James Packer

Packer has a wealth of experience in technology, especially in security, having spent seven of his 13 years in the industry as an infosec professional. That includes his current role as Chief Information Security Officer at EF Education First, where he brings his expertise in cloud security, incident management, security awareness and culture, risk management and technical security training.

Packer is an advocate for breaking the barriers around the cyber field; instilling a culture of information security as everyone’s responsibility.

How do you ensure diversity is included in your IT recruitment?

First, by prioritizing the hiring of with, giving all staff an equal opportunity to progress and move on to other roles, including junior staff where training and development is required; we give staff equal opportunities to get the best out of themselves. Second, as a global company, we get applicants from all over the world; and regardless of location, we consider candidates based on their skills and experience, if a position needs to be made 100% remotely because a candidate is great and perfect for the role, we will make that happen.

What technology are you most excited about right now?

Zero Trust solutions and Access Brokers that are both comprehensive in their integrations, but also able to connect to the latest technology delivery tools such as Kubernetes, CI/CD and native cloud tooling.

What do you do to relax?

I enjoy spending time helping my son learn and grow; he is only five years old. I also love networking, volunteering and giving back to the security industry, especially helping members of the public be more secure. Finally, I enjoy sunny rides on my motorcycle in the mountains.

If you were an animal (different from a human), what animal would you be and why?

I would be a meerkat – because I’m not afraid to voice concerns, but I can also be very quiet and observant when needed. Also because I am very family oriented and take care of my ‘gang’.

What makes you laugh?

Different things! Humor is one of my lifelines for happiness and it follows me personally and professionally! 1. Poignant GIFs 2. British Comedians’ Sense of Humor 3. Donald Trump! 4. Telling stories

How did you end up in IT?

From an early age I was drawn to computers, mesmerized by the magic of the plastic box with images from all over the world. I then became curious about how it worked, how to break it and how to fix it. That brought me to my first job repairing printers and servers in a print shop. Things have only escalated and gotten more enchanting since then!

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