Q&A with Andrew Seldon, Editor, Hi-Tech Security Solutions

March 12, 2012

By Rose Ross, @Rose_at_O

Andrew Seldon is Editor of Hi-Tech Security Solutions, a leading IT security publication based in South Africa.

Q.  Tell us a bit about yourself: 

I spend way too much time reading scifi, talking to my cat and feeling guilty that I should be out having a life. Apart from that, I love IT (I started out with a BSc in Computer Science before something made me get into IT journalism).

The security industry is a good fit for my natural paranoia and it is changing fast, much like the IT world of the late 90s. Since I have an IT background, these changes are quite exciting for me.

Q. Tell us a bit about the titles you write for and their interest in IT security: 

Hi-Tech Security Solutions is a magazine that was started about 15 years ago to focus on the physical security world. Today, however, IT is playing a larger role in traditional security – so much so that some IT integrators are seeing security as another function of IT. Because of this, we’ve expanded our scope to still include the traditional security market, but also the IT/network security field.

This means that some of the primary issues around virtualisation/cloud/mobile adoption are now in our arena because none of these solutions will work if not secured – well, they will work, but not quite as painlessly as one would like.

Storage also fits into our segment. As IT starts managing the security function and using their networks to transport video, it will have to start managing the storage and analysis of enormous amounts of video.

Q. What’s “hot” in IT security this year? 

There are a few hotspots at the moment.

In surveillance the two areas everyone is getting excited about are the ability to record footage that is clear enough for you to use in court (which doesn’t seem to be as easy as it should be); and video analytics, as it’s far better to let technology monitor cameras and only involve humans when motion is detected or some alarm event is triggered.

In IT security, people have realised that the greatest threat to your business information is from insiders, not hackers. One of the statistics I love is that 25% of people will always be honest and ethical, 25% will always be criminally inclined and will take any opportunity when they can, and the other 50% can be swayed either way. I guess this means business leaders need to set the example of ethical and honest conduct to keep the undecided half on the right track – which doesn’t bode well for the financial industry.

Q. How many events do you attend each year? 

The primary ones for me are IFSEC in the UK and South Africa, Retail Risk and iLegal.

Q. Which one(s) are you most looking forward to? 

IFSEC is always fun – as long as you don’t exhibit, then it’s stressful.

Q. What types of stories or companies are likely to attract your attention this year? 

We cover the usual range of stories, from news and products in the security field through to trends and thought leadership pieces from all sectors within the security market. We also find case studies from various verticals are popular with readers.

Q. How many interviews do you do per week? 

 It’s difficult to say. However many are required.

 Q. What’s the best way to pitch a story to you?

E-mail is always the best. I generally respond within a week or two.

Q. Is there anything PRs and vendors should bear in mind when pitching or briefing you vis a vis your being based in South Africa?

We always want a local angle, although international case studies and best practices are also important. And also remember that South Africa isn’t the back of beyond.

Q. What is the best piece of advice for companies pitching stories?

Just pitch them. Email is the best way. There’s more chance of success if they’re aimed at whatever we’re working on for that issue. The media profile is at http://technews.co.za/mpfr/HSS.pdf.

Q. What are your favourite blogs?

There are many good ones out there. My favourite changes depending on which one has the best story that day/week. Schneier and Brenner are regular reads, among others. There are a few interesting sources from South Africa too.

Q. What is your favourite piece of technology?

My Samsung tablet is the favourite child.

Q. What do you think is the most important development in IT to date? 

In the security market, the growth of IP-based systems and solutions has and will change the industry tremendously. It’s an exciting time to be in this industry.

Q. What was the best press trip you’ve ever been on? Worst? Why?

Best was a trip to HYT (now Hytera) in China. The organisation and people I was with were fantastic. They made it an unforgettable experience. Apart from that, the company made the right people available so you could ask anything and find out more than you ever wanted to know.

Second best was with JD Edwards (before Oracle) in London. They used to have a cool CEO.

Third best was a trip to Germany with Konica Minolta. The event ended the day before the rugby world cup final so the organisers stopped in London the next day so we could watch it in a pub there. We beat England J. I think we also met with a few VPs and whatever.

Worst was with IBM to Frankfurt. The organisation sucked.

Q. What’s your favourite restaurant? (Or type of food?)

Parker’s Grill in Rosebank, Johannesburg. Somehow they have kept up their superb quality of food for years. Never an unhappy meal.

 Q. Are you a social media lover? Which ones are you on? FB? LinkedIn? Twitter?

I’m on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. The first two are my primary social media sites. Facebook is like the town gossip that’s always got something to say about everyone.

Q. Tell us something no one knows about you.

I was once asked to be a guest lecturer in Total Quality Management at the Ludwig-Maximilians University in Munich. I don’t know why either. Oh, and I once played Riff Raff from the Rocky Horror Show.

Copyright ©Launchpad Europe 2012. All rights reserved. You may copy and distribute this material as long as  you credit the author where possible; the copies are distributed only for non-commercial purposes and at no charge; and you include this copyright notice and link to Countdown2Infosecurity.com, the original source of the work.

If you have any questions, please contact Launchpad Europe, info@launchpad-europe.com.


  1. […] interviewed many of the judges on the Countdown blogs, including Simon Robinson, Teresa Cottam, Andrew Seldon, Chris Mellor,and others. We’ll also be interviewing other judges in the coming weeks on this […]

  2. […] interviewed many of the judges on the Countdown blogs, including Simon Robinson, Teresa Cottam, Andrew Seldon, Chris Mellor, and others. We’ll also be interviewing other judges in the coming weeks on this […]

  3. […] interviewed many of the judges on the Countdown blogs, including Simon Robinson, Teresa Cottam, Andrew Seldon, Chris Mellor, and others. We’ll also be interviewing other judges in the coming weeks on this […]

  4. […] Andrew Seldon, Editor, Hi-Tech Security Solutions […]

  5. […] Andrew Seldon, Editor, Hi-Tech Security Solutions […]

  6. […] Andrew Seldon, Editor, Hi-Tech Security Solutions […]

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