Former hacker, Stefan Umit Uygur, is the CEO and co-founder of Dectar, a scale-up company that has developed a cyberdefense system to protect both on-premise and cloud-based IT systems from anomalies and cyberattacks. “The industry made a major mistake 15 years ago by not mandating that security was an integral part of every application developed – these omissions are now part of the major issues now affecting our industry. Security must be a mandatory design parameter in every application – these things must go hand in hand.”
“In Italy, we have underestimated IT cybersecurity risks”
Stefan Umit Uygur says, “I am a hacker, an ‘ethical hacker’ even though the term did not exist when I started studying and working in the security sector. Hackers are very different from cybercriminals, so let me explain what I mean. A hacker would have fixed your computer back when I was starting out, or at least inform you if there was something wrong with the code. I come from that culture, a participant in the free and open source community. Reading an article recently, I noted a comment cited by the Clusit Report which stated that this type of open community activism by ethical hackers is disappearing.”
Who is Stefan Umit Uygur?
Stefan Umit Uygur is from Calabria [Italy] and, after various work experiences around the world, in 2017 he founds Dectar, a cybersecurity startup based in Dublin. His career started in the late ’90s, working with Oracle and in gambling companies such as Poker Stars. He worked as a technical consultant at the Italian Ministry of Justice from 2000 to 2003 and subsequently spent time with Amazon AWS and as a consultant to many Fintech companies where he gained experience designing large-scale IT infrastructures and security systems. He is a strong proponent of free, open source software and has contributed to many open source communities as well as writing a book called Penetration Testing with BackBox Linux. Stefan is passionate about creating a user-friendly cyberdefense product without price discrimination against SMEs. It is imperative for the entire global supply chain, and for society at large, that small businesses can deploy the very best cyberdefense solutions in the market at realistic prices.
The former hacker who loves open source
“I was part of the commission that wrote a bill which mandated Public Administration to deploy more open source software. At the time, this was not a popular bill, particularly with proprietary vendors and public administrators who had to now confirm that there was no equivalent open source version of software that would meet their requirements. Objections were plentiful, the most common one being that open source products are inherently unsafe and unsupported – of course history has proven this to be nonsense and reality is quite the opposite.”
Technology and Security must go hand-in-hand
“Technology has evolved so much over the past 25 years that it is now a necessity in so many aspects of our lives today, from medical advances through to financial, communications, scientific and manufacturing operations globally. These changes to technology and how they affect our lives has been rapid and unrelenting, to the point where most of us cannot imagine living without them.
The speed of these developments were mainly driven by a need to be first to market with these products and services, and that we should worry about tomorrow’s cybersecurity problem tomorrow. This has parallels with the explosion of social media platforms today, these all started as useful and benign communications platforms, but quickly evolved as the prime platform for the dissemination of fake news, political interference and a serious threat to the safety and security of our children.
We should always be conscious about our personal security, but know how easy it can be for the unscrupulous actions of one person to make a victim of another. Cybersecurity is a technical challenge, and just because your expertise might not be in the technology arena, you will need to be ever vigilant because the gap between the ethical hacker today and the cybercriminal increases every day.”
Read the original article (in Italian): https://www.economymagazine.it/cybersecurity-in-italia-abbiamo-sottovalutato-troppo-i-rischi-informatici/