Michael Figueroa, the Senior Director of Strategy and Information Security Services at Toptal, is the guest in the recent episode of the Dinis Guarda YouTube Podcast series. He shares valuable insights about how global businesses and talent, through platforms like Toptal, can make significant advancements in the current hyper-changing technological landscape, while maintaining the highest standards of cybersecurity and ethics. The podcast is powered by platforms like openbusinesscouncil and citiesabc.
As industries are transformed by automation, artificial intelligence, and digital disruption, organisations must adapt to survive and thrive. Acquiring and retaining skilled professionals who can navigate these hyper-changing markets is a strategic imperative for companies across all sectors.
Toptal is a global freelancing platform that connects businesses with software engineers, designers, finance experts, product managers, project managers, and more. Michael Figueroa is responsible for establishing and growing Toptal's security services and has more than 20 years of experience in various security and consulting roles.
He highlighted that the current pace of technological change has created a seismic shift in the talent landscape. As businesses race to stay ahead, they require professionals who possess a blend of technical expertise, adaptability, and a growth mindset.
"The core theme is to move quickly. We know the market is going to turn, it always does. It's just a matter of rebaselining and figuring out the pathways of the future. Networks like Toptal are helping businesses adapt to these shifts in the most nimble and agile fashion so that they focus on the solutions that they have established for themselves,” Michael shared with Dinis.
Mitigating Cybersecurity and ethical issues in the web 3.0 world
In the past, organisations and individuals relied heavily on walled cybersecurity measures such as firewalls, antivirus software, and intrusion detection systems to fortify their defences. While these measures provided a level of protection, they often operated on static rules and signatures that struggled to keep pace with the rapidly evolving threat landscape.
"The perception of control in the yesteryears has always been a myth", Michael said.
He argued that cybercriminals constantly find new ways to breach these walls, rendering traditional measures inadequate in the face of emerging threats such as advanced malware, social engineering, and zero-day exploits.
According to Michael, staying informed and continuously learning about emerging threats, vulnerabilities, and best practices is crucial for effective defence.
"In this hyper-changing environment, we just have to understand that from a security perspective, our best opportunity is to keep up with the changes by being informed about it and by utilising our available talent to help us in that process. It's important to understand how this change is impacting us, instead of trying to wall ourselves from it, so that we can actually start engaging our workforce to better use it and be better custodians of what it is to be a part of corporate culture", said Michael.
In the technological dynamic world, evolution of talent and skill is the key
As industries grapple with this transformative landscape, there is a growing recognition of the need for experts who possess a deep understanding of disruptive technology. However, it is equally important to acknowledge that experience will unfold organically as we embark on the journey of harnessing these innovations. Michael told Dinis:
"It's an interesting time when we are facing these major disruptive events. There will be a huge focus on the experts who understand this disruptive technology. But we also need to recognise that experience is going to be organic as we start learning how to use it."
Therefore, a synergy between expertise and experience is essential. While experts provide the necessary knowledge and guidance, experience adds a layer of practical wisdom that can only be gained through active engagement with these transformative technologies. Organizations should foster an environment that encourages collaboration, enabling experts and novices alike to learn from each other's insights and experiences.
"There is an emerging trend where companies are going to hire talent based on skills, ones that are evolving with the markets. These companies would then find an edge over their competitors while making an overall impact", Michael highlighted.
Misuse of tech should never be a barrier for us to learn and embrace it
Technology, in its essence, is neutral. It is the way we utilize and directs its capabilities that determine its impact. In the realm of technology, we often come across instances where a promising innovation is used for malicious purposes. From social media platforms to cutting-edge advancements like artificial intelligence and biotechnology, every good tech has the potential for misuse.
"Technology has a history of bringing about disruptions that can potentially be used badly. But we will still continue to innovate. That's the best thing about humans is that we continue to push boundaries, even though we don't always succeed in the best of ways", said Michael.
He highlighted the essence of discussions and forums on the potential misuse of Generative AI, because it paves the way to establish a consensus and ultimately create a policy framework for the same.
To listen to the full podcast episode, click here.
To explore other podcast episodes, visit Dinis Guarda YouTube channel.
Hernaldo Turrillo is a writer and author specialised in innovation, AI, DLT, SMEs, trading, investing and new trends in technology and business. He has been working for ztudium group since 2017. He is the editor of openbusinesscouncil.org, tradersdna.com, hedgethink.com, and writes regularly for intelligenthq.com, socialmediacouncil.eu. Hernaldo was born in Spain and finally settled in London, United Kingdom, after a few years of personal growth. Hernaldo finished his Journalism bachelor degree in the University of Seville, Spain, and began working as reporter in the newspaper, Europa Sur, writing about Politics and Society. He also worked as community manager and marketing advisor in Los Barrios, Spain. Innovation, technology, politics and economy are his main interests, with special focus on new trends and ethical projects. He enjoys finding himself getting lost in words, explaining what he understands from the world and helping others. Besides a journalist, he is also a thinker and proactive in digital transformation strategies. Knowledge and ideas have no limits.