All my life I dreamt of doing something that helps society. Today, as a Cybersecurity Manager in Siemens Smart Infrastructure I am helping to protect people’s livelihoods and privacy, as well as the cybersecurity of the essential systems in smart buildings, where people live and work.
My personal path
Do you remember the time you got asked what your favorite lesson at school is? To me, it was and has always been clear: mathematics. Ever since then, my passion and skills grew and I have received many academic prizes and awards, conducted research in the field of number theory which led to new use cases for cryptography and finally, I finished my PhD in Computer Science at the age of 25.
Having accomplished many academic achievements, I wanted to aim for the real problems and how to solve them. All my life I was dreaming of doing something which can help our society. Today, as a Cybersecurity Manager at Siemens Smart Infrastructure, I am ensuring that products and solutions for smart buildings meet the required cybersecurity standards while supporting the needs of users and stakeholders.
Quality of life and cybersecurity through smart building solutions
Our world becomes more and more connected: Digitalization does not only concern businesses but has direct impact on people’s daily lives. However, the incremental integration of IoT and cloud connection in smart buildings and the increasing trend towards IT-OT convergence exposes building systems to cyberattacks, if not adequately protected. Through interconnected building systems and products, our business provides innovative or ingenious solutions for hospitals, offices, schools and other places where peoples comfort and lives largely depend on the quality of their environment.
By taking the holistic approach to cybersecurity over the entire product lifecycle (secure development, secure installation, secure operation, incident and vulnerability handling), my team and I are ensuring security of building products, solutions, and services and ensuring that people, data, and buildings are safe and secure. Our protection concepts are designed and implemented in accordance with international industry standards and government regulations. I feel excited about my work knowing that I am helping to protect people’s livelihoods and privacy, as well as the safety of the essential systems in buildings where people live and work.
The danger of a digitalized world
But how pervasive and destructive are cyberattacks today? The world of cybercrime is constantly evolving. According to recent research, every 39 seconds there is a cyberattack executed somewhere in the world, which adds up to a shocking number of 2’244 attacks per day! In case the attack is successful, it can have severe consequences: In 2018, hackers stole half a billion personal records. In 2019, the damages for data breaches amounted to 3.92 million dollars. Therefore, it is crucial to proactively implement the necessary measures to prevent such incidents. At Siemens, we believe that security begins already during the product development. Therefore, we have adopted a “security by design” end-to-end approach, which includes an ongoing cycle of testing, enhancements, and evolution to keep our products and solutions at the forefront. In addition, we are a founding member of the global Charter of Trust, which calls for binding rules and standards to build trust in cybersecurity and further advance digitalization.
Together we can make the digital world more secure
I have been working for Siemens Smart Infrastructure for more than a year, contributing to effective cybersecurity solutions and this is only the beginning of my journey and the journey of my team. Siemens has been working on IT security since the late 1980s accumulating 40 years of experience in the field. Today, Siemens has the unique capability to combine industry know-how with cybersecurity expertise. To us, the security and safety of our customers is non-negotiable. We continuously enhance and evolve our products, solutions, and services by following “security by design” and “defense in depth” concept.
But this is not a one-man job. Cybersecurity requires a team approach. Together with product experts, managers, project managers, R&D, global Siemens ProductCERT team we are collaboratively ensuring the security of our products, solutions and services. In addition, regular product security testing is conducted by external experts. This testing checks that the selected product, solution, or service meets our security requirements. As the cyber threats to business continue to evolve, ensuring cybersecurity in such a complex digitalized world will always be essential for business continuity.
Driving join initiative with industry associations is important to improve the digital safety and security of society and the economy. I’m currently serving as a Chair of “Smart Infrastructure” working group at Swiss Cyber Forum. The Swiss Cyber Forum Working Groups play a pivotal role in the day-to-day work of the organizations. Through these groups, our members collaborate with each other on substantive topics. We are extremely honored to be able to bring cyber security experts from Switzerland and the globe to discuss relevant and trendy topics of strategic importance.
Cybersecurity is a much more than a matter of IT. It is a topic of global concern!
We need more superheroes to protect our world against cyberattacks
Cybersecurity through the lens of Alpine hiking
As a passionate Alpine hiker, I know it takes quite an effort to overcome heights and depths in every situation. I do see similarities here in the world of cybersecurity. For example, my pre-hiking routine mimics the general cybersecurity risk assessment process. I start the process by identifying potential risk events (for example, equipment failure or avalanches), and then proceeds to assign subjective judgments about their likelihood…
Constantly being challenged to learn new and emerging technologies is what motivates me to go to work every day. And so is the cybersecurity field: it is changing constantly. You can never stop learning!
Read more inspiring stories of our Digital Minds on http://www.siemens.com/careers/digitalminds