What our new chairman had to say on our CovertSwarm podcast
Updated: Mar 2
Our new non-executive chairman, Dominic Cameron, has a background overseeing the technical strategy and delivery of successful online businesses as well as having produced content for national media broadcasters. In our latest podcast episode, CovertSwarm founder Anders Reeves interviews Dominic about his career, his predictions for the industry, and what attracted him to this board role.
Dominic comes to CovertSwarm with an impressive and expansive career. It starts with a degree in electronic engineering from the University of Edinburgh, followed by a Masters in business administration at Harvard.
From there, he joined the BBC as a television producer and spearheaded programmes like Panorama and Newsnight.
He then played a key role in successful business ventures including lastminute.com, was the former CTO of Photobox and even shaped the digital fortunes of Moonpig. It’s a history that’s seen Dominic work in over 40 countries.
It’s here, at the pinnacle of his career, that Dominic joins the Swarm. But why CovertSwarm? And why now? In this latest CovertSwarm podcast episode, Anders probes to find out more.
You can listen to the full interview (episode 11) below or read a transcript of all the key topics we covered further down.
Supporting the Swarm
"The businesses that I'm most interested in are within the technology sector, in particular, the early stages, where there’s the most exploration, discovery and risk. And as companies grow their own mode of work, they grow their mode of thinking about people. I love supporting businesses with that."
For Dominic, it’s the people that drive his passion, whether it’s "building an emotional connection" with those he works with, or focusing on human behaviour:
"This could be buying or, in the case of CovertSwarm, understanding how people play into the security landscape of an organisation. Or seeing where technology has an impact on how they spend their time, improves their comfort or improves their safety."
Understanding the industry
Dominic’s expansive portfolio career has seen the industry evolve over several decades.
Anders asks him what might be coming next. Dominic offers:
"My view is that things are running quickly. Generally, I think of everything as moving fascinatingly fast, sometimes scarily fast."
However, Anders digs deeper: "I wonder, what is the frightening element about this speed?"
Dominic has a great example – social media. He cites the launch of Facebook in particular:
"They’ve transformed society in a way where it can’t keep up to evolve its governance and to evolve behaviours of different industries. People being able to connect more easily and share more easily was a wonderful change. But it’s ultimately left society unable to keep up."
The analogy works perfectly for modern businesses, where they scale and grow without considering how this impacts their security. Where vulnerabilities open up with every unguarded update. And where their attack surface – or possible entry points – change regularly. In Dominic’s view, the pattern is repeating:
"We now see similar challenges with this next wave of AI. It's going to change activities for millions of people during 2023 and 24, including our business. The thousands and thousands of activities that people have been doing one way will be done in a new way over the next few years."
This shift in activity and behaviour pairs well with CovertSwarm’s approach to cyber security, especially in the face of new and evolving risks, like AI. Our role in the industry is more important than ever, as we work to deliver continuous tailored cyber, social and physical security attacks through a simple monthly subscription.
"Every month, we work alongside organisations to uncover the security vulnerabilities that lead them to being breached. We then raise the alarm and guide the remediation steps required to close the gaps."
Changing attitudes to security
Anders now turns the focus to the kinds of businesses that CovertSwarm works with. Who really needs the help? And what are the challenges?
"Some businesses think about cybersecurity and electronic risk as a new category – part of their analysis and governance and planning. But in others, rigorous risk management isn’t a common practice.
Instead, they're very focused on growth, or survival in some cases, but ultimately success. The challenge is to bring the practices of protecting businesses from electronic attack to everyone because they impact everybody."
But how do you go about convincing businesses to invest in their cyber security?
"With GDPR and before that PCI, companies were alerted to the need to take their security more seriously. They’ve started to become more aware of cyber risk and the first thing they’re concerned about is accountability."
But the role people play in security goes further than that:
"I worry there’s too much faith in tooling and automation as opposed to understanding. Too many think that a tool is all you need and once you’ve got it, you can relax. There's a risk that the industry could encourage people to think a little bit passively."
So, what's really needed is a balance between human ingenuity and the quick and meticulous capabilities of technology. That's exactly the approach behind CovertSwarm.
Making a difference to our clients
To wrap up, Anders asks:
"How do you see CovertSwarm as being different or innovative or market challenging?"
"People as a team. The culture you’ve created, the attitude to meeting challenges and the attitude to connecting with that global community.
The subtle blend of technology solution and people behaviour – how they play into risk. How software is just a piece of what we’re delivering."
CovertSwarm takes that approach – solutions that combine humans and technology to cover all your bases – through a unique Red Team subscription service.
We test, probe, research and attack relentlessly to find weak spots before a cyber attacker does. Because while there’s no end to the creativity of the bad actors, there’s no end to the creativity of the good – and that’s what we’re here for.
As Dominic becomes part of our next chapter, we consider how it will all unfold.
"It’s a serendipitous opportunity to join a really amazing adventure with some amazing folks – in this case, yourself [Anders] and Luke and the team. I’m privileged to have that opportunity."
You can also follow the CovertSwarm podcast on Spotify, Apple, Google, or wherever you get your favourite podcasts. If you would like some further information on the red teaming services we provide, please don't hesitate to contact us.