Interview

AITech Interview with Juan Manuel Bahamonde, Channel Advisor

Network security

Network security isn’t optional for companies anymore. As the world moves toward exclusively digital environments, companies must implement robust network security to ensure customer information remains protected from unauthorized users and threats.

1. Could you tell us more about your role at ChannelAdvisor?

As Director of Information Security, I’m responsible for developing and executing all security-related strategic initiatives, such as our SOC 2 Type 2 compliance, and overseeing ChannelAdvisor’s global information security team. I’m coming into this role at a pivotal time in the organization. Cyber threats and breaches are at an all-time high, and customers are worried about the security of their data. ChannelAdvisor has already done a great job ensuring that sensitive customer information remains secure within its platform, and I will continue this effort.

2. Can you elaborate on your career in the industry?

During my 15 years in the information security space, I’ve worn multiple hats, such as Security Consultant, Cybersecurity Project Manager and Chief Information Security Officer. But no matter the position, my passion for the industry remained and I have had the opportunity to be instrumental in developing security departments for various companies and creating strategies that are still in use by those companies. My time in information security allowed me to collaborate with Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP) — a renowned non-profit foundation that works to improve software security — on the Web Applications Security Testing Guide and other OWASP Top Ten projects.

3. How would you eye the importance of network security to safeguard customer information?

Network security isn’t optional for companies anymore. As the world moves toward exclusively digital environments, companies must implement robust network security to ensure customer information remains protected from unauthorized users and threats.

4. What are the recent developments in Information Security that companies should focus on?

There’s increased concern over cybersecurity threats from Russia, including a possible cyber attack. There’s also been an increase in fraud now that e-commerce continues to rise in popularity among consumers. Companies need to focus on strengthening their cyber defenses — with a focus on both threat detection and incident response — to ensure their digital infrastructure and customer data remains secure amidst these pending threats.

5. Has the pandemic affected the technology infrastructure of businesses?

The pandemic expedited the move to the virtual landscape, causing much of the world to operate in digital spaces. People work, shop and interact online, meaning their data is at a higher risk of being compromised. To make matters worse, companies’ traditional network security perimeter has disappeared due to new work-from-home policies and cloud adoption. This means there is an increased need for businesses to have foolproof security measures in order to protect customer data and other sensitive information against theft and cybersecurity breaches.

6. What advice would you give to deal with identity theft issues for businesses?

Implement a Zero Trust strategy, which operates on the phrase “don’t trust, verify everything.” The traditional idea of trusting every user or device connected to a network is no longer valid in today’s context.
Organizations must implement identity and access management policies based on classic least privilege and role-based access controls. Extra controls such as multi-factor authentication, context analysis and access monitoring are other protection layers to verify that an identity hasn’t been compromised.

7. How would the SOC 2 Type 2 compliance benefit ChannelAdvisor in the long run?

The real benefit is to our customers. The SOC 2 Type 2 compliance requires ongoing auditing of the ChannelAdvisor platform by a third party to ensure compliance with the five trust principles.
This reinforces our continued commitment to properly managing and protecting our customers’ data.

8. Could you shed light on the role of Information Security in the coming years?

Information security will experience huge growth in the future, especially as the digital landscape grows (Metaverse, marketplaces, social commerce, etc.). At the same time, customers are more aware of the dangers of cyberattacks and don’t want to risk something happening to their personal information. Information security will be the difference between making a profit and losing it for companies.

9. What advice would you like to give to modern tech startups?

Invest in quality information security measures early on. Customers only want to work with companies and on platforms where they know their information is safe. Giving them that peace of mind can be a key differentiator between your startup and a competitor’s.

10. Which movie inspires you the most?

It may not be the one that inspires me the most, but War Games is the first movie that I remember seeing as a child related to cybersecurity. I’m reminded of it these days due to the current geopolitical situation happening in Russia and discussions about the implications of AI.

For more such updates and perspectives around Digital Innovation, IoT, Data Infrastructure, AI & Cybersecurity, go to AI-Techpark.com.

Juan Manuel

Director of information security at ChannelAdvisor

Juan Manuel Bahamonde is the director of information security at ChannelAdvisor. He oversees all security-related aspects, including developing and executing strategic initiatives and leading the global information security team. With over 15 years of experience in the information security space, he’s passionate about finding solutions to potential cybersecurity threats and defining information security strategies for businesses.

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