Cyber Security Month, a global awareness campaign that promotes the importance of information security, is doing a great job at inspiring the next generation of cybersecurity professionals. The National Cyber Security Alliance in the US provides a number of career resources while the European Union Agency for Network and Information Security (ENISA) lists hundreds of university courses in the EU.

NTT Security attracts some of the best talent and I hope that, by explaining my role and giving advice in this blog post, I can help attract some more. I am VP of Innovation and my broad background in Research & Development (R&D) tremendously helps me drive innovation in security. After all, security is a concern cutting across many different technology segments. Furthermore, security employs many different technologies. It is, rightly so, becoming an essential part of technology as modern applications are enabled by security, such as Virtual Private Network (VPN), mobile payments, and blockchain.    

I’ve been working on R&D at NTT Group for more than 30 years and to say it has changed somewhat is an understatement. When I joined NTT’s R&D division in 1986, there were no security research divisions (or even internet research divisions either for that matter). Over the decades, I have been involved in many kinds of research projects besides security, including machine learning (my Master thesis 32 years ago), software engineering (my PhD), identity management, and Software Defined Networking (SDN).  

It is these experiences in a variety of fields that help me drive innovation in security to differentiate our services. This is because, innovation in general can happen when different types of technologies meet in a complementary and synergetic manner. For example, artificial intelligence and machine learning can help humans to better cope with the  ever increasing and sophisticated cyber attacks. Using SDN to instantly deliver and orchestrate security technologies is another great example of synergy.  

Furthermore, the experiences give me a hunch on how to apply security technologies to other fields. For example, implementing DevSecOps with the latest security technologies. DevSecOps is a new approach of software engineering to embed and enhance security through the entire software development lifecycle by a team that performs development, operation and security management in a seamless manner.

Day to day, my team is interacting with people in security as well as other disciplines in industry and academia, such as manufacturing, supercomputing and software engineering. This immensely inspires us and our counterparts as well as accelerates our innovation.

My advice to people interested in a career in cybersecurity is to keep sharpening your edge in your current specialty while learning security technologies. Ultimately, security is a typical interdisciplinary practice. Security needs everything and everything needs security.

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