Sporting tattoos and with an unabashed love of heavy metal, Rik Ferguson is not what you'd expect from a security expert.
But having headed up Trend Micro's research for several years, Ferguson has become one of the industry's most recognisable and outspoken characters.
He was one of the first researchers to warn people of the growing threat of mobile malware. He has also been a vocal critic of of controversial regulation such as SOPA and PIPA.
V3 takes a look at what makes the Trend Micro director tick.
V3: What would be your dream job (apart from your current role, of course)?
Rik Ferguson: Best job I ever had was working in a record shop in the eighties so that's kind of a golden image for me. But I still always dream of living in an old farmhouse in the Dordogne, selling homemade pots from my front garden. I can't make pots.
Which mobile phone and tablet do you currently use?
My everyday phone is an iPhone. I tried to switch to Android, but it just didn't feel right. It was like switching to a left-hand drive car [even though] theoretically everything is the same. I have an iPad at home too, but it's only a web browsing device for me.
What's your favourite thing about working in the IT industry?
I love the punk ethic of the infosec community. We are all engaged and we all interact even though in many cases our employers compete. Most of us are creating work and expressing opinions with fairly limited means.
Which person do you most admire in the IT industry?
[BH Consulting founder] Brian Honan is someone I greatly admire. He is selfless, patient, intelligent, dedicated and driven. Most of all though, he puts far more into infosec than he could ever hope to get out. I'd call him a self-made man, but he's nowhere near done yet. He represents that punk ethic I mentioned, exactly.
Which technology has had the biggest impact on your working life?
In all honesty, the aeroplane; those Wright brothers have a lot to answer for, but you're probably looking from something a bit more recent: that would be the smartphone in conjunction with useable mobile bandwidth. Now there is no escape.
What's been the highlight of your career so far?
Getting inducted into the Infosecurity Hall of Fame last year was unexpected and a very big surprise, but it's all a result of coming to work for Trend Micro; so landing a job with a company that has given me wings has to be the highlight.
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