In this edited interview excerpt from The Women in Technology Podcast, Check Point Global Cyber Security Warrior and Evangelist Micki Boland speaks with Becky Schneider about cyber security, technology integration, the intrapreneureal spirit and so much more. Don’t miss this! And if you like what you read, please check out the full podcast. 

Tell us a bit about yourself, your work and your role:

…I’ve been here at Check Point for about 10 years, but my career in IT goes way back. In telling you a little bit about my role here as an architect, I’ll use a parallel…

A commercial architect will provide structural consulting for a commercial building (or it could be a home, a church…etc.). They are given parameters for the site where the building will be created and there are always certain constraints.

Civil architects for commercial and home would create blueprints for the developer and the general contractor and for all of the subs so that they can actually build the building right on the site.

In a similar regard, I do the same thing with enterprise organizations. I help them plan and build cyber security into their IT infrastructure and into the technologies that they use; so that they can develop for their own customers. I help provide the blueprints for cyber security infrastructure and architecture in the context of their environment, with the constraints that they have…And I provide them with the specifications to implement this technology.

Have you found that it’s been challenging to insert and build cyber security into existing systems? Have you had to rebuild IT to be able to have these new requirements fit in? What has that process looked like?

So it’s really difficult for our customers to re-architect stuff. And a lot of the time, really large global enterprise customers -their IT infrastructure is really built over and sprawled over years- know it’s not all-good. There’s stuff they need to do and it’s in the plans. But what we try to do is work within their constraints and help them find the best way to approach better cyber security.

Now, there may be short-term things that they have to do, but in the long-term, maybe they’re planning re-architecture, or reducing their data center, or streamlining. Then, we actually weave a plan into that for cyber security so that they have an inflection point of goals and objectives coming together. It’s a big deal.

What kinds of challenges have you faced with groups that maybe haven’t been as integrated with these cyber security requirements and technologies? 

Great question. This happens all of the time. What I always try to do is be an advocate and a champion for the customer and all the teams that we’re working with. I’ll just give you a short example: Customers are rapidly moving into cloud infrastructure, and a lot of the time, the security teams are kind of left out of the discussions.

What we do is teach security teams about how they can be champions and advocates for cyber security within their business. We help arm them with the information that they need. Then, they can advise the business and go about getting a seat at that table…

We really try to unify the C-Suite and all of the teams and really advocate for every team across an organization to be apart of security.

…Can you talk about what makes an intrapreneurial mindset and how to look for and develop business within a company instead of always having to go find business opportunities externally?

As an intrapreneur, you have to be able to get people to wrap their minds around an emerging technology. You have to find a market. You have to be able to break the technology down so that people can consume it. There’s a whole approach to this; modeling, finding markets, finding places where this technology can be used and getting people to adopt it.

It’s kind of like presenting to a venture capitalist, but you’re launching your business internally. So you have to have your stuff together and then do your pitch and then people are selected…I think Proctor and Gamble does this, as do other organizations…

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