How to Design for Cyber Security with Symantec Director of Product

What does Cyber Security have to do with Product Management? What does a Product Manager need to take into consideration when it comes to online security? Why is information driven product design important? In a recent event, we talked about all this and more.

Director of Product Management at Symantec

Nikon Rasumov, Director of Product Management at Symantec, has ten years of experience in building B2C and B2B start-ups from the ground up. As an expert in information driven product design, his publications and patents deal with how to minimize vulnerabilities resulting from sharing too much information.

Nikon’s product portfolio includes Symantec Cyber Resilience Readiness™, SecurityScorecard Automatic Vendor Detection ™, Symantec CyberWriter™ with various other insurance and security analytic platforms. He holds a Ph.D. from Cambridge University in computational neuroscience as well as affiliations with MIT and Singularity University.

What is Cyber Security?

The two most valued tech roles at the moment are data scientists and cyber security professionals. There are an estimated 1 million job openings for cyber security experts in the US alone. Information-driven product design uses information theory to combine data science and security skills while developing profitable products.

In a nutshell, information theory defines a logarithmic measure that only depends on the probability of events and is impartial to the value of the event itself. In other words, information theory treats alien landing and earthquakes equally if they occur at the same frequency.

This impartial perspective will guide the product development and simultaneously enable more data-driven design while restricting the information we reveal to the outside world for a potential misuse. Nikon talked about how we can build more secure products to make hackers’ lives more difficult, and build products that enable a strong foundation for data science and increase in revenue.

Designing for Cyber Security with Symantec's Director of Product

Bullet points:

  • There is a huge demand for data scientists and cyber security experts.
  • Product Manager helps data scientists and cyber security experts come together.
  • The most acknowledged framework for product design is called Design Thinking by Stanford Design School. Everything starts with empathy – attempt to understand the users and what motivates them.
  • Information theory: the amount of information that something is holding depends on the probability of how often it occurs. Something that happens rarely carries a lot of information.
  • According to experiments in dating sites, it didn’t matter how people answered the survey questions (e.g., do you like animals) but the key factor was how fast a person responds to messages.
  • Identifying management is important nowadays (like management of how long the passwords are).
  • Product Managers shouldn’t be cocky and say that they know how all data should be used.
  • When building products product managers always have to be careful with how much information they share on the internet because every little bit of information can be later used by the bad guys.
  • As a Product Manager what’s best to do is combine data science and cyber security to minimize the amount of information being exposed to the outside world and to maximize the amount of information kept in the system.
  • To think like a data scientist means that you don’t assume some information more important than others, but you collect it all.

The bad guys out there are always ready to use the information against your company if you’re not careful. To prevent this from happening the key is to know how to handle the collected information, hold onto it and share as little as possible. This is one of the things to keep in mind to be a great product manager. 

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