Me and my job: Surendhar Subramani

How do you describe your job to average people?

I help organization protect confidential papers like company ledgers, proposals and employee personal data and passwords. Mostly I try to quote examples from finance and business economics so that people get my point. Or rather I would say “digital policing.”

Why did you get into IT security?

The importance and priority given by financial institution and C-level people is among the reasons. Once I met a top guy in the banking sector who was concerned about recent security breaches. He immediately updated the board regarding our discussion. It was the first time I was having a call with a C-level person. Second reason is the rate of change and the momentum it gained. From workstation security it had reached aerospace. Recently, I saw a lot of job vacancies for aerospace IT security. 

What was one of your biggest challenges?

Developing and communicating ROI to management. Say you provide a laptop to all employees, called a “desktop free office.” You can easily say that it will reduce the cost in electricity and workspace. If you ask for a firewall, it is a bit complex. It is a tough situation for a security pro to convince management. You can say, you prevented something bad, but you have not brought in business.

What keeps you up at night?

Insider fraud or the security incident which went unnoticed.

Of what are you most proud?

The level of understanding and security awareness among developed nations. When you take developed nation strategies, security has always been taken into account. 

For what would you use a magic IT security wand?

To create a 100 percent flawless security system that finds the bad guy before he commits fraud – a kind of “intelligent intrusion management system.”

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