Interview With Chris Mayers – Citrix
PIA recently sat down with Chris Mayers, Senior Principal Security Engineer at Citrix and asked him about his company’s Virtual Apps and Desktops offering.
Private Internet Access: What do you love about working in cybersecurity?
Chris Mayers: It’s a workout for the brain. Every day is different, and there’s a huge span of issues: from the technical detail of cryptography at one end, to business strategy at the other. And quite often, you’re dealing with both in the same day: macOS security configuration in the morning, and business risk analysis in the afternoon.
PIA: What does your company do?
CM: Citrix is all about powering better, more secure ways to work. We deliver solutions that allow people to work anywhere, any time on any device or network. Citrix Workspace, our digital workspace platform, includes products that cover DaaS and VDI, app delivery and security, networking and content collaboration and work management. We’re best known for our Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops offering, which enterprises use to provide secure access to everything employees need to get work done, wherever it needs to get done.
PIA: Why do individuals and companies need a good VPN?
CM: Business needs secure communications technology to operate – particularly in today’s world of remote work. VPNs can be a vital tool for securely accessing internal resources. But they need to be chosen wisely and carefully configured for use in risky environments such as hotels and cafes that employees are returning to.
PIA: What are the worst cyberthreats out there today?
CM: According to SonicWall, there were more than 623 million ransomware attacks in 2021. And they remain among the worst threats today as hackers, flush with cash, expand their networks and become more sophisticated.
Then there are attacks on unprotected assets, which is a symptom of a wider security problem: Shadow IT. You can’t protect what you can’t see. If IT doesn’t deliver what the business needs, employees will find their own solutions. And they will be insecure and open the door for bad actors to wreak havoc. We did a survey of IT decision makers, in which this was cited as a top concern, with 54 percent of respondents indicating they’ve seen a surge in employees installing unsanctioned software.
PIA: How is the pandemic changing the way your company deals with cybersecurity?
CM: Hybrid work was seen by many as a temporary solution to the pandemic problem. But it’s not going away. To deliver it, companies need to ensure reliable, secure, and high-performant access to all the apps, content, and collaboration tools employees need to do their best work – whether they are working at home, in the office, or anywhere in between. And this requires zero trust security, with flexible controls to match the business need.