Interview with ICS Founder “Alejandro Rivera”-Great Motivation for Cyber Security Professionals
- Salman Ahmed
- June 30th, 2018
We are greatly thankful to ICS (Instituto de Ciberseguridad) founder “Alejandro Rivera” to lighten us with his vast knowledge and efforts he is doing in the field of Cyber Security.
As the development in the tech industry is exponentially growing, so many of you are looking for a motivation that would help you to seek your career as a cyber-security professional. What is ICS and what are the requirements to become a professional cyber-security expert? We got all the answers from Alejandro Rivera, which are mentioned below.
1. Introduction at ICS?
The cybersecurity institute is a project made in Mexico with which we seek to promote 3 main things, first the development of security technologies, second specialized technology training in security and third with the inclusion of the labor market in Mexico and Latin America.
2. When and how did you start your career in the cybersecurity industry?
I am from the city of MoYour Interrey in Mexico, and I started about 5 years ago. I started like many other people, providing basic technical support service, installing software downloaded from the internet, cleaning computer equipment, that and adding a bit of curiosity about how things work, it was what formed me and helped me to be what today I am.
That curiosity led me to identify why PCs work in non-normal ways, but I was really interested in preventing that from happening, a very particular case was when a person came to me because her computer began to open many windows every time she turned it on, I started to investigate a bit, and that’s when I got to know the viruses or Malware, how they behave, how we got infected and the ways to eliminate them, that’s how it all started, later I started to investigate about some other threats and it was when I got CEH certification from the EC-Council, then I got to know Comptya, and I studied the content while I was starting to provide very basic security services, those services consisted in installing antivirus and checking the operation of the computers every week, if I found something I solved it, and this is like a little summary is how I came to be and know what I am today.
3. What are some people who have influenced you in the cybersecurity world?
My real career has been carried out in two stages, one driven by curiosity and the second by the professional, in the first stage I have a couple of people, Kevin Mitnik, a Spanish hacker named Chema Alonzo and Steve Wosniak, were my inspirations to continue researching in computer science and piracy, in my second stage I have a great physical security auditor named Jonny Long, Steve Jobs an excellent leader in computer science, dreamer and visionary, I like it because he searched, fought and followed his idea until reaching almost perfection In what I wanted, I also admire a person named Jack Ma for all the difficulties they had to go through in their lives to build what we now call alibaba.
4. What was the core idea/reason for establishing this community/ institute?
The main idea of the institute is to begin to educate society and promote development, innovation and technological inclusion beginning in Monterrey Mexico, then expand to various places in Mexico and finally join or collaborate with some Latin American countries in order to be able or try to include that technology in the portfolios of important security companies through the commercialization of that technology, that is our vision.
5. There are many websites in the market currently offering similar courses, what makes ICS different from them?
We not only seek to be a website that provides pre-recorded courses so that people can access the site and view the courses, that is done by anyone, I have seen and I have collaborated with many platforms that are a few months until the same It closes, and that’s because they only seek to be a platform to do courses and earn money. Our final goal, as I commented in the previous point, we seek to generate technological innovation in Mexico and Latin America, to achieve the aforementioned we have 3 objectives, Educate, Innovate and include.
On the part of education we have two ways to do it, one in person with spaces called security hub, these are networking spaces whose purpose is to meet people who currently study or work in areas related to computer science or cybersecurity and share our knowledge from a work point of view. All the content that we do in the institute is taken from the working world to our project, what we share are things that happen to us at work or we do every day with clients or employers, this not only allows us to show content extracted from a book, It allows us to show our real experience.
In our second part, to innovate, the intention of this is to encourage technological development in Mexico and Latin America with the intention of being able to stand out or try to compete against the technologies that are currently sold in the market and that are predominant in countries such as, Germany, Israel, the United States, and some Asian countries, an example in Mexico there are staff that are dedicated to developing technologies, but since there is not enough support they do not dare to innovate, in the Cybersecurity Institute we are currently looking to train people, get the economic and technological resources to make those projects stand out and be commercialized by the developers themselves.
In the section on Including is very simple, if the person can not or is not interested in the development of technology we seek to generate alliances with companies with the intention of being able to get our associates to perform professional practices or a job based on the skills and knowledge that students have acquired on the platform, through live courses and the various learning modalities we have for them.
6. How is your institute willing to change the education process?
Apart from wanting to develop technology or seek to convert Mexico and Latin America into technologically competitive countries with the help of private companies and government, we have a very big task, which is to educate users and companies regarding the security of their information, and problems that can occur if they are not prepared or prepared in case their information is compromised.
