Business

Three questions: Rob Rachwald, Imperva

Rob Rachwald, director of security at Imperva
Image caption Rob Rachwald: "You can build something 10ft high, and then the hacker will make their ladder 11ft high."

Each week we'll be asking three questions of chief technology officers and other high-profile decision-makers. Answering today is Rob Rachwald, director of security at data security company Imperva.

What's your biggest technology problem right now?

It's very simple. Hackers. Hackers are changing their approach and their methods.

You know you can build something 10ft high, and then the hacker will make their ladder 11ft high. So one of the things we're trying to understand is how they change their techniques, how they're updating what they're doing, and more importantly how they're evolving their business models.

For instance we discovered not too long ago a hacking scheme where hackers were hacking other hackers to make money. As a "kindness" to the hacking community, they developed a hacking kit.

When it pulled out the credentials of unsuspecting consumers, all the credentials of the people that used that kit got sent back to the people who actually wrote it - so the people who wrote the kit did absolutely nothing bad, all the hackers who they wrote the kit for did all the bad work, and only one person got to see everything across the whole thing.

That's probably the one thing we keep working on that will never go away.

What's the next big tech thing in your industry?

The next big trend is security becoming part of the business, in other words it's going to become a business process.

A couple of years ago CIOs would pass out laptops, or they'd pass out software and they'd help you when you had a problem.

And then a couple of years later, and this is when I entered the industry, the CIO moved way up the stack and actually started working on supply chains. One of my first jobs was actually automating a supply chain, and bringing software to a supply chain, and taking paper and people out of the process.

And now security is going through the same kind of evolution. A couple of years ago a CIO would be in charge of anti-virus and cleaning up your desktop if there was a problem.

Today they're working with business people to understand where is data moving and how you protect it as a part of, let's say, an online ordering system or an online supply chain to keep your competitors out of it.

What's the biggest technology mistake you ever made - either at work or in your own life?

Biggest technology mistake is I used a company called Sprint for my cell phone service in the United States. It never worked when I travelled overseas. I had to put in seven support calls, and then had to switch to another company, so yes, I cannot support Sprint.

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