Speaker’s Corner: Featuring Jimmy Jones, Head of Security at ZARIOT.
Tell me about ZARIOT, its work and projects…
ZARIOT is a cellular IoT connectivity provider, but one firmly focused on security. We strongly believe that successful IoT deployments must be built on secure foundations and that can only happen when both the connectivity and its security are fully assured.
By establishing that environment for our customers, we can remove overhead allowing them to concentrate on innovation.
Our goal is to provide connectivity and security that is as agile as your business.
What are the challenges within the telecommunications industry today?
The telecoms industry is developing faster than at any point in its history.
It is seeing a consolidation of technologies. From virtualization becoming the foundation of the network to the adoption of traditionally IT protocols and numerous other examples. However, it is also seeing a sea change in what the network is actually used for. The traditional mobile phone use case is rapidly making way for IoT and the multitude of hugely differing applications and requirements these bring.
IoT also brings with it a blurring of the line between our digital presence and physical day-to-day lives. Inevitably as a result, “our cyber security” will become just “our security”.
Security in conjunction with the volatile and unpredictable nature of how telecom networks will develop is the biggest challenge.
How has the COVID-19 pandemic changed the way you go about business? What trends do you see for the future…
The biggest impact personally was to stop traveling. I had probably been making 30+ work-related flights per year for over 20 years. It was always seen as imperative, but now there is an understanding that most meetings can be virtual. There is still absolutely no substitute for being in the same room as someone but as we look to reduce our environmental impact, we should choose those occasions carefully.
As an industry, we should be proud of what we did to keep the world turning during the pandemic and we should build on the rapid adoption of the technologies that it caused. We must not allow ourselves to fall back into old habits.
Tell me a little bit about your work process as the head of security for ZARIOT.
My role is to advance the core principle of ZARIOT which is to provide the most secure IoT cellular connectivity possible.
I am continually looking for opportunities to maintain and develop our network security in the face of ever-evolving threats. While also exploring how we can help our customers achieve end-to-end IoT security. We are doing this via partnerships and innovation, such as the SIM-based data plane encryption solution we recently showcased at Berkely University’s Cal Hacks event with the @Company.
The more support we can provide to our customers the easier and more efficiently they can realize their IoT goals, and the more innovate and secure those goals can be,
What is your biggest objective as a speaker?
My objective is to provide useful information to the audience in a way that is digestible and hopefully engaging.
We have all sat through presentations that are either so high level that you don’t learn anything, or that go so in-depth that the actual point is lost. Trying to maintain that happy balance and keeping it concise is the difficult part but is always the goal.
Could you share with us the points of discussion (the input that you provided) during the panel(s) at Cyber Security & Cloud Expo Global?
I presented four separate sessions at the physical and virtual events.
Two focused on the impact and telecom network vulnerabilities that allow mobile devices, including IoT devices, to be location tracked and denied services.
The other presentations examined the core considerations to achieve successful and secure IoT projects.
As a leader, what are the factors both professional and personal that drive you? What keeps you going?
I was always taught that whatever the activity you can always do it better and that applies to everything. From making your bed and cleaning the car, to devising company strategies and speaking at major events, every time you should look to improve. If you do that, then I think things stay interesting.
Also, enjoy yourself. A day without a smile is a day wasted.
In your opinion, do digital events give you a similar level of feedback/result vis-à-vis the live versions? What would you say were the biggest pros and cons of both formats? Which do you prefer?
There is still no substitute for being in the same room as someone, as human beings we need that. But as I said earlier to reduce our carbon footprint, virtual events are essential now.
I think we are all now getting better in virtual environments, so feedback is much better than at the start of the pandemic. However, on appropriate occasions, physical meetings are, in my opinion, better and more effective.
What is your take on in-person events? Do you prefer in-person events as compared to hybrid or virtual? How soon do you think in-person events would return?
I think hybrid events will be the norm moving forward and living in London I have been lucky to attend a number of events physically already this year.
It is a matter of personal circumstances and choice on how you wish to interact in business. There is no right or wrong way which is why I feel hybrid events will be the future.
In your opinion, what are the top 3 challenges to returning to ‘In-Person’ events? How could we mitigate risks?
This is a difficult question, as different regions of the world have different circumstances as do different individuals.
When I talk about cyber security I talk about different attitudes to risk and that customers should consider what events, or situations, must never occur and work a security strategy from there.
I think individuals must do the same with events, the organizers cannot anticipate everybody’s needs.
Eventible has recently launched a B2B Interactive in Person Event Tracker – the tracker shows you in-person events going live in various parts of the world. Do you think this is useful?
I will try it in the future.
Eventible.com is a review platform catering to B2B events. Given how review-driven our lives have become today, do you think reviews will bring in a level of transparency to the events industry? Would you rely on event reviews from other speakers if you had to make a speaking decision?
All information is useful when making a decision, particularly with us all having such busy schedules.
Finally, do you have a favorite mocktail or drink? We’d be delighted to know.
A Saint Clement’s, which is Orange Juice and Bitter Lemon.
About Jimmy: Jimmy Jones is a telecoms cybersecurity expert and Head of Security at ZARIOT. Jimmy’s experience in telecoms spans over twenty years in which time he has built a thorough understanding of the industry working in diverse roles but all building from early engineering positions within major operators, such as WorldCom (now Verizon), and vendors including Nortel, Genband & Positive Technologies. In 2005 Jimmy started to focus on telecom security, eventually transitioning completely in 2017 to work for a specialist cyber security vendor. He now brings all his industry experience to deliver agile and secure digital transformation with ZARIOT.