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How to Translate Cyber Security Into Human

Jason Sattler

22.06.18 4 min. read

To commemorate F-Secure’s 30th year of innovation, we’re profiling 30 of our fellows from our more than 25 offices around the globe.

When F-Secure decided to launch its first English-language podcast Cyber Security Sauna AKA #CyberSauna, one name continually was nominated as a perfect fit to host the show — Janne Kauhanen. (Though Janne prefers to call himself the podcast’s “saunamajuri.”)

Janne has been an Account Manager for F-Secure’s Cyber Security Sevices for six years but he’s better known around headquarters as “the cyber translator” because he knows how to put complex security concepts into terms almost anyone can understand.

“At the risk of oversimplifying matters, I will try to explain things like I’m explaining it to my mother,” he said.

How does this sound in real life?

“This vulnerability we found in your system, CVE-2004-2689… let’s just look at the year of it, 2004. That’s 14 years old. That means it’s older than some of the people who are using it to load their memes on your website.”

Janne feels that the urge to seem like you know everything can get in the way of explaining most anything.

“In our desire to appear expert we often use terms that are unclear for the audience,” he said.

And it’s easy for him to not try to seem like a know-it-all because he knows very well what it’s like to know almost nothing about cyber crime.

“I actually drifted into the area, I was just looking for sales jobs in the ICT (Information and communication technology) industry in general and landed this job. I had been aware of hacks and stuff before, but never really understood them before I started figuring out what it was that I was selling,” he said. “The learning still continues.”

Luckily he landed in the right job.

“When I talk to people about my work I often get the response ‘That is so cool! You have such a cool job!'”

And one of the aspects that makes is so cool is the people he gets to work with.

“F-Secure has a unique combination threat intelligence from our millions of AV customers around the world, scalable analysis methods to process that information and detections, and world-class experts to tell the customer what this means and what should be done. These are some truly inspiring people to work with.”

Getting to host a podcast as part of his job has given him both the “best of times and the worst of times.” He’s a big fan of podcasts in general and the show Risky Business in particular. He describes the medium as “Interesting information on demand, what’s not to like?”

But his experiences on the show can truly test his “cyber translator” skills.

“Sometimes the conversation just flows, follow-up questions pop up naturally and everyone’s witty and funny, sometimes you literally can’t get a word out of the interviewee,” he said. “My key takeaway is that we as an industry need more stuff like this: not just the facts, but a look behind the facts, the whys and what-nows.”

For him, understanding is key to advancing technology, which is at its best when it augments the abilities of human beings.

“Both to take care of the more tedious tasks we’re faced with, but also enhancing our ability to accomplish things by metaphorically giving us all an army of minions, allowing us to focus on the creative work of setting the goals and coordinating their work.”

But he also looks forward to a future when connectivity makes live even more livable, and convenient.

“When I can spend my commute kicking back on a comfortable sofa watching Netflix while the car drives me to work, longer commutes become acceptable. This in turn leads to people living further away from city centers, which means goods and services have to be delivered to a wider, more distributed area. This will lead to both new types of services, but also traditional services being delivered in a new way. Maybe your hairdresser salon will be in a vehicle that drives to where you are, instead of the other way around?”

For now he’s just enjoying that technology has already made to possible for “some people do the kinds of things we do for an actual living.”

Check out the latest episode of Cyber Security Sauna with F-Secure’s Tom Van de Wiele for OpSec tips on protecting your privacy during summer travel.

And check out our open positions if you want to join Janne and the hundreds of other great fellows fighting to keep internet users safe from online threats.

Jason Sattler

22.06.18 4 min. read


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