In conversation with: Noushin Shabab, Kaspersky Lab

In conversation with Noushin Shabab, Kaspersky Lab
We had the delightful opportunity to catch up with cybersecurity specialist Noushin Shabab, Senior Security Researcher (GReAT) at Kaspersky Lab. Noushin has a knack for problem solving and her skills are constantly being put into practice by working for one of the biggest global cybersecurity firms in the world. In our quick chat we found out how Noushin got to where she is, why she loves working in IT security and that she’s actually quite protective of her personal smart devices!

How did you get to your current role?

Noushin: I was looking for a job in cybersecurity specialising in my field of reverse engineering. There was a slim margin of jobs in that field. However after 6 months, Kaspersky Lab placed an ad offering a researcher role in cybersecurity. Unlike the other interviews I attended, Kaspersky Lab was the only company to actually examine my technical skills. A tough piece of homework was given to me to solve. Although it was a malware written in a programming language I was not familiar with, I jumped at the chance. Vitaly Kamluk, my Direct Manager who previously worked for Interpol, said my results exceeded his expectations and that was how I landed my dream job!

What do you love most about working in technology?

Noushin: My curious nature has always given me great happiness when I’m able to solve problems. This goes back to when I was younger. As a little girl, my twin sister and I would create versions of the escape room in our own bedrooms and challenge each other into figuring out the exit. My love for problem solving goes hand in hand with my love for technology.

What is the most challenging part of working in this sector?

Noushin: While there is a thrill in problem solving, it also comes with a challenge of evolving and solving a variety of problems in the IT security sector and the tech driven age we live in today. There is no routine in my job. There are always new problems to solve and new threats to discover and face.

Name a book, podcast or presentation that has had an impact on your worldview. How has it changed your perspective?

Noushin: I've been raised in a family with great passion for literature. Every piece of work from Persian literature has had a great impact on my world view. There are too many great books and I can’t pick just one. However, what I can say is, I've found myself growing as a person and having a different view after reading a lot of Persian poetry, novels, short stories and literature. For those poetry lovers out there, I highly recommend The Shahnameh Ferdowsi.

What is the technology that will transform the world in the next 10 years?

Noushin: Being in GReAT we often have to predict what will happen in the future to protect our clients and consumers. With our colleagues and company efforts, Kaspersky Lab launched Earth 2050 recently. We have brought together men and women of art and science, dreamers and innovators, to predict the world, technology and cyber threats of 2050. Here are a few predictions:

In Canberra, Australia, Kaspersky Lab predicted what we can expect in 2030:

Intellectual advertising is spreading everywhere: With Big Data, there is an opportunity for marketers and advertisers to change the content of the advertising message depending on the preferences of people who are closeby. There is concern about the massive use of these technologies as personal information being involved in global projects threatens the privacy and protection of personal data. But business interests seems to override for now. Read more here.

Cyber insurance becomes habitual: Accelerated transition to digital business makes cyber threats one of the major global problems of commercial companies. Big data enables real-time monitoring and evaluation of the level of danger and partial management of IT-risks of traders. All major insurance companies are now advertising cyber insurance. Read more here.

Students are now going to the virtual space: Today, 80% of higher education takes place online, making physical space of universities and colleges a very questionable concept. However, the remaining 20% are adherents of traditional higher education system based on direct interaction with a professor, but it is becoming more elitist and expensive. Read more here.

One of my favourites is the example in Shanghai. Once the experiments with spray-on fashion had proved to be successful, designers begin to consider the possibility of creation of similar clothes.

What’s the most valuable advice you’ve been given?

Noushin: I must say that my parents advice is something I carry with me until today. They have always encouraged me and my family to never give up in whatever we do in life.

Lastly, do you use an iPhone, Android or… other?

Noushin: I have an iPhone and a work laptop which I am very protective and paranoid about.

Kaspersky Lab’s Chairman and CEO, Eugene Kaspersky, is a plenary keynote at CeBIT Australia 2017. To hear him talk the future of Australia’s threat landscape or to meet his team on the showroom floor, grab your ticket to CeBIT today!

Cautionary tales: Cyber security and the Internet of Things