Senior Infrastructure and Security Engineer - China
What is your role here and what part of the Group do you work in? How long have you been with our company and where did you start your career?
My job title is Sr. Infrastructure and Security Engineer and I am based in Shanghai, China. I have a multiple roles here because I am a member of the China Information System Team and report to the China Information System Manager Eric Wu and also as the APAC representative for the Group Security Team I need to report to the Group IT Security and Privacy Manager Ian McKenna and Head IS APAC Gurjit Gill. I’ve been with the company since January 2020.
What does a typical day look like for you?
I usually start my work at 8:00 am, collaboratively plan my day and check my voice mails and emails and the calendar to make sure that the most urgent work gets done first. After that I will check Information Security Tools regularly, 2 or 3 times a day and respond to threats showing up in these Tools which might affect the business operation and all relevant comments. I am also responsible for managing the Divisional / China network, host and other security vulnerabilities to ensure Cyber defences are monitored and incidents resolved across their designated area.
Then I usually going over the status of the projects list from the previous week and set up priorities. I try to finish any pending work if present. As Network Engineer I need to participate in Divisional / China projects which includes implementation, test/validation, and maintain networking services per solution design and as Project Manager for all infrastructure-related projects: new office installations, office moves, server migration, WAN/LAN upgrades, new security mandates and new business infrastructures.
What’s challenging about your job? What do you enjoy?
Due to the multiple roles for my position and short time to join the company, I faced some challenges in information overload and time management at the beginning. Sometimes I have to deal with multiple urgent tasks at the same time which come from different regions like Group, APAC or China, and meanwhile a sudden meeting, email or urgent phone call also can disrupt the arrangement and work. So I have to make some improvements to manage the tasks and complete them before the deadline. I tried jotting down the new things, roles or responsibilities, whatever I heard or understand and made a note of my tasks. I have asked a lot of questions and clarified my doubts through my colleague and seek superior advice. This really helps me to know how to process the information and learn a lot on the project management and I am obviously delighted with my progress.
Another challenge is to deal with AUP breach event and maintain cyber-security. The Group IS policy for Acceptable Use of Information Technology (IT) resources is used for the protection of confidentiality, integrity, and availability of IT resources. Most users have been aware of that through mandatory training on the Cyber Security Awareness course. But some users still breach them for different reasons. When violation of AUP happens, I may report to HR for disciplinary action as process, I will talk to the end user to understand the root cause and listen to what they actually need. By understanding users’ needs, I will try to provide alternative solutions or tools. Meantime, I will tell them about the highest Cyber risk in the business currently and what’s the effect when users break AUP. I’m very happy to see that the user can understand what we do and this changes their behaviour. It’s a good opportunity to be creative and do things outside of the box.
“I like to communicate and work with people from different countries, it never gets boring.”
I hear you have just achieved the first locally managed Firewall upgrades across the whole of the Steam APAC division – can you tell me about it? How did you do it and what support did you get? What impact has it had on the business as a whole?
This is my first regional project coordination work since I joined the company. I have received this task from Group IT at the end of the March. There is a requirement to carry out remote patching on approximately 80 Firewalls globally with the support of Verizon [Group IT Vendor]. This is actually a very urgent and necessary upgrade to remove a vulnerability and fix a software bug from all Firewalls that are not currently patched at the recommended version. and we need to complete them as soon as possible. Under Group’s plans announced in April, the update will be started on the 17th April 2020 and two sites will be selected at one time per night through to completion. APAC is the first to have the patching done on the Firewalls. I have different role in this mission. As project manager, I need to coordinate with the APAC sites and gather the site requirements such as preferred maintenance window and details of your Local IT Support. Due to the COVID-19 virus and many sites go into lockdown and people are working from home, I need to know if routine IT maintenance activities are being carried out and I also need to plan to start the job with those sites with good IT Support in place and coordinate with Version. As technical engineer, I need to provide technical support to Local IT when they are facing any difficulty or problems. I remind them to bring necessary tools before they go on site and guide them to check the network and device before the version starts and after they finish it. In the meantime. I need to report to the Head IS APAC the latest progress of the project and update the job list table day-by-day. This is my first time in contact with the APAC division and I got huge support from Gurjit Gill, Head of IS APAC. He gave me a detailed introduction of APAC and has supplied me the necessary information. When there are problems and mistakes, he also gave me a lot of advice and support. With the joint efforts of the whole APAC IT staff, we accomplished the task on time in APAC, All firewalls have been upgraded to a higher version by standard, and we have successfully mitigated vulnerabilities on the Group managed Firewalls as the priority.
What is the best part about working here?
I started my job 9 months ago at SXS. It is different transitioning from a small business setting to a global company, so I love that there is always something new to learn and playing multiple roles in an IT project and field, which is always growing with new technologies, capabilities and ideas. I also like to communicate and work with people from different countries, it never gets boring.