Who are you, what did you want to be as a child and what do you do now at UniCredit?
I am Max Imbiel, and I live near Munich in Germany. Originally, I am from Berlin but moved to Bavaria almost 30 years ago. I got to know the Bavarian culture by marrying a beautiful local girl and am very soon to become the father of a second heartbreakingly cute girl.
As a kid I wanted to be a teacher. Being able to teach someone something and having a positive impact on an individual’s life fascinated me. But having to learn Latin at school kind of ruined it for me. Now, I work at UniCredit Bank AG as Head of Information Security and to be honest it is not that different from being a teacher. I am responsible for teaching a multi-thousand people corporation about Information and Cyber Security and I love it. So overall I would say, goal accomplished.
What do you enjoy most about your job and what is the proudest moment or greatest achievement of your career?
Again, I think what I really enjoy most is the ability to teach people about security and seeing that it sometimes takes root - not only in their business but also their personal lives. It fills me with great pleasure to see that the topics we talk about are becoming more and more embedded in the hearts and brains of all our colleagues and the whole organisation.
My proudest moments are when I receive acknowledgement and appraisal for the hard work my team is doing. I am fortunate enough to have such an amazing team, that this happens quite often. So, a lot of proud moments for me.
My greatest achievement was successfully running a pan-European multi-million Euro Data Security project and a couple of years later learning that my processes and presentations were still in use today by people I onboarded and put into the driver position.
And what is the hardest part of your job or most difficult moment at work?
The hardest part is when something fails, and the first reaction is to blame it on Security. Even though I keep a positive mind and try my best to resolve the issue - which is very often not related to security - it bugs me that this finger pointing is still happening.
What advice would you give your younger self or somebody considering this role as a career?
As I am completely happy with where I am today, I would probably still do what I did. It got me here and I would not change that for the world.
But for anyone interested in a career within Information/Cyber Security, I would say this. Train your social skills because security is always about people even if you are an engineer. Do not finger point security failures to others but try to educate them on how to prevent them. Learn from the best by reading! So many Security professionals have written about their line of work - you can probably read a book about everything there is to know. And finally, don’t be greedy!