Go behind the scenes with our Head of Cybersecurity Sergey, and get a deep dive into this fast-growing cybersecurity industry.
Hi Sergey, can you describe your role at NavInfo Europe?
I have been the Head of Cybersecurity at NavInfo Europe since September 2020, and I lead the entire cybersecurity team. Our main responsibility is Cybersecurity solutions development for IoT, Artificial Intelligence, autonomous driving platforms, and the telecommunications sector. Furthermore, we also provide penetration testing services as well as security audits and Cybersecurity compliance to customers in various areas.
What has been your experience in cybersecurity?
Ever since graduating with my Cybersecurity degree and doing an MBA in this field, cybersecurity has been part of my life, and it’s been so for the past 18 years. During my time in Russia, I worked in various positions in this industry; I was a chief information security officer and chief fraud management officer at the biggest telecom and IT company in Russia for 9 years, and was responsible for the creation and maintenance of one of the biggest security operation centers in Eastern Europe for 5 years. Three years ago, I relocated to The Netherlands and worked as the group cybersecurity officer in an Amsterdam-based international company, which provided telecom, mobile banking, financial, and e-commerce services for 200+ million customers in 10 countries.
What does your day-to-day look like?
My days usually consist of managing several projects, organizing penetration testing, and having discussions with clients in order to understand their needs and address their main concerns. I have daily standups with my team to discuss our plans, and I keep up to date with the commercial teams such as marketing and sales to ensure that everyone is updated on our projects.
An interesting fact about Cybersecurity is that it is cross-functional – it is important to correlate Cybersecurity activities across the company to make sure that everything is synchronized, it is not an isolated function.
Can you tell us more about the Cybersecurity team?
I am very proud of my team, and I could say that I have a team of world-class experts. The Cybersecurity team ranges from brilliant cybersecurity researchers, reverse engineers, penetration testers, AI scientists, and developers who consistently create cutting-edge new products and services.
What is an interesting project you’re currently working on; can you share some insights with us?
Currently, we are working on the penetration testing of modern European electric cars in our in-house Cybersecurity lab. This project captured our interest because connected cars are the new trend in the automotive industry, and as cars begin to be smart, they become like computers on wheels. Additional external interfaces such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, NFC, 2G/3G/4G/5G, proprietary wireless interfaces open a gateway for external hackers to access the vehicle and sensitive data. If hackers can successfully get into the car, they have access to a significant portion of the victim’s personal and professional life and can even pose a fatal risk, as hackers can now even control the autopilot and give malicious instructions to create critical incidents on roads.
What are some current key trends in the Cybersecurity industry?
Awareness surrounding the need for robust cybersecurity measures is a growing trend that we are starting to see. More money is being spent on Cybersecurity today than in previous years. This is because businesses are quickly realizing that Cybersecurity measures are a must-have, to protect themselves, their clients, and their employees.
The industry is also developing rapidly, we are constantly seeing new technologies and new ideas emerge to enhance the cybersecurity landscape. One emerging technology we are keeping a close eye on is the integration of Artificial Intelligence in cybersecurity solutions. AI has revolutionized the industrial process and has the potential to enhance the functionality of cybersecurity solutions, however, it’s important to note that AI can also be a target for malicious attacks. Therefore, our cybersecurity team is working together with our AI research team to develop solutions to protect AI models and try to use AI techniques to smart our security package as well. Through our participation in the ETSI-SAI, we want to help the industry create high-quality standards to preserve and improve the security of new AI technologies.
What kind of attacks do businesses need to be aware of? What can they do to avoid cyber-risks?
There is no one way to answer this question, as the risk from cyberattacks is multi-layered and differs for each business. However, businesses are starting to see the importance of staying alert regarding potential Cyberattacks – we can see this through several regulations both international and national mandating Cybersecurity measures in different industries. For example, the automotive industry has new international cybersecurity standards such as the WP.29, ISO 21434 for Tier 1 and Tier 2 businesses, and all service providers must comply with this regulation. This tells us that businesses are becoming more cautious and willing to protect themselves from cyber risk. However, regular penetration testing and training personnel to increase awareness of Cybersecurity remain very important for companies to improve their security.
What are your thoughts on the future of the Cybersecurity industry?
The industry remains one of the most competitive – we are witnessing a “red ocean” with many Cybersecurity companies in the market, and demand for Cybersecurity is only going to increase. The move towards remote working, the integration of IoT devices in almost all aspects of life dictate the need for robust measures to counter and prevent attacks. At NavInfo Europe, we are adapting to the new landscape and continuing to evolve to maintain our strong competitive edge in this industry.