E4 - Oliver Rochford at Tenzir | Hamilton Barnes

E4 - Oliver Rochford at Tenzir

Lewis West
Oliver Rochford

By Lewis West & Oliver Rochford

On the 4th episode of our Security Vendor spin-off series, we were joined by our Head of Cyber Security, Lewis West and our guest, Oliver Rochford, the Chief Futurist at Tenzir. During this episode, they discuss some important topics in the cyber security space currently such as the skills shortage and some of the biggest challenges the industry is facing.

Oliver had an unconventional background to your typical cyber security professional or someone getting into cyber security today. He did a vocational training apprenticeship rather than taking the degree route. Back in the early 2000s, the system in Germany decided that you don’t need a degree to be a Systems Administrator and so they introduced several vocational training programs to people coming out of school. He did 4 days at work and 1 day at college and then had exams at the end to test his knowledge. He got active in the German cybersecurity community and was approached by MITP and ended up writing the “Hacken für Dummies” first edition, which led to writing a second edition. Based on that he jumped into a security analyst role and the rest was history.

Making that transition from techy to where he is now which is more business orientated, actually came very naturally to Oliver. He still does a couple of things in the lab on occasion but overall, as his career has progressed and as he has gotten older, he finds himself just as curious but not as quickly. The alternative option would’ve been going into people management, so he prefers to just talk about what they do and pass on that knowledge. He found the transition easy but always found a component of it in his role prior, so it was natural.

Biggest challenges?

The biggest challenges the industry is facing at the moment, and it comes as no surprise, is the skills and knowledge. If you just do a cybersecurity degree, they don’t necessarily know what they are securing when it comes to the real world. “It’s not enough to just be a specialist in one area anymore to comprehensively do security”.

As technology evolves, cybersecurity will have to move with it. It will evolve based on how everything else evolves. It’s already clear that there will be a massive increase in Service Providers of all sorts. There will be no other way of getting these skills to people. The industry will also evolve hugely as automation becomes more prevalent. There will be better-integrated automation and therefore the industry will improve.

Oliver shares some great advice for those who would like a career in the cyber space. Those of you who don’t have a traditional background, be active, set up a lab, go hands-on, submit papers, talk about it, and do blogging! Anything to show that you’re engaged to get your voice out there, have that attitude that, yes okay, I don’t have a degree, but I have the attitude, curiosity and knowledge that will get me far.

If you’re not techy, don’t despair, there are loads of jobs such as marketing to project manager jobs that you can apply for. Although they aren’t techy, still try to understand the tech as it’ll open doors for you.

Tune in to the full episode on 24/01/2023!