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Sam Malkin

5 Minutes With… HANDD Business Solutions’ Sam Malkin

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In the latest instalment of our IT security industry executive interview series we spoke to Sam Malkin (pictured, right), Lead Solutions Architect at HANDD Business Solutions, about the company, the security challenges presented by the shift to home working, the opportunities it also creates and the potential of Gaia-X…

Tell us about your company, products and services.

HANDD Business Solutions, a data-centric cyber security service partner. Headquatered in the UK providing services globally to protect and manage data throughout it’s lifecycle, At-Rest, In-Transit, In-Use and when it’s created.

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

Without a doubt the obvious challenge is the shift to remote and hybrid working. Many different areas arise because of this, securing BYOD, understanding privilege access, accelerated cloud adoption, data proliferation. The list is enormous, many organisations were forced to adopt new technologies to protect the health of their workforce. This meant forgoing the usual processes around procurement, security, privacy etc just in order to keep the lights on. We also saw Brexit and things like the Schrems II which always keeps us on our toes.

And what have been the biggest opportunities?

Ironically enough the shift to remote and hybrid working. New technology adoption and moves into as-a-Service type models give lots of flexibility and quite often cost savings. People can realise opex-v-capex models. Luckily for us regardless of the location data needs managing and securing.

What is the biggest priority for the IT security industry in 2021?

Unfortanately I think it’s probably still going to be around remote working and transitioning back into the office. Safe collaboration platforms and things like CASB, Zero Trust Networks and Identity management platforms for me. VDI vendors are probably going to do alright again.

What are the main trends you are expecting to see in the market in 2022?

I’m expecting new legislation across the world around data privacy, data residency etc. Insider threat and accidental data loss safeguarding will no doubt feature as folk continue to resist going back to the traditional workplace. I’d love to see some organisations develop a dedicated privacy function within their organisation, taking data privacy seriously and running it alongside a traditional SoC.

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

Edge Computing is something I’m very intriqued by. I’m looking forward to seeing how enterprises can adopt this and the challenges in securing that. I’m also hearing lots of good things from analysts about Privalege Access Management. With administrators being outside the office understanding what and who are making changes is going to be crucial.

In 2025 we’ll all be talking about…?

Gaia-X hopefully – it aims to create a federated open data infrastructure based on European values regarding data and cloud sovereignty.

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

Linus Torvalds.

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

I’m often surprised by the lack of security in some organisations. And where those organisations prioritise spending.

You go to the bar at the Security IT Summit – what’s your tipple of choice?

An IPA, the quirkier the better. I’ve been referred to as a “craft beer snob” on more than one occasion!

What’s the most exciting thing about your job?

Without a doubt meeting customers, understanding how they’re using the technology and ultimately solving their problems. Pre-pandemic, actually visting a customer site always gave me a buzz, shaking hands and having a coffee whilst talking data security. Perhaps that makes me a little sad?

And what’s the most challenging?    

No customer environment is the same. We’re fortunate enough to work with very flexible software which means I’m often trying to swot up on something to integrate with. It means I never stop learning though which is something I also get a buzz about. Particularly if it means doing some engineering in a lab or testbed. 

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

No one ever got fired for being early.

Succession or Stranger Things?

I had to Google this to work out what I was being asked, so neither. We do watch a lot of Paw Patrol and Cricket in my house!