25 Fellows for 25 Years: Pirkka Palomäki

F-Secure Life

1997_25th_timeline_web_images-01 As we celebrate our 25th anniversary over the next month, we’re paying tribute to the women and men who helped build the success story that is F-Secure. You can experience that story here and help us fight malware in our anniversary arcade game.

Today we speak to our Chief Security Officer Pirkka Palomäki who joined F-Secure in 1997.

Where were you 25 years ago?

I was just finishing my junior year in a music oriented high school in Finland in a city called Lahti. To be more exact, most likely around this time of the year, I was celebrating with my longtime friends graduating from high school, as I had spent the previous year as an exchange student and was now one year behind them.

What’s surprised you most since you’ve joined F-Secure?

I joined F-Secure – or actually Data Fellows as it was called back then – in December 1997. I had been working for an operator for four and a half years before that, so it was great fun to join a small and fast paced company. In the early years, the creativity of the bad guys has surprised me, even though we were thinking about all the possible avenues in advance to protect our customers. It was good, however, to see the speed we could build the countermeasures in such cases as well.

What’s your favorite piece of technology?

I’m a gadget man, so there are a lot of great pieces of technology that I like. Outside of F-Secure, a couple of things that first come to my mind are related to music. I really enjoy my multi-room audio system at home that connects to all my music related cloud services and can play my local music collections as well. I also like to play make music myself and just bought a new synth/keyboard that has absolutely fantastic sounds and the feel of a grand piano.

What F-Secure memory is most irreplaceable to you?

There are a lot of great memories of things we have done together over the years, and it is just too hard to lift just one memory as the most irreplaceable. We have worked hard, but also partied hard over the years and many good memories are linked to those.

How will the world be different in 25 years?

Back in the eighties it was fun to watch movies about the future, where we would be using flying cars and space travel was a commodity. Well, we all know the world has not changed in that respect that much in the past 25 years. Even though technology will evolve a lot over the next 25 years, I think we all will be surprised that so many things are still the same. The biggest changes will most likely be related to sources and availability of energy. The price of flying could have skyrocketed and there is less international travel in 25 years of time — or maybe we will have figured out something more environmentally friendly and sustainable by then…  

What’s your 25th birthday wish for F-Secure?

I wish F-Secure many more successful years to come and for us to become the biggest software company in Europe.

25 Fellows for 25 Years

Mikko Hypponen – 1991

Jyrki Airola — 1994

Pekka Usva — 1995

Kim Englund — 1996


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I remember when Frisk created F-Prot. He used to upload the latest versions to the Simtel Software Archive (aka SIMTEL20). How is Frisk doing these days?

[…] Hypponen – 1991 Jyrki Airola — 1994 Pekka Usva — 1995 Kim Englund — 1996 Pirkka Palomäki — 1997 Ilkka Ranta — 1997 Veli-Jussi Kesti — 1998 Taneli Virtanen — 1999 Kalle Korpi — 2001 Mike […]

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