The Programmed Life of William Saito
William Saito is a Japanese American and former political strategist for Japan’s Prime Minister as a Cyber Security Expert. He is also the author of An Unprogrammed Life: Adventures of an Incurable Entrepreneur documenting his early years developing his software company I/O Software. Eventually, William Saito would go on to sell his company to Microsoft.
Today technology is everywhere; smart appliances like refrigerators and toaster are expected to exceed computers in online devices in the next decade. In numerous articles, Mr. Saito talks about cybersecurity and stopping major online cyber-attacks before they happen with his thinking in crisis before the crisis mode. In an interview submitted to Forbes, William claims “It’s possible to do security with low overhead without having to sacrifice its measure of effectiveness. Implementing isn’t enough; it misses the critical component of risk management.” This is what has sparked his current efforts to safeguard companies and individuals from these risks while simultaneously prevent these issues in the future.
William Saito recommends that organizations prevent these types of attacks in the future by implementing Executive Chief Information Security Officers who report on board security risks. Companies should also hold cybersecurity training and education programs for all their employees. Regular cybersecurity simulations must be carried out which prepare organizations against potential crisis scenarios. Another key point Mr. Saito mentions is the fact that companies should have forensics and public relations experts to disseminate information to stakeholders regarding their cybersecurity. Lastly, Cyber insurance should be taken into consideration for all types of organizations as cyber threats become increasingly common.
Growing up in the mid-1970’s in Walnut, CA just a short distance from Silicon Valley, William Saito witnessed firsthand the rise of the phenomena of personal computing. Struggling in Math and Science, his parents took out a second mortgage on their home to buy him a top of the line computer to help him with tutoring. After taking it apart and rebuilding it, William familiarized himself with the components that make computers work. After learning the hardware, he proceeded to learn software programming using Visual Basic.
As time progressed, William Saito would go on to develop PC-based software programs that turned personal computers into fingerprint scanners for the company Sony. His software company I/O developed a way to extract the main features from fingerprints in order to simultaneously compare millions of fingerprints using this simplified data. This led to Sony releasing a small, portable fingerprint scanner with the I/O recognition software Mr. Saito developed. This software program would later earn William Saito the Entrepreneur of the Year award in 1997.