Inspirational Woman: Temi Ogunkanmi | Senior Cyber Security Cloud Assurance Consultant, Gemserv

Temi OgunkanmiTemi is an experienced cyber cloud security professional with 3 years’ experience in the private sector.

She is passionate about leveraging technology and the flexibility of cloud solutions to deliver best in class cloud security services to support our clients on their cloud transformation journeys.

Temi has an extensive working knowledge of cloud, network and infrastructure security. She continually identifies and delivers service improvements and innovations to maximise efficiency and ensure customer satisfaction with our service. Her expertise includes: development of cloud security patterns, implementing micro-segmentation, facilitating firewall ruleset audit training, running proof of concepts for network visibility tools, backup infrastructure security assessments, current state assessments, disaster recovery, cyber recovery strategy, and non-disruptive disaster recovery test environment. She has been responsible for the delivery of these projects on time and within budget, and for ensuring that quality of the delivery exceeded expectations.

Tell us a bit about yourself, background and your current role

I am an Electronic and Electrical Engineer who loves technology. I started off my Cyber Security Career at Deloitte, where I worked in Resilience – Disaster and Cyber Recovery, Cloud and Infrastructure Security Assessments before I moved on to Network Security – Micro segmentation of Business-Critical Application and cloud network security design patterns.

I have recently joined Gemserv as a Senior Cyber Security Cloud Assurance Consultant. I am currently supporting various clients with their cloud security configurations or 3rd Party provider’s configurations to align with best practice. I am also supporting our Business Development and Marketing teams to build our cloud proposition and go to market strategy.

You can check out our initial offering here: Cloud Optimisation – Gemserv

Describe yourself in three words?

Inquisitive, Determined, Chill

What are your hobbies?

Reading, Football (Chelsea FC), Basketball(watching), Hiking, exploring new cities, trying new restaurants without any prior research and many more.

Did you ever sit down and plan your career?

Not particularly. At various junctures I take stock of where I am, where I want to be and what I need to do to get me there.

In my second year at university, I sat down and thought about what industries or capabilities I would like to work in based on the modules I had enjoyed and my relevant work experience. I was able to come up with a list of 4 industries/capabilities, from there I developed a list of companies, researched, applied and so on.

Once I got into my first role at Deloitte, I thought about what I wanted to achieve (technical and business skills), I then shared that with my various managers, and we discussed what I needed to do to achieve that. I developed a plan and worked to make that happen. Rinse and repeat since then.

 Have you faced any career challenges along the way and how did you overcome these?

Working as a consultant is fantastic, but with my technical background, I have found that sometimes I’ve had to do a lot more advisory, and strategy related projects as opposed to my default setting: technical, find and fix the problem etc. I have had some really good managers, who encouraged me to step back from the detail and see the benefit in building stakeholder management, presentation and business development skills. Being able to look at client’s problems or requests from a different perspective, communicate better with the business and tell a coherent story enables better understanding and investment to make those fixes.

What has been your biggest career achievement to date?

My biggest career achievement to date was when I led the implementation of micro-segmentation for our client’s Business Critical Applications and Critical Infrastructure Services. It was my first time leading a team for a long term, large scale project. It was a perfect blend for me in terms of technical difficulty and stakeholder engagement. It was a fantastic learning opportunity in so many ways and we were successful, which is always nice following a yearlong project with many challenges along the way.

What one thing do you believe has been a major factor in you achieving success?

I think the work ethic my parents instilled in me plays a big role. From my time at university to now, I have a belief that I always must give my best. I also learnt that research is pivotal. Prepare yourself for everything. With the internet, there is so much information at our disposal and you can apply it to job searching, in your role, to build up your skills, learn something new etc. Prepare and execute – and do it to the best of your ability.

What top tips would you give to an individual who is trying to excel in their career in technology?

Regularly evaluate where you are – your role, skills, and level of satisfaction. Identify where there are gaps and what you can do about it. Develop a plan and then do it. Try to broaden your perspective, keep your finger on the pulse with regards to best practice, new technology etc. Utilise those ahead of you, talk to your managers, senior managers, directors etc. They have invaluable insight. Go to industry events and try to expand your network.

Do you believe there are still barriers for success for women working in tech, if so, how can these barriers be overcome?

I do think there are still barriers and that is mostly due to biases (conscious and unconscious) that women are not interested in tech or able to perform within tech roles.

To overcome the barriers, we need to push hard, we need to put ourselves out there and try and secure these roles. My fellow Women, find an area in tech you’re interested in. It could be machine learning, data analysis, data science, computer vision, cloud, cyber security, big data & IOT etc. Then do some research. Understand what it is, the roles available and the skills required. Then, start to learn the skills, there are so many free resources out there – Udacity, Udemy, YouTube. Upskill, be armed with knowledge, and apply for the roles!

We also need to be bold once we get into Tech. You are there because you are capable, continue to develop yourself and go for new opportunities as they arise.

What do you think companies can do to support to progress the careers of women working in technology?

I think cultural shifts from the top-down will help. If the leaders of companies show (in words and action) that they trust and respect women in tech then that will permeate through their companies and through the industry. More transparency about requirements for promotion would also help women advance more in tech, it’s not always clear how promotion decisions are made.

There is currently only 17 per cent of women working in tech, if you could wave a magic wand, what is the one thing you would do to accelerate the pace of change for women in the industry?

