After graduating with a Bachelor's in Telecommunications Engineering in Colombia, I moved to Germany to begin a Master's degree. Why Germany you might ask? Well... I've always found Germany a very interesting country. Germany has a strong economy and it's a high referent when it comes to technological development. This led me to embark on a Master's programme in Information Technologies.
Safety has always been very important to me. I believe everyone should be safe. With my background in IT, I know what can happen when you, your information and/or your privacy fall victim to a cyber attack. That's why I want to protect people and make them aware of the risks of being part of a global network like the Internet.
I like to think of IT security as a visit to a safari park in Africa. You, as a visitor, certainly know that there are risks and dangers inside the park, but you may not necessarily know precisely what could be a risk and how you should react to a dangerous situation. That is why there are park rangers inside the safari park: to protect you and make you aware of what could happen if you don't follow the rules. We as the IT Security group within Vattenfall are the "park rangers" and will always do our best to protect you from the risks of "going on safari" on the Internet.
IT is very important for a large energy company like Vattenfall. It allows us to make the value chain execution more reliable and makes it possible for us to optimize it every step of the way. We are able to monitor energy generation, distribution to the grid and energy trading systems, and even customers' consumption calculations are dependent on different IT systems. Even though IT security may not be visible, we contribute constantly and actively to protecting Vattenfall's infrastructure against cyber threats, information leakage, computer viruses and many other IT-related threats that could, in a worst-case scenario, maybe even bring Vattenfall operations to a standstill.
In my team, I work on several projects coming from different Business Areas where IT security expertise is required in the design, planning and execution phases. An overarching project is the Vattenfall Information Security Management System, in which we are standardizing all of Vattenfall's information security requirements to ensure the protection of information according to international standards of good practices.
What most people don't realize is that a computer virus is like the flu. When you're in a room with a sick colleague, all the colleagues in that room are at risk of being infected. The same principle applies to a virus on a computer. When a single user is infected by a cyber threat like a virus, it's not just that computer that may suffer damage, but everything that is connected to the same network, which in this case would be the Vattenfall network.
I'm currently located in Amsterdam working on my first assignment within the IT Architecture team and becoming more familiar with what I'm protecting within IT Security. This helps me in my current position and will continue to help me after the trainee programme. In this information and digitalization era, talking only about safety in our power plants and electric lines is not enough; we also need to protect all the other infrastructure that allows us to deliver our products and services more efficiently, and I am very glad to be able to contribute to this. Together we keep the operations as lean as possible and at the same time work towards one of Vattenfall´s main goals: digitalization.