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The Professionals: Mirko Stefanatto

The job of our Senior Cyber Security Engineer is to keep hackers at bay, ensure employees can safely carry out their daily work, without the risk of cyber-attacks.

With cybercrime on the rise, and consequences for companies costly, we’ve all been made increasingly aware of the likes of ‘phishing’, ‘malware’ and what a potential cyber attack could mean.

Mirko’s job certainly covers a hot corporate topic of the moment – he joined Electrolux Professional Group’s IT team in 2021 and is based in Pordenone, Italy.

mirko_top-1Senior Cyber Security Engineer – what does that job title entail? Tell us more about what you do!

The set-up of technologies that protect corporate systems and information, then to investigate on anomalies. It involves working proactively and reactively. Half of my time is spent on regular incident which can be ‘false positive’ meaning there’s a suspicious activity but that is clarified by the user and everything is fine.

The risk is when users don’t recognise the activity, then it becomes a security incident where we refer to our checklist and escalation procedure. The other part of my work involved projects to investigate next steps and how we can improve our security.

What route did you take in terms of studies and jobs to where you are today?

I am a Telecommunication Engineer and studied for a Master’s then gained further certification in networking and infrastructure.

The topic of security interested me and the need for companies was increasing so I began to specialise in that. Before joining the company, I worked as an IT security consultant, providing tech solutions and proposing projects and implementations to various organizations.

What do you love about the role?

Every day is different. I could be spending time getting up to speed on new technologies, evaluate if they fit for our corporate needs. Or improving on our systems that already exist. It varies from week to week but if we experience an incident, I have to pause everything and focus 100% on that. Just by clicking on a phishing link can potentially cause big issues for any company.

We have introduced Cyber Security training – that’s not my topic but I remain close to it. It’s important that employees know and understand that their corporate device still need to be secure – they are not just secure because they are under our management system.

mirko2-1And, on the other hand, what are the biggest challenges?

It’s about finding the right compromise between security and the employees’ workload. Users can think that we are a hindrance to getting their job done – there are actions or policies that in reality means that some things have to be done slower than in the past. That’s tough in the fast-moving world we live in where people expect to get things done quickly. But the system needs to be secure because otherwise the consequences for companies can be huge.

What advice would you give to people wanting to work in a position like yours?

Be curious about any technology, even if it doesn’t seem interesting at first. That’s because something a technology seems only to be created for a specific need – but if you investigate further, you can often find that the tech can be a fit for other solutions.

How would you like to expand in your role?

Technology to prevent attacks is becoming more sophisticated so it’s important to stay on top of it and reach out of you comfort zone. Cyber security is a role that will expand and a never–ending story for companies. Now everything is available 24-7 on the internet, nothing stops when the PC is switched off. In the cloud you are always facing the internet and externals trying to attack you with ways to gain access. The key is getting employees onboard to understand and act on risks and not assume that cyber security is only the business of IT. So, there is plenty to be done and expand on in the role.

Why choose to work at Electrolux Professional Group?

It is, as I expected, an international and cooperative environment. It’s crucial that people bring different knowledge and skills to collaborate and that’s how we work. I enjoy the team and there are many tasks to perform together, so we work well and are open to providing both opinions and getting feedback.