Solutioners Talk Tech: Stelios

Solutioners Talk Tech: Stelios

Should cybersecurity be more affordable and why are hackers more impactful than we might think? Our Head of Information Security Stelios Tigkas explored these questions with us. Stelios’ interest in cybersecurity isn’t confined to work hours — he is also leading the non-profit Greenbridge Project, where cybersecurity meets creative arts and animal welfare.

When it comes to the cybersecurity industry’s most impactful achievements, Stelios points to cryptography as the tool enabling the Internet as we know it to exist today — governed with confidentiality and integrity. 

However, Stelios is also quick to stress the industry’s shortcomings. “I think that the information security industry is elitist, inaccessible and the services we provide are prohibitively expensive”, — he argues. There’s solid grounds for this claim, as it’s mostly the financial sector that invests into security assessments such as red team attacks, whereas other sectors and most citizens are undereducated about cybersecurity and lack resources to protect themselves against risks. Stelios solution to this problem — finding ways to make cybersecurity more affordable to smaller organizations and most of the population. 

There’s more to hacking than just the mainstream definition of it. For Stelios, Julian Assange and Edward Snowden are iconic figures that made an important push towards radical transparency by giving citizens access to critical information about government misconduct. He is also quite optimistic about the future of radical transparency: “There will be a day when all data will be open, and secrecy, privacy, and confidentiality will be irrelevant, relics or a distant past. But we probably have decades of work ahead of us until we reach that point.”

When asked about what it takes to be an impactful hacker in today’s world, Stelios claims that it’s so much more than computer science and engineering background — the most talented hackers have a creative mind, strong analytical thinking and hunger to explore uncharted territories. Talking about the future, he believes cybersecurity will become a priority and a routine practice for organizations and people worldwide. 

Stelios also touches upon the DeFi (decentralized finance). “The DeFi markets are gaining traction, but are still at a premature and volatile stage, and they would benefit greatly from information security tools, since the industry heavily relies on encryption algorithms.” 

According to Stelios, cybersecurity practices will likely have an impact on the media, too, especially in the climate of fake news. “Information security techniques could come in very handy to check the integrity of news stories, verify sources, and eventually create a more reliable and accountable industry”.

Stelios Tigkas

Head of Information Security