5 MINUTES WITH: Darren James, Senior Product Manager at Specops - Cyber Secure Forum | Forum Events Ltd
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  • 5 MINUTES WITH: Darren James, Senior Product Manager at Specops

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    In the latest instalment of our cybersecurity industry executive interview series we sat down with Darren James, Senior Product Manager at Specops, to talk about the increasing prevalence of nation state-sponsored attacks, the benefits of taking a holistic approach to cyber defences, growing interest in CTEM and the perilous state of attitudes to password security…

    Tell us about your company, products and services.

    Specops has been solving Password, Identity and Authentication problems with simple, easy to implement solutions since 2001.

    We’re now part of Outpost24 and as a group we cover a broad range of cyber security solutions that meet the CTEM or Continuous Threat Exposure Management requirements.

    We’re ISO and Cyber Essentials Certified and have offices and customers all over the world.

    What have been the biggest challenges the IT security industry has faced over the past 12 months?

    With the worsening geopolitical events happening across Europe and the Middle East, along with emerging threats in Asia, we have seen a massive uptick in nation state sponsored attacks targeting organisations not just for financial gain, but also undermining opposing governments and critical infrastructure as well.

    And what have been the biggest opportunities?

    For one thing these very public breaches have shone an even brighter and larger spotlight on the cyber threats that face any organisation today. So even though budgets are tight, there is a tendency to spend more resources on consolidating your cyber security solutions and have a more holistic approach that mitigates the cyber risk from both the application and human layer.

    What is the biggest priority for the IT security industry in 2024?

    Getting the basics right is still very important, we talk to hundreds of customers a week who still have poor password hygiene issues. Breached, weak and shared passwords are still a huge problem. But fixing that issue isn’t hard.

    What are the main trends you are expecting to see in the market in 2024?

    As mentioned before we are seeing growing interest in the CTEM market, that will allow businesses to scope, discover, prioritize, validate and finally mobilize against the cyber threats they face on a continuous basis, whether it’s applications, infrastructure or human risks

    What technology is going to have the biggest impact on the market this coming year?

    I suppose this is where you want me to talk about AI and Machine learning, but to be honest although there are movements in this area, there’s still some way to go before we need to consider the Terminator movies becoming a reality. This year I’m hoping to see passkeys become more commonplace and adopted more widely, certainly in the consumer market, but we need to remember that they can’t solve everything.

    In 2028 we’ll all be talking about…?

    Beach front holidays in London and poor passwords!

    Which person in, or associated with, the IT security industry would you most like to meet?

    Johnathon Ellison – Director for National Resilience and Future Technology (NCSC).

    What’s the most surprising thing you’ve learnt about the IT security sector?

    How absolutely awful most people’s password choices are.

    You go to the bar at the Cyber Secure Forum – what’s your tipple of choice?

    I’m always partial to a well-made Mojito, but failing that a good old Gin and Tonic will do the trick.

    What’s the most exciting thing about your job?

    Working with some super smart people and speaking to organisations every day and actually solving a big problem for them.

    And what’s the most challenging?

    Keeping up with all the super smart people I work with.

    What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

    Always ask questions and always listen to the answers, and always read the log files 😊


    Stuart O'Brien

    All stories by: Stuart O'Brien

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