Oliver Tavakoli, CTO, Vectra Networks fears the bad guys may take over insecure consumer devices

Oliver Tavakoli, CTO, Vectra Networks

1. As a child what job did you want to have when you grew up?

I wanted to program computers. My uncle was studying computer science I was a kid and it seemed like a lot of fun.

2. If you had one business lesson to share with your younger self what would it be?

Don’t confuse building a product with building a company. A lot more than product is involved in the latter.

3. Which Internet of Things (IoT) use case has recently fired your imagination?

Bad guys taking over large numbers of inherently insecure consumer devices and orchestrating large-scale attacks with them. The Mirai botnet reinforced Vectra’s research team’s sense of (a) poor security design and lifecycle by vendors of these cheap products and (b) the relative ease with which they can be hacked and have their functionality augmented.

4. What lessons have you learned from doing business in other countries or organisations?

Transparency and integrity are universal values. You need to understand the local cultural norms, but beyond that, being truthful is always a good idea.

About Oliver Tavakoli

Oliver is chief technology officer at Vectra Networks.  Oliver is a technologist who has alternated between working for large and small companies throughout his 25-year career – he is clearly doing the latter right now. Prior to joining Vectra Networks, Oliver spent more than seven years at Juniper as chief technical oOfficer for the security business. Oliver joined Juniper as the result of its acquisition of Funk Software, where he was CTO and better known as developer #1 for Steel-Belted.

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