The story of how I became an IT security expert is a complicated one. I was eight when we left Cyprus. I was a quiet kid at first, since my English was virtually non-existent. But after a while, I became fluent and made some friends at school, and Can Demitri Ekis (that’s me) became Canned Meat to his friends. My parents had my future planned: I would finish school and do a Cypriot B.SC – Behind Shop Counter – so I could run the shop when they retired. But I was good at maths, and I loved computers. It drove my dad crazy. He didn’t think it was healthy. It probably wasn’t. I spent hours in dark rooms, hacking my way into games, and browsing…probably where I shouldn’t. Innocent fun. But I ended up doing work for my friends, then for his friends…it kept me out of the shop.
Our shop was in a pretty skanky area, with some really dodgy characters. The thieves weren’t always the obvious ones. As I got more and more into computing and IT, and thereafter into IT security, I realized that theft and intrusion were as possible online as they were in the corner shop. I had done the odd bit of discreet nosing-about myself. So, when I finally formalised my computer studies, I specialised in IT security, and I’ve refined it ever since.
What amazes me is that people will put in huge security systems to protect their machinery and computer hardware, when the worst losses can be caused remotely by someone in another town, another country. The thieves aren’t climbing your yard’s brick wall – they’re sneaking through the holes in your own IT systems. And that’s where I come in.
More next time.