7. How is ICS contributing to improve the online security of individuals and surrounding communities?
We seek to improve security Online with talks, prevention tips focused on cybersecurity issues whose target audience are companies and civilians, providing topics such as: Information leaks and legal problems faced by organizations or privacy in social networks.
8. What challenges/ barriers do you face in your mission?
Our challenges are multiple:
1.- One of our challenges is economic, rent servers, talks, preparation of content, all generate costs that sometimes we can not pay and we have to resort to the painful situation of having to request support to our users to be able to get ahead of situations a little specific.
2.- Another problem is the lack of culture in security and clear objectives, unfortunately people have a wrong idea about what security is, it is very common for some of our users to criticize us because for them we do not teach true security, the problem is that they have misconceptions about what security is, this is because they seek us to teach them the typical Hacking through the use of tools, our work is focused on teaching real computer security, we show the methodologies which are used in a work environment.
The current platforms are focused on providing outdated content, and today’s young people while telling them they can hack a Facebook account are happy.
9. Why cyber security is becoming essential in today’s online landscape?
There are several points with which I will answer your question.
In the first instance, the regulations of the internet and data protection, as you know we are currently governed by the general regulation of data protection, which mentions that we have to protect the information of the users and that if something happens with that information either through a careless employee who leaked that information or the safety of the organization was compromised and likewise the information leaked, this regulation forces you to notify your customers that you have had a security problem, and the penalties or penalties are quite high if you get to know.
In the second instance, the negative effects on organizations, there are many problems that a company and a civilian can go through if their security is compromised, loss of reputation, loss of resources (time and money), legal problems, company in bankruptcy, there are many problems with which the entities are currently facing, to this we must add that cyber attacks have increased and are more powerful than some years ago, since the aforementioned adds the diffusion in social networks, television and even newspapers that gives current computer attacks makes it more noticeable the problem we have, for example is what happened with Telefonica and its infection with WannaCry, it was not the only company but it was to which the media gave more dissemination.
10. What is Privacy according to you? (What’s your definition of Online Privacy)
Privacy for me is something that exists even before it goes online, once that, whatever it is is put on the internet, it is no longer private, the internet is a public cloud to which any person can have access, so no It matters how “Private” something is just for the fact of being on the internet is no longer private, a very clear example is the following, imagine that a person loves to take pictures with his cell phone but does not share them on the Internet, only the store, one day that cell phone is lost, someone finds it and the pictures are put on the internet in full view of the public, that is an example, another is that it does not matter how much “Privacy we can have” our devices know everything about us Where we are, where we are going, who we are with, what food we like, what music we like, our devices themselves know many things about us that have ceased to be private when someone else you already have them stored on a server.
11. Do you think user behavior is changing around data privacy?
No, users do not have the slightest idea of ??the power of their information or what they can do with it, users continue to do the same, putting the information that is supposed to be personal or private in public places on the Internet, example dates of birth, where you work, who your family is, where you studied, the plans you have for that afternoon or the week, what places you will visit, how much money you make, what I just mentioned is the most typical behavior of most Internet users, the problem is that they have no idea of ??the value of their information and what someone can do with it if they know how to use it.
12. What tips you would like to share that can help protect privacy of users?
Do not share information that should not be shared (images, audios, texts).
Do not use public internet networks because these wireless networks are compromised and used for information theft.
Do not give any kind of information with which we can relate, example of this is email, many of us have searched for someone through an email that we have achieved, if we search properly we can find the social network accounts related to That email, the same goes for a Nickmane or phone number, Google indexes a lot of information all the time and allows us to easily identify many things.
Change the privacy of our social network profiles, many of us do not want and we do not like any stranger to browse our profiles in search of information.
That is to prevent our privacy from being compromised by third parties, we do not really need to spend on complex technology to maintain our privacy, privacy does not exist on the internet, I mention that it does not exist because the governments are behind us or the ISP, including the same applications that say that they are going to maintain our privacy end up selling our information, is the case of the VPN IP Vanish that said they did not keep our records but they gave the connection records to the police and a user of that application was arrested .
Privacy exists, but it is not free and it is not simple to maintain
13. What are your future plans for your company? Will these courses be offered in multiple languages?
We are planning to create courses in different languages, but at the moment we are only focused on Spanish-speaking countries, one of the things we have planned is to generate practice laboratories, a complete redesign of the platform and its image, and alliances With companies to start offering jobs, we also seek to certify our courses so that they have work validity.
14. What reading or websites you recommend for readers?