Meet our Advisory Board - an interview with Milos Pesic

The cyber security industry is constantly evolving and changing, making every day a constant battle for industry leaders like Milos Pesic, Global Head of Information and Cyber Security at Marken and our newest Advisory Board member.

We spoke to Milos about joining the board and the challenges facing the cyber security industry today.

Tell us a bit about your history within the tech industry

Nobody needed us 10, 15 or even 20 years ago. Now the industry has changed, and our skills are much more needed these days! My career has now spanned almost 20 years. I have worked in various industries over the course of my career, but one I always like to mention is hospitality because it actually paid for my education and everything in between while working towards a career in cyber security.

Going forward from there, my career has been constant education. It was slightly different than it is nowadays. It wasn't so much about collaboration or teamwork, because cybersecurity or security in general, just wasn't the hot topic. I think it was 1995 when we saw one of the first CSO roles emerge, but it wasn’t until around the year 2000 when things really started to change in that regard. As for the last 5-7 years, let’s just say it has been a hot topic.

Cyber security is being taken much more seriously now so it's nice that we are currently in a position where we can actually contribute with our knowledge and making sure that not just the private companies we work for, but also the wider community benefits from us that we do.

You’ve been a very active member of our delegate community. What motivated you to join the Rela8 Group Advisory Board?

Well, I didn’t think of actually joining it in the beginning. I just wanted to contribute and share my knowledge. I'm a strong believer in sharing and collaborating, so I love when I see a group of people getting together and sharing their ideas, challenges, and solutions. I’ve been invited to a lot of different roundtable events with Rela8 Group that I've gotten experience from and have allowed me to build the relationships, which is something that I encourage for every cyber security team member.

I always say – don't just present yourself as a cyber security person sitting in the corner with a hood up that doesn’t want to talk to anybody. Things are different now, times have changed, we have changed. We need to be more vocal and involved. I'm more than happy to contribute and share what knowledge I've accumulated over the years, so the Advisory Board seemed like a good position to do this from.

I'm a strong believer in sharing and collaborating, so I love when I see a group of people getting together and sharing their ideas

From your point of view, what do you think is the biggest challenge facing industries today?

There are many, many challenges we could definitely discuss or argue about. It all comes down to which industry you're in, but there are some common ones such as threat actors, ransomware, and phishing attacks – these aren’t going anywhere and are constantly emerging and evolving. If you look at tech news, you see things like Log4j which seems like it's here to stay! It's been over a month, and everybody is still continuously working on it.

Those kinds of things are the biggest challenges and threats, not just for us, but for every business and we need to adapt to it. It comes down to where you work and making sure that challenges are being addressed throughout the company. Meet with the board, get the buy-in from them, then you will be able to better face these challenges.

If you could offer one piece of advice to someone starting their career interested in tech and cyber security, what would it be?

Don't give up! To keep it pretty simple. I often see a lot of people, of all ages, who have decided to make a change and go into the cyber security career path. It’s going to be very hard at the beginning. You will be applying for different types of jobs, and you’ll likely get rejected, you might not even get feedback. It’s not easy, but don't give up.

When you get a chance, you will see that this industry is beautiful. It is different every day. It’s never boring. It is so exciting that even after 20 years I still love it. I often joke that if I didn't have a family, I'd be single and probably doing this 24 hours a day forgetting to sleep.

What industry trends are you keeping an eye on this year?

In cyber security, our trends and challenges are often the same thing! There are plenty of people out there who will try to exploit any vulnerability in our systems, but the trend here is that this problem is growing and evolving every day.

Remote working is still here and is not going away. I don't think I have heard any company say they’re going to go back to five days working in the office when COVID stops, and businesses will need to adapt to the challenges of cost and security this brings.

Not all trends are positive unfortunately. Cybercrime is constantly evolving constantly there and another one that everybody likes to mention is the skills gap. I won't go into too much detail because the reality is that we have people out there that want to work. We also have huge extensive lists of many cyber security positions that are not filled out. Why is that? Opportunities should be offered to anybody that tries to get into the industry because everybody can learn.

This industry is a constantly evolving system and if you're going to stay reactive in this industry, you're going to burn out. If you try to be proactive however, yeah there's a possibility you're going to burn out as well, but you're trying to think and you're trying to engineer simplified ways of improving the industry.

Opportunities should be offered to anybody that tries to get into the industry because everybody can learn
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