Data in the Dark: Data Protection
Hyperconnectivity is on the rise and, as a result, corporations' capacity to protect their own and their customers' data becomes more and more limited. Connection takes place over a network, so, as connection increases, that network increases in size and becomes less manageable. So, when everything is connected, how can corporations ensure that information stays with the right people, and sensitive data doesn't make its way into the wrong hands?
To give readers a look into the life of one of our security services employees, we spoke to Jennifer Arbalaez, Senior Service Line Manager. We asked her about her experience, how she came to work in data protection at Akamai, and what she thinks about the future of securing data.
Hi Jennifer. What is your role in data protection?
I have the great privilege of working for our security services team. I'm mainly responsible for helping our customers keep their data secure - I work in a customer-facing role. Specifically, I manage a team who secure and support security services.
With digital transformation taking place, the world is changing. Everything is connected, so, my primary role is helping customers to protect and secure their data.
With the rise of hyperconnectivity, the security of businesses, intellectual property, and customer data becomes a large part of their day to day operation.
As a company and a team, we're there to help protect their data.
How is data protection changing as a result of technological advancements?
The digital economy is evolving. Security is now a necessity and it will continue to evolve as a requirement for all companies. Just think about the European Union General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the most important change in data privacy regulation in 20 years.
At the same time, I do think attacks will continue to become more sophisticated, and having reliable and scalable security solutions are and will remain a top priority for all companies.
Tell me about your career journey and how you got to work in data protection.
I started in a Startup almost 10 years ago, where we were responsible for protecting customers from service attacks. Later, we were acquired by Akamai. I'm still with Akamai, continuing to help customers keep their data reliable and secure.
Did you always want to work in data security? How did you know what you wanted to do?
When I was exploring what to do, my father said he thought I should go into technology. I always had a passion for tech. The moment I got my first computer, when I was 11 years old, I was figuring out how to work it out by myself. Even in my high school years, I went into a technical academy. So, it started at a very young age, and my parents advised me to continue to do it.
How did you express that passion when you were younger?
I started playing with computers and networks when I was really young, setting up networks and helping my family with fixing their computers.
Then, little by little, I kept going with that passion. I was the one that people used to call to ask if I could fix their computer or to figure out what was going on with the Internet in their home or their office. I still remember setting up a few office networks at a very young age as well.
What does it look like to work in data protection day-to-day?
It's really exciting. My goal is to make sure my team stays up to date with the latest threats in technology, that we continue to be security advocates for our customers. Our core mission is to remain experts for our customers and to keep our customer services protected and secure.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
I think the most exciting thing is remaining that person behind the scenes, helping companies around the world to keep their data secure, and assisting when they need.
I still take a lot of pride in what I do because we help keep end users data secure, and ultimately keep businesses going.
Finally, how have Akamai supported your career?
I decided to go into leadership, and Akamai gave me the tools and the guidance that I needed to do that. So, I got myself ready, the opportunity presented itself, I applied for the job, and I got it.
Fast-forward to today, I am now the senior line manager and can continue my journey and continue to grow. My management continues to support me. They know I'm very keen to evolve. They've been supportive from a vocational perspective, from providing me with opportunities to work with different teams, to sending me to conferences like the Grace Hopper conference. They've been very supportive of my path.
At Akamai, data protection is our priority, not only for our clients but internally as well. As a leading provider of security services, we take our teams protection just as seriously as the company's we work for. Any information communicated over a network poses a security risk. However, with the right protection, and the forethought to spot potential weaknesses, there is no reason why companies with large networks can't keep their data processes safe and secure.