Meet the Team – Andrew Hodges
Chief Technology Officer at MYHSM
While we are working from home, and unable to see each other in person as much as we would like, we are determined to continue connecting with our customers.
So, in our second ‘meet the team’ instalment we’re introducing our Chief Technical Officer, Andrew Hodges. Here you can discover more about his career history prior to joining MYHSM, what his role entails, and how he sees the development of the payments landscape.
Can you tell me about your career history, what has been a highlight?
I went to Bath University to study Electronic Engineering, and after graduating I spent six years designing diesel engine management controllers for Lucas Automotive in Cirencester. While I was there, I became interested in understanding the system as a whole, both from a hardware and a software perspective. That’s why I branched out into embedded software, partly to prove we could reduce product cost by moving hardware functionality into software.
Following the birth of my first son I wanted a job closer to home, so I started work for Dione in High Wycombe as a firmware engineer. This was in the days before chip and PIN hit the UK, and Dione led the way in the role-out of chip and PIN Point of Sale (POS) terminals over the following few years. I spent 10 years at Dione (later bought by Verifone), and during that time I gained a detailed understanding of a wide range of subjects, including various EMV and PCI approvals, whilst keeping my hand in with electronic design.
A highlight of my career was after I joined Miura Systems as the 3rd employee in 2009. Starting with a blank sheet of paper and no employees, I designed the platform and recruited the development team to design and manufacture a brand-new mobile POS terminal with all of the relevant statutory, security, payment and quality approvals in just 13 months. The platform was designed to allow companies to rapidly develop bespoke payment solutions with all the standard payment and security approvals required by the industry at the time.
What does your job entail and what are your main responsibilities at MYHSM?
I’m the CTO at MYHSM, so I head up the technical side of the business. It’s my responsibility to coordinate our three expert technical teams (HSM, Network and Web development) to ensure we maintain the highest level of control, security, and availability at all times.
What has been the most challenging technical obstacles you have had to overcome in setting up the MYHSM service?
Well, Payment HSMs are very complex to set up and maintain correctly. In fact, the two most challenging, and therefore interesting, obstacles were, firstly, how to streamline, and where possible, automate HSM processes which were designed to be very manual, and secondly, how to give full visibility to each of our customers. And the answer to both of these was the MYHSM Portal, which is at the heart of the whole MYHSM solution.
How do you see your responsibilities changing as the payment security landscape develops?
I have always felt that part of my responsibility is to help improve the security of the payment industry as a whole, by helping to design solutions which make it easy for people to operate in a secure manner, which is compliant with the latest PCI standards. So, as the security landscape becomes more complex it becomes more and more important to build upon the security of others, and to use secure solutions set-up and maintained by experts in their field. That’s what’s great about working for MYHSM, we’re ideally placed to remove the complexity, and potential security vulnerabilities, involved in maintaining payment HSMs, whilst still allowing customers full visibility of the underlying equipment and architecture.
What aspect of your job sparks your enthusiasm the most?
What I love most in my working life is to collaborate with highly skilled technical experts in their field, understand their views and guide the discussion to reach consensus on the perfect over-all solution. This has never been truer than at MYSHM