For the past year, Kat Tasiopoulou has worked on the IBM X-Force Incident Response and Intelligence Services (IRIS) team as a client engagement lead, helping clients train and prepare for proactive incident response. She garners real-world experience from working on some of world’s biggest breaches, highlighting some of the most high-profile attacks.
In this podcast episode, Tasiopoulou discusses her multifaceted X-Force IRIS role, winning a British Computer Society (BCS) award, and the future of incident response.
Technology Is Outpacing Security
Tasiopoulou began programming at a young age; by 14 she was leading capture the flag (CTF) teams to break her classmates’ websites. In university, she recognized two key information security issues: A shortage of experienced professionals and a lack of equilibrium — while technology has been rapidly changing, there’s no parallel growth in security, leaving both devices and users vulnerable.
For Tasiopoulou, the biggest benefits of working with X-Force IRIS come from the opportunity to help businesses return to normal after an incident and the ability to mentor and inspire young women interested in cybersecurity careers.
Making a Measurable Impact on the World
Tasiopoulou was recently awarded the Young IT Professional of the Year award by the BCS, a chartered institute representing both U.K. and global IT industries. BCS is committed to championing the IT profession and creating a worldwide IT community, and recognized Tasiopoulou for her outstanding contributions in four key areas: innovation, role model, measurable success and professionalism
As she puts it, “To be given the award, you have to make a significant impact in the world, with measurable success. Considering I was up against senior people who have been working for years, it’s pretty cool that I ended up winning.”
Actionable Advice From an X-Force IRIS Standout
For companies looking to improve their information security outlook, Tasiopoulou recommends aligning priorities; security should be an enabler for business, not a drawback. She also relays simple advice to reduce total risk: “Make the cost of break-ins higher than the benefit.”
And for up-and-coming IT professionals, Tasiopoulou points to certifications. Given the constantly evolving nature of the industry, continual improvement is critical. There’s also a need to understand the bigger picture. How does security fit into overall business strategy? What’s the larger impact?
What’s Next for Tasiopoulou?
So what’s next for the BCS award winner? Leveraging her interest in helping X-Force IRIS clients develop proactive security strategies to combat attacks, Tasiopoulou is currently working on a patent that gamifies a security agile framework. Want to learn more about her work? Register for the upcoming Think 2019 conference, where she will be presenting.
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