WAN migration of around 120 sites around South Africa while also planning, designing and implementing links on new branches. I then decided it was time to focus on network security, which then lead to various positions whereby the focus was on administration and maintenance of firewalls. I eventually came to a realization that Cyber Security would be the next step in the evolution of my career, which is the current journey I am on.
Corinium: When you were 10 years old, what did you imagine your job would be when you were all grown? Is this in anyway reflected at all in your current role?
Shrian: When I was 10 years old I wanted to be a “Toy Manufacturer” so I think I’m a far cry away from that dream. I think I would say there is an element of it in my current vocation as I do consider some technology today with the same wonder that a child would look at a new toy.
Corinium: What do you think the 10-year-old kids of today are imagining their careers will be in 20 years’ time? What do you think the jobs of the future will look like?
Shrian: I believe that most modern kids dream of doing things like becoming a YouTuber, not realizing the amount of time and dedication that such a career would entail. I believe that a lot of the jobs which currently exist (especially within the labour force) will be replaced by robots, and a focus for career growth might be skewed toward more creative careers.
Corinium: A work-related question: with regards to IT security (or indeed your specific role in the business), what are your main day-to-day challenges? In addition, what do you see as macro challenges to business as a whole with regards to protecting assets, data, customers, reputation etc.
Shrian: My challenges faced seem are not unique to our institution – I am referring to resource constraints. Being the only Cyber Security resource at the bank, it dictates that when my time is spent on one issue or project, it directly affects delivery on other tasks, so task prioritization is key for dealing with this. I believe that two general issues faced by all businesses at this point in time are skilled resources, and available budgets to implement new protective technologies. As the financial market is incredibly tough at the moment, companies are trying to save costs wherever they can. The logical omission is always one that has no return on income, which are security purchases.
Corinium: Are we becoming more secure over time, or are we merely keeping toe-to-toe with the growing external (and internal) threat landscape?
Shrian: I think that this is a mix of both scenarios, however we are barely edging ahead of the threat landscape, if at all. The reality is that every time a new protective measure is discovered, it is only a matter of time until threat actors find a mechanism of side-stepping this control.
Corinium: And finally, for a bit of fun, which three historical (or pop culture) figures would you like to have dinner with, and why?
- Nikola Tesla – To find out how we can leverage his technology on wireless power generation in today’s economy as Eskom is a dire threat.
- Nostradamus – To see what his prediction is for the state of the world for the next 100 years to come.
- An ancient resident of Pumapunku, Bolivia – To explain exactly how the massive H-Blocks were created from solid granite which does not occur naturally in the area; how they were transported and how perfect right angles and sharp edges were created on an item which, using today’s technology, can only be done using laser cutting.