Mahdi Pourzaferani Focuses His Talents on New Approaches to Network Security
Veteran programmer currently developing network-based security tools
Mahdi Pourzaferani's network programming expertise has fueled the development of some of the world’s most popular games. He has now turned his attention to an even more impactful challenge: developing and delivering new approaches to network security.
As a Security Researcher at OpTic Gaming and a Network Programmer at EA Sports, Pourzaferani was responsible for the security and performance of two esports luminaries. In such a fast-evolving, high-stakes environment, his teams could afford to sacrifice neither speed nor reliability nor rock-solid security. The techniques and methods he helped to devise and implement as an esports programmer gave Pourzaferani's career focus and led him to consider approaches to network security that could deliver similar benefits to organizations of all types.
"At both OpTic Gaming and EA Sports, we had a terrific opportunity to develop new methods of network security," Pourzaferani reflects. "The demands were enormous, but the user base-especially at OpTic-was more limited and better-known than those of most enterprise companies. That helped us deliver security measures that relied in part on a highly knowledgeable user base who had a direct and abiding interest in contributing to network security."
The challenge for organizations with larger, more disparate user bases is more complex, according to Pourzaferani, who has continued serving the gaming community through his latest venture, FiveM Store.
"The weakest link in any network security system is its user base," ne notes. "That's not a criticism of all the people who take appropriate safety measures. Most end users do. But it only takes one moment of weakness on the part of one user to compromise an entire network. Applications with discrete user bases can shore up their security without unduly compromising access and performance, but larger, more open-ended systems still struggle with that side of things."
To complement the training and follow-up that larger systems rely upon to mitigate against human error, Pourzaferani is now developing network-based tools capable of identifying the fingerprints of serious security breaches and tracing any resulting security threats within the network. He likens his approach to the human immune system.
"No matter how careful we are in the world, we are constantly exposed to a wide range of threats, from irritants like pollen to viruses like the one that caused a global pandemic. We have to be smart enough not to take any undue risks, but we also need to rely on our own internal defenses. The same, I believe, should be true of network security. Ten years ago, we didn't have the tools to give networks their own effective defense systems. Now, we are in position to develop them. I'm excited about the prospects of the work I've done so far in this area, and I can't wait to share the results with the world."