Mark Robinson is Nova Leah’s new Engineering Manager, having joined the team in August 2021. Mark is a vastly experienced engineer with over twenty years’ commercial experience working with international companies in both Ireland and The United States. In the past 12 months there have been lots of fascinating developments in the world of cybersecurity, compliance and connected medical devices. It’s an interesting time for both Nova Leah and the medical device industry.
At Nova Leah, our team is incredibly excited to welcome Mark aboard and lean on his wealth of knowledge, experience and expertise. We sat down with Mark in order to get to know him a little better. We asked him about his career highlights to date, his opinion on critical trends for SaaS and what motivates him.
Q&A with Mark Robinson, Nova Leah’s Engineering Manager
Your career in technology has spanned decades and you have worked and studied all over the world. What are you most proud of in your career to date?
Having worked for start-ups and early stage companies, I’ve learned how to be adaptable and embrace taking on different challenges outside my comfort zone. I’ve worn many hats and have done so successfully. It’s this aspect of my professional life that I’m most proud about.
As a technologist you’ve seen industries being completely disrupted by innovation. In your opinion what are the most critical trends for SaaS products in the next 5-10 years?
More businesses are turning toward informed and research based decision making, increasing the demand for AI enhanced SaaS products. AI integration is a huge springboard for process automation and improving efficiency across many areas, including cybersecurity, healthcare, data surveillance and monitoring.
Businesses of all sizes are becoming more global and embracing added opportunities provided by accessibility to the Internet, however, this in turn brings with it issues around security and transparency. Blockchain makes it easier to monitor inaccuracies in data enabling SaaS companies to stop fraud, enhance reliability, therefore improving customer loyalty.
Analytics are becoming a central component of SaaS platforms, enabling business intelligence and data driven decision making. Centralised analytics provide users with a view of their data from a single point of truth, giving access to vital business information from any device, anytime.
What makes you most excited about joining Nova Leah?
When I decided to seek a new opportunity I wanted to find a dynamic, innovative company at the forefront of their field, leveraging cutting edge technology. Nova Leah ticked all boxes. The founders are internationally-recognised cybersecurity and risk management experts. They are utilising AI and ML to disrupt and revolutionise the medical device industry’s approach to cybersecurity. Nova Leah’s technology has applications across many sectors and I’m delighted to have the opportunity to join the team.
What do you think are the biggest cybersecurity challenges for companies in 2021?
- The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in hospitals and healthcare providers being overrun with patients. As they struggled to cope, the focus on patient care took away focus and resources from other areas, including cybersecurity, leaving them vulnerable to attack. In 2020, cybercriminals took advantage and cyberattacks against hospitals increased 45% worldwide. The exploitation of hospitals and healthcare providers continues to be a major problem in 2021 and beyond.
Exploitation of remote working
- Employees working from home rely on VPNs and remote access solutions to access the corporate network. Hackers are exploiting poor password security and VPN vulnerabilities to steal data and plant ransomware.
- Remote workers are using computers outside the corporate cybersecurity perimeter and are less likely to be up to date. These vulnerable and compromised endpoints are easy targets.
Cloud adoption outpacing security
- A remote workforce needs the accessibility, flexibility, scalability offered by cloud based solutions. Cloud infrastructure is very different from on-premise and these differences introduce unique security challenges. Learning how to secure systems hosted on shared servers in vendor-specific environments is challenging, especially when most companies are using services provided by multiple different vendors. In 2021, the failure to implement effective cloud security will remain a major problem
Double extortion ransomware
- Ransomware has been a growing threat in recent years and 2021 has seen an increase in the double extortion model. In addition to encrypting data and demanding a ransom for the recovery, criminal organisations are now also stealing valuable data and either posting it online or selling it if the target organisation does not pay. The HSE attack earlier this year being a typical example where hackers both encrypted HSE data and also released patient information online.
What was your first computer?
Amstrad CPC 464
What are your favourite productivity apps?
What motivates you?
I’m motivated by a challenge. I love being asked to do something I’ve not done before and figuring out the best way to do it.
Outside of work, what are you passionate about?
I’m a member of a local GAA club and been involved in various capacities over the years from underage coaching to helping out at committee level.