Tony Jarvis is Check Point Security’s Chief Technology Officer (CTO) although he prefers the term advocate or evangelist.

GadgetGuy had the pleasure of chatting to Tony about all matters security, especially those relating to consumers.

Check Point

Tony rightly points out that Check Point is one of the big four enterprise vendors along with names like Cisco, Palo Alto Networks, and Juniper. But, don’t worry. What is happening at the big end of town is happening to consumers too. It is just that Enterprise has more money and resources to throw at the problem – and much more at stake.

The good thing for consumers is that the technology that protects banks, governments and military is flowing down to them.

The interview was far-ranging, so the best I can do is paraphrase.

GG: Tell us how you got into Security?

I am a Melbourne boy gaining an Honours grade Bachelor of Commerce, Accounting and Business Management as well as an Honours grade Bachelor of Information Systems. Add to that certifications from Cisco (CCSP/CCNP), CompTIA (A+ and Nwtwork+), Juniper (JNCIS-SEC), (ISC)² (CISSP), ITIL (V3) and ISACA (CISA) and sixteen years’ experience and you begin to see what it takes to become a CTO.

Check Poitn

As you do, I went from Uni to Telstra in 2003 as a Network Specialist. It is great training covering core networks, security, network optimisation, SLA, and managed network services for enterprise and government clients. Then KAZ for three years at a Network Engineer rounded out my post-uni conversion from theory to practice.

I spent a little over six years with Standard Chartered Bank in Singapore as a Senior Security Specialist/Infrastructure and Security Architect. Let’s just say that breaches and downtime for a bank are catastrophic and this was a great baptism. Banks are a prime target for hackers and cybercriminals.

I did a brief stint with FireEye working on prevention of Zero-Day attacks and learnt more about incident response, forensic investigations, information security and cyber operations.

In January 2016 I became Check Point’s CTO for the Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa. Let’s just say that my job is about thought leadership and strategic advice.

GG: Computer virus has been around since MS-DOS days of the ’80s and 90s. What has changed?

(Note this is an amalgam from both GG and Tony).

Virus writing was all about infecting an MS-DOS or later Windows PC because they could. It was fun, and many universities used virus writing as a basis for learning to code. Pre-internet you had to put a floppy disk into the PC and run an infected program, but there was little you could do to exfiltrate data or infect networks.

GG: Ha – so it’s true that Steve Jobs funded or encouraged virus development for Microsoft machines and virus writers to lay off Macintosh?

I cannot confirm or deny. There were rumours.

Check Point

But virus writing for fun moved to virus writing for profit with the advent of the internet and now today’s always-connected world.

We now have hackers working for nation states that break into computer systems and steal secrets. These are the somewhat brilliant if misguided people that invent the tools. Today we call this malware, and these carry all manner of payloads.