Today, we talk with Juan, Squad Lead Operational Technology Security Consulting, about his activities in the IT domain, which seem atypical for this industry sector at first glance. He and his team look after systems that have little to do with data and how it is processed and much more with the production of goods and services. He talks about a project in which he helped to implement security mechanisms, define roles and processes, and establish a secure product life cycle.
Juan, you’re the Squad Lead in Security Consulting for the areas of operational security and IoT security. What does that mean?
Juan: On my team, we deal with special topics that have little to do with conventional security consulting or IT security, such as systems used in critical infrastructures like municipal utilities, energy providers, and food production. These systems have little to do with data and how it is processed and much more with the production of goods and services. They control the physical processes. If these systems fail, we don’t have any electricity, running water, or food on our tables. The building control systems in smart buildings and embedded systems in vehicles are also vulnerable to cyberattacks. We help to protect these systems and installations and in doing so, ultimately protect human lives as well. That means we have to pay very close attention and work closely together with business customers and manufacturers to identify and implement the best possible protection against potential cyberattacks.
That sounds exciting. Can you tell us about a project that was particularly important to you?
Juan: Yes, last year I worked together with a startup. This young company developed a highly innovative product for charging electric cars and established it successfully on the market. We helped to implement security mechanisms, define roles and processes, and establish a secure product life cycle.
What exactly do you do as squad lead?
Juan: In the area of OT security in particular, there are only a few experts and consultants who bring a lot of knowledge and experience to the table. It’s my job to develop the employees and turn them into experts. In the interim, we’ve built up a great team with 11 members who have all become OT security experts through project experience, mutual support, and knowledge-sharing. Take connected cars, for example, which is a huge future topic for connectivity and autonomization. Some of the people on my team are very well versed with in-car IT and electronics. They identify threats and vulnerabilities and develop security measures and concepts to counter them. Here, too, human lives depend on these systems working safely and reliably.
What are you looking for in new team members?
Juan: We’re not looking for conventional IT experts, but rather electrical engineers, mechatronics engineers, and mechanical engineers with an affinity for IT and security, as well as enthusiasm and a passion for technology. We’re not paper tigers. We enjoy working on circuits and production systems hands-on.
Every day is different for us; every project is full of new subjects and surprises. That’s why flexibility, strong communication skills, and a willingness to travel are among the skills that potential new colleagues need to bring to the table.
We’re a customer-centric team and enjoy solving problems, getting involved, and delivering top quality. The problems are known and little by little, we find solutions for everyone.
Juan, you have a really exciting job. Thanks for the peek into your daily routine and for making sure that critical infrastructures remain safe and secure!
If we’ve sparked your interest in the areas of incident response and IT forensic consulting, you’ll find career opportunities at a number of entry levels at Deutsche Telekom Security GmbH.