Taking place at the Hilton Nairobi, Kenya once again had the privilege of hosting the annual 2012 IDC IT Security Roadshow, a much anticipated event on the ICT calendar. During this roadshow, Kaspersky Lab’s senior security researcher, Stefan Tanase, addressed the audience, presenting a paper on critical IT security needs specifically focusing on virtualization and the growing dynamic Kenyan business landscape. Yummy caught up with him for an up close and personal of what we think was one of the most ‘’technically’’ interesting interviews we’ve done yet.
Tell us a bit about yourself
I am born and raised in Romania. I started out as a virus analyst which over hard work and time finally landed me a job as a senior security researcher at the Kaspersky Lab.
Speaking of hard work, did you always want to be a ‘tech’ person?
In fact I always loved computers. I started my first programming lesson when i was 6 years old with encouragement from my dad who was ironically in the medical field. By the age of 16 while in high school I was doing some freelancing work as a web developer. By age 18 I was absorbed into Kaspersky, and here I am!
What was and is your main motivation?
Working as a web developer exposed me to a lot of web/cyber attack incidents and I always wanted to change that because not many web developers think of online security, they just want to get the job done. Feeling that I could help build cyber security, not only for myself but for the good of many was my main motivation. I have been doing it for 5 years now and the results are encouraging.
What makes you love your job?
Travelling the world to exciting places like Nairobi is a first. Definitely the great feeling when I speak to people, educating them on online safety and the end of the day feel like I’m using my skills as one of the ‘good guys’, saving the world from cybercrime.
Any challenges so far?
We could start with the fact that there is one new virus produced every second and for those 70,000 antivirus programs are created. Keeping up with the online threats out there and providing means to protect our users is a challenge which we try to cope with everyday.
Not deviating too far from our ‘foodie’ nature, I have to ask about your culinary expertise when you’re not saving the world from cyber attacks
(Laughs) I love cooking, and my favourite speciality is my famous breakfast omelette which I enjoy quite much. I am a self proclaimed chef I must add, and when at home I might as well do a barbecue or go to the local market to shop for fresh vegetables and whip up some delicious meal!
What about your favourite cuisine?
That has to be Asian food like Chinese, Japanese, and Vietnamese; totally crazy about noodles. Middle Eastern cuisine will come up in the menu like the hummus and tabouleh. Arabic foods like the shawarma and shish taouk also tickle my fancy.
We are looking at opening an office here in Kenya very soon and I hope I will come back for safari next year!
PS: Here is one photo from Stefan that I thought was pretty interesting! (Computer Techies are not complete geeks after all)