Canadian Security Magazine

Top 10 Under 40: Hadis Karimipour, Canada research chair and associate professor, University of Calgary

By Canadian Security Staff   

News top 10 under 40

What do you enjoy most about security?

What I enjoy most about security is its dynamic nature. Cybersecurity plays a critical role in our daily lives, constantly evolving and presenting new challenges. It requires individuals from diverse backgrounds and perspectives to collaborate effectively. I find it fascinating to stay updated on advancements in technology because there’s always something new happening in this domain. The field never stagnates, keeping me engaged and motivated to continually learn and adapt to emerging threats and technologies.

Beyond the dynamic nature of cybersecurity, what I find truly enriching is how my personal experiences in research and teaching intersect with this field. In my research, delving into the complexities of securing cyber-physical systems has allowed me to witness firsthand the intricate interplay between technology, human behaviour and security protocols. This firsthand experience has underscored the importance of interdisciplinary collaboration in addressing cybersecurity challenges, as it often requires insights from various domains to develop comprehensive solutions.

Moreover, in my role as a teacher, I’ve had the privilege of imparting knowledge and fostering critical thinking skills among my students. Teaching about cybersecurity goes beyond simply conveying theoretical concepts; it involves instilling a mindset of vigilance and adaptability. Engaging with students from diverse backgrounds has reinforced the notion that effective cybersecurity strategies must be inclusive and accessible to all, regardless of expertise level or field of study.

Is there one piece of advice you have received that has helped you engage with your security role more effectively?

One piece of advice that has greatly helped me engage with my security role more effectively is to always prioritize collaboration and communication. In the complex landscape of cybersecurity, no one person or team can address all the challenges alone. By fostering open communication channels and actively seeking collaboration with colleagues, industry experts and other stakeholders, I’ve been able to leverage diverse perspectives and expertise to develop more robust security strategies and solutions.

What do you do outside of your job that helps you manage stress or gain perspective on your work?

Outside of my job, I’ve cultivated several hobbies and activities that help me manage stress and gain perspective on my work. While cybersecurity can indeed be challenging and demanding, I find solace and rejuvenation through creative outlets such as painting and playing the piano. Engaging in these artistic pursuits allows me to tap into a different part of my mind, providing a welcome respite from the analytical and problem-solving aspects of my job.

Overall, by incorporating these hobbies and activities into my life outside of work, I’m able to maintain a healthy balance between professional responsibilities and personal well-being. They not only help me manage stress but also provide valuable opportunities for self-expression, reflection and creativity, ultimately enhancing my overall perspective on both work and life.

Do you have any advice for budding security professionals who are interested in launching a career?

Absolutely. I have several pieces of advice:

Embrace the diversity of cybersecurity. Understand that cybersecurity is a diverse and interdisciplinary field. It’s not solely about coding or technical tasks; there are myriad social, legal, ethical, and managerial aspects to consider. Explore different facets of cybersecurity to find where your interests and strengths lie.

Recognize that cybersecurity can be complex and challenging, but don’t let that deter you. Instead, view challenges as opportunities for growth and learning. Every obstacle you encounter is a chance to develop new skills and deepen your understanding of the field.

Stay curious and committed to lifelong learning. The landscape of cybersecurity is constantly evolving, with new threats, technologies, and best practices emerging regularly. Take advantage of resources such as online courses, workshops, conferences, and professional certifications to stay updated and expand your knowledge base.

Cultivate a broad skillset that encompasses technical expertise, problem-solving abilities, communication skills and a strong understanding of cybersecurity principles. Being well-rounded will make you more versatile and effective in your role.

Seek mentorship and networking opportunities. Surround yourself with experienced professionals who can offer guidance, advice and mentorship as you navigate your career path. Network with peers, join professional organizations, attend industry events and participate in online forums to expand your connections and learn from others in the field.

Remember the importance of ethical conduct and responsible behaviour in cybersecurity. Uphold principles of integrity, confidentiality and accountability in all your endeavours. Respect privacy rights, adhere to legal and regulatory requirements and prioritize the security and well-being of individuals and organizations.

Overall, remember to stay curious, keep learning and never underestimate the value of perseverance and dedication.


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