I think we need more seeds sown to encourage girls to consider tech. I would have every science or maths teacher in primary and secondary school encourage girls who show an affinity for the subject. Encourage them that there is a path for them in the future.

What resources do you recommend for women working in tech?

Podcasts – Science Vs, The Cyber Hacks, Let’s Talk Tech.

Websites – wired.com, Tech Crunch, Financial Times, CNET, Business Insider, Forbes, Android Authority

Conferences – Women in Tech, CES show, AWS re:invent, IET and Eng Talks, Tune in to the announcements from Samsung, Google, Apple

There are so many free resources out there – Udacity, Udemy, Youtube. Upskill, be armed with knowledge and apply for the roles!


Cloud computing featured

The future of cloud technology

Cloud computing

Adoption of the cloud is at an all time high

Cloud Technology and services have been a hot topic within Tech and for consumers for several years. We have seen the rise of several cloud powered services such as YouTube, Google Drive, OneDrive, Netflix, Amazon Shopping, Amazon Prime, Dropbox, Microsoft Teams, Zoom and many more. In addition, the COVID-19 Pandemic has led to an increased rate in the adoption and use of Cloud Technology and Services for Consumers – both personally and on an enterprise level.

We are all seeing the realisation of the benefits of Cloud Technology, the flexibility and scalability allows us all to have access to our favourite apps, productivity tools and to connect with our family and colleagues. We are all leveraging the Software as a Service (SaaS) model, we do not have to manage the hardware, operating system, code, or functionality for any of the applications that we enjoy. What was once seen as the cutting edge in Cloud Technology is now quite commonplace.

What is next for cloud technology?

SERVERLESS

With SaaS now a widely adopted cloud application deployment model, it is widely believed that the next will stem from serverless computing. Serverless computing is another method of providing back-end (database, networking, compute, analytics, scaling etc) services on an on-demand basis. It allows developers and other users to focus on writing and deploying code without worrying about the underlying infrastructure – this is managed by the cloud service provider. The benefit to the consumer is that serverless is event driven so they only pay for the computation required to run their code and only whilst it is running. A subset of serverless computing is the Function as a Service cloud deployment model. Other subsets are serverless databases and storage (scale with demand), event streaming, messaging and API gateways. All of these subsets allow developers to execute small pieces of code on the network edge. Serverless computing will lower costs, simplify scalability, simplify backend code and lead to a quicker turnaround from idea to deployment. Different to Platform as a Service PaaS, as with PaaS, developers have to pay for, configure and manage the operating system and middleware for their applications. Code in any language or framework.

HYPERCONVERGED INFRASTRUCTURE

As pointed out at the start of this article, the adoption of cloud technology and services are at an all-time high. Due to this rate of adoption and the resultant scaling out by Cloud Service Providers, there is more of a strain on the underlying infrastructure (storage, compute, networking and management) than ever. Infrastructure and management of infrastructure will have to innovate to keep pace.

Hyperconverged infrastructure is an attempt to do so. It is made up of four tightly integrated software components:
• Storage virtualisation
• Compute virtualisation
• Networking virtualisation
• Advanced management capabilities

These components rely on software defined infrastructure – virtualisation software (hypervisor) abstracts and pools underlying hardware resources then allocates them to applications as and when they are required. These applications may be deployed within more traditional models like on a Virtual machine within Infrastructure as a Service, newer models like Containers or even event driven, serverless applications. The configuration of the components will be based on the configuration and policies assigned to the applications. Hyperconverged Infrastructure can be used to build a private cloud solution, within public cloud solutions or for a hybrid cloud solution. Hyperconverged infrastructure gives the user the ability to manage their resources from a unified interface. The dynamic allocation of infrastructure supports modern workloads architecture (functions), increases the efficiency of deployed components, eliminates over provisioning which reduces data centre complexities and footprints which will lead to lower costs and less energy used.

CLOUD TECHNOLOGY WILL CONTINUE TO EVOLVE

As more of our services move into the cloud, service providers will continue to invest in research and development to improve the serverless model to make it easier for consumers to utilise the capabilities of the cloud. We will also see innovation within the infrastructure space as hardware capabilities will have to improve to provide the edge, serverless, connected, machine learning capabilities that service providers want to leverage within the cloud. Finally, I think we will see an increase in the use of machine learning and deep learning techniques to scale efficiently, manage networks, improve security, monitoring and architecture. I think these techniques will also drive sustainability efforts as we look towards establishing ‘Green Cloud’.

Temi OgunkanmiAbout the author

Temi is an experienced cyber cloud security professional with 3 years’ experience in the private sector. She is passionate about leveraging technology and the flexibility of cloud solutions to deliver best in class cloud security services to support our clients on their cloud transformation journeys.

Temi has an extensive working knowledge of cloud, network and infrastructure security. She continually identifies and delivers service improvements and innovations to maximise efficiency and ensure customer satisfaction with our service. Her expertise includes: development of cloud security patterns, implementing micro-segmentation, facilitating firewall ruleset audit training, running proof of concepts for network visibility tools, backup infrastructure security assessments, current state assessments, disaster recovery, cyber recovery strategy, and non-disruptive disaster recovery test environment. She has been responsible for the delivery of these projects on time and within budget, and for ensuring that quality of the delivery exceeded expectations.


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