Anjali Gugle, Security Architect and Officer, CX Cloud Platform Security at Cisco
is a Security and Data Privacy technologist, and an Engineering leader. Her competencies include Container security, and Data Privacy Regulations (GDPR, CCPA). Anjali holds a patent for a system and method for scheduling workload based on a credit-based mechanism.
Deck 7: What is your favorite quote?
“No grit no pearl” – because hard work and willingness can transform the struggles of our career journey into success.
D7: How would you describe the culture at Cisco regarding women in leadership?
AG: I’m proud of working at Cisco, especially the way Cisco encourages women to be leaders. They champion diversity and inclusion by providing a platform to create your own story. Women at Cisco are empowered to be their own storytellers and be able to make the most out of their experience.
We participate in various initiatives which impact Cisco women in particular. One of them is called the Multiplier Effect pledge, which is very dear to me – it’s a commitment made by our business leaders to sponsor minority or female leaders, mentor them and help them get to the next level in their careers.
We also have a lot of other events year-round, mainly around the International women’s day and that’s a big one, it’s called the Women of Impact conference. We bring together women from all over the world, arrange professional development, have the leaders speak at the conference. This helps shape up the future for technology when we collaborate with these leaders. So, that’s very inspirational.
The third one I’d like to mention is the Girls’ power tech, where we bring together speakers who volunteer to help out, mentor and work with students. We make an effort to make technology more accessible and assist them to chart their career path. Especially in cybersecurity where women are in minority, the overall intent is to encourage and nurture female talent in the future.
"As 5G rolls out, the impact of 'always connected' 5G networks on consumer data privacy is serious and one of the key concerns from my perspective is 'lack of location privacy'."
D7: What are some of the top trends you are tracking in the software security policies and data protection practices for 2020 and beyond?
AG: I’ve been working in the security industry for a long time and in the last two years, I’ve been focusing mainly on data protection and privacy and contributing to the improvement of the security posture of Cisco products. Two key software security policies that we value most right now are "Shift left” and “Dev-Sec-Ops”.
1. Security is everybody’s responsibility. Because of that, it spans over different roles and responsibilities. In most cases, security is often an afterthought in the development lifecycle. We have embraced the "Shift left” approach to enterprise security with centralizes policy management in cloud-based management. This enables deriving valuable security insights and continuous security monitoring as different security services come under one roof.
2. We recognize the need to embed security controls during continuous integration and development which thereby enables automation at a granular and operational level. Teams can enforce security constraints in all stages of the secure development lifecycle. This helps remediate critical misconfiguration associated vulnerabilities faster.
As for our GDPR customers, we ensure that we are GDPR compliant and also compliant with the CCPA for our Californian customers.
There are many more privacy laws to come for example in Brazil, Canada, India, etc., so we look for commonalities to adhere to these privacy regulations.
D7: As tech leaders prepare for the next wave of innovations fueled by AI, what are some real-world applications of AI in software security that will transform the consumer experience?
AG: Since 2018 there have been many high-profile security breaches and misuse of data has put consumers on edge. As 5G rolls out, the impact of "always connected” 5G networks on consumer data privacy is serious and one of the key concerns from my perspective is “lack of location privacy”. There is a need for privacy-preserving mechanisms that can help experience 5G services in a privacy-aware manner.
"All young women considering a career in technology should have a mentor. You should be passionate and willing to work smartly. The grit and innovation matters, but it also helps if you have somebody to lift you and have a role model to look up to for guidance."
D7: What roadblocks have you hit in your career on your path toward leadership positions? What are your top 3 tips for young women who are considering a career in technology?
AG: It is important to be aware of how to approach situations. I used to consider my career as a marathon and not a sprint and in that manner, I somehow missed the opportunity to change roles because I was trying to be perfect at what I was doing. I had the willingness to take risks but at times I was not willing to get off my own back. I saw my mother fulfilling her dream of entrepreneurship at the age of 70, and learned from her how to listen to your inner voice and believe that there’s no barrier to success if you have a passion for it and readiness to take the risk.
All young women considering a career in technology should have a mentor. You should be passionate and willing to work smartly. The grit and innovation matters, but it also helps if you have somebody to lift you and have a role model to look up to for guidance.
"We have motivational women leaders who help us build a community of strong women, which advocates each other and helps propel each other by harnessing the collective energy of our peers."
D7: How important is it for women to lift each other, and what does that mean to you?
AG: One of the things I find most reassuring is women openly promoting and uplifting each other. In a profoundly male-dominated workplace, it is common for women to focus on their career and interests, and be insecure which can lead to women tearing each other down.
I am fortunate to work in Cisco's Customer Experience organization where we empower each other. We have motivational women leaders who help us build a community of strong women, which advocates each other and helps propel each other by harnessing the collective energy of our peers.
I want to propel that sisterhood upward and forward. We find avenues to leverage each other to become a truly unstoppable force. We participate in networking with women events and represent Cisco Women in security conferences where we mentor women to help them ascend the corporate ladder, find new career paths and also mentor young girls to ensure they’re on the right career path.
The 5 different C’s we follow here at Cisco:-
Conversation – This is the initial conversation for example greetings, or making eye contact which matters the most.
Connection – Once you connect, it enables sharing a broader vision, find mentors and learn about various avenues you can pursue to become successful and make an impact.
Celebrate – Every effort calls for a celebration!.
Communication – Once you are comfortable with small group conversations, you can then attempt reaching out to higher, powerful teams.
Culture – Nurture a culture where women advocating for other women should happen more often. So, we always are assured that somebody’s got our back.