Forbes Technology Council members are in a wide range of industries and come from a diverse set of experiences. However, they all have lots of great insights to share, from best practices for technology departments to smart predictions for the future of tech. To showcase their expertise, we’re profiling Forbes Technology Council members here on the blog. This week: Ilia Kolochenko.
Ilia Kolochenko is the CEO and founder of High-Tech Bridge, a leading web security company with an award-winning web security platform, ImmuniWeb, that combines machine learning and human ingenuity for continuous and on-demand web security testing. Ilia is an expert in information security, risk management and cybercrime.
We asked him three important questions. His answers are below:
What is your background, and how has it influenced what you do today?
With a BS (Hons) in math and computer science, I spent many years working as a cybersecurity techie. My practical experience in various cybersecurity domains helps me a lot these days. Cybersecurity is a mix of technical skills, experience and understanding of human psychology, and you cannot be a good hacker if you don’t have at least one of these. In penetration testing, you often need to quickly find the weakest link to get into the system, while in business you need to find the most efficient and cost-effective approach to every new project and idea. You learn to be results-oriented, innovative and rapid.
My military service in the Swiss artillery troops taught me to aim high and to never stop pursuing my goals. Persistence is one of the most important skills for an entrepreneur. When others give up, you continue trying and at the end of the day you finally do the impossible.
What do you think is the most interesting piece of new technology today? (And/or how do you see the technology landscape changing in the next 5 – 10 years?)
I think that we’re moving towards a “cyborgization” of our society. Artificial intelligence and automation still can’t entirely replace people in this industry, and will probably not be able to do so for the next 15 to 20 years. However, people today can’t compete with the scalability, rapidity and computing power of machines. Therefore, everything that can be automated will be automated in the near future, but the most vital core functions will still be controlled by humans surrounded and supported by advanced technology. Machine learning for a certain range of tasks will definitely grow in the next few years.
Blockchain is also very interesting technology that may have a lot of success in various domains where trust and integrity are vital. I’m not sure that Bitcoin, or any other digital currency, will be able to compete with the American dollar, but in some areas blockchain could definitely outshine existing technologies and change the world.
What’s your best piece of advice for technology executives to keep on top of the rapidly evolving tech space?
I’d suggest keeping things simple and following common sense. Today we have a lot of new technology trends that sound very promising, but if we look at them carefully, we may find that these approaches will be unprofitable and won’t survive in the long run.
Before analyzing or implementing any new technology, ask yourself what problem it solves, how big the problem actually is and if we really need to solve this particular problem in that way. At the end of the day, technology has only one goal – to serve people. And if people don’t need that technology, it will never become the new Facebook. Separate the wheat from the chaff.