In this edition of 'getting to know your speaker', we are proud to bring you Armel Lupapi, Identity and Access Governance Specialist at banking and asset management group Investec.
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.
Armel Lupapi: Born in 1988 in Congo DR, I come from a family of six children (of which I am the 4th). I completed my matric in 2006 and immigrated to South Africa with the intention to pursue my tertiary education. Upon my arrival in 2008, I registered at the Vaal University of Technology, where I have completed my Bachelor Degree in in 2013. From there, I decided to start my career and in South Africa, where I have worked in the Information Security field, precisely in Identity and Access Governance for the likes of Puleng Technologies, Investec Bank, and more recently Derivco (a leader in online gaming and betting services) as a system engineer/IAG advisor/access manager in their IAM platform.
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?
Armel: I was stuck between working in the music industry as a producer/executive or working in one of the leading bank as an investment banker/economist. Life brought me elsewhere
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?
Armel: Even tough man of them are still figuring out their career paths, they become aware that any career path they’d take will have a digital aspect in it. It became more obvious that computer literacy is a key requirement in order to be competitive in the employment market.
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.
Armel: My main challenge is my day to day operation is to translate the business requirements into feasible technical outputs and vice versa. The relationship between tech and business has always delicate and “funny”. To the later question, a big challenge is to make every single employee aware of their role in protecting the firm’s assets, data, customers and reputation. The fulfilment of this role doesn’t mainly sits within Information Security.
Corinium: Are we becoming more secure over time, or are we merely keeping toe-to-toe with the growing external (and internal) threat landscape?
Armel: This depends in the organization’s CISO strategy. To my experience, it is vital to invest in both internal and external security in order to be proactive and preventive to threads. It takes dedication and constant learning to outsmart the “bad guys”.
Corinium: And finally, for a bit of fun, which three historical (or pop culture) figures would you like to have dinner with, and why?
Armel: Nelson Mandela: To find out how he survived 27 years in prison and still managed to initiate a peaceful transition with all the different parties, including his oppressor. His humility and leadership skills are an example to all. And last but not the least, to get a few tips for his sense of fashion and style.
Steve Jobs: His sense of pursing his dreams and ideas, even while lacking the leadership, people and technical skills, are inspiring. I’m passionate about business; seeing IT oriented person build successful business is a goal I have in mind. Learning from him who achieved it in style would be a cool experience.