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 product director Harri Kiljander who joined F-Secure in 2010.
Where were you 25 years ago?
I was studying computer science at Helsinki University of Technology, taking courses on computer graphics, artificial intelligence, software systems. I also had a summer job at the High-Energy Physics Lab of University of Helsinki, where I was porting a real-time operating system to some nuclear physics measuring equipment that was about to be delivered to the Large Electron-Positron Collider project at CERN in Switzerland.
What’s surprised you most since you’ve joined F-Secure?
I joined F-Secure three years ago. Over the years I had known people working at F-Secure but obviously I had not been able to see F-Secure from the inside. I must say that I’m still positively impressed of the relatively low amount of corporate politics for a company of this size. People at F-Secure are pretty pragmatic and they just want to get things done, effectively and efficiently. There’s also some amazing talent in the company, but this did not really come to me as a surprise.
What’s your favorite piece of technology?
That’s a tough question. I’m an engineer and designer and I like things that exhibit the three qualities listed by Vitruvius, the Roman architect, 2000 years ago: firmitas, utilitas, venustas — structures must be solid, useful, and beautiful. My Pashley Guv’nor bicycle is a pretty decent example of this.
What F-Secure memory is most irreplaceable to you?
We do quite a lot of user research, to understand our users and consumers better, so that we can design and deliver great products and services for them. I recall one focus group where a person was telling a story of his mother, who had seen an alert from the antivirus software running in her home computer. The mother had closed the laptop, wrapped the machine in a blanket, and put it into a closet, to “block the virus radiation”. In our industry we are often talking about some quite complicated and abstract things. The real people ‘out there’ are definitely not that interested in our security jargon, so our challenge and opportunity is to build products that are relevant in their lives and speak their language.
How will the world be different in 25 years?
We tend to overestimate the change that will occur short term and underestimate the change that will occur long term. Flying cars, probably not, however. 😉 Smarter and friendlier technology and cleaner energy for sure, and also changes in societies as the climate is getting warmer, weather more non-deterministic, and sea level rising in densely populated areas all over the world. The notion of privacy will undergo some seismic shifts as we are now starting to realize in the midst of the NSA debate. Most of our devices, houses and vehicles in the developed countries will be connected to some network, and by 2040 many of us are 24/7 connected, via electronic implants.
What’s your 25th birthday wish for F-Secure?
Happy birthday, F-Secure! Live long and prosper! 🙂
25 Fellows for 25 Years
Mikko 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 Graham — 2001
Miska Repo– 2004
Suh Gim Goh –2010
Orestis Kostakis — 2010
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