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Balancing chaos and stability

Jason Sattler

27.10.18 3 min. read

To commemorate F-Secure’s 30th year of innovation, we’re profiling 30 of our fellows from our more than 25 offices around the globe.

There’s something different about F-Secure.

For Marcin Tamiola, a Lead System Engineer at F-Secure Polska who has spent a decade working in information technology, that difference is space.

“What I really like in F-Secure is every problem I have — and it does not matter it’s lack of lemon in the kitchen or broken code I have to work with — there is always space to talk about it,” he said. “We give a lot of feedback each other and everyone just want to make things better.”

With his recent promotion, Marcin leads a five-person devops team called “CaveOps” that has intimate knowledge of Amazon Web Services.

“We help operations and development of RDS infrastructure, he said.”

RDS is F-Secure Rapid Detection & Response Service that helps businesses prepare for advanced cyber attacks, before and after they happen.

“Additionally we are currently migrating current public honeypots infrastructure into AWS,” he said.

F-Secure’s network of global honeypots is run by our Polish team. This collection of honeypot servers is set up to attract the attention of hackers. All connection attempts to and from the sensor are recorded and any files that arrive on the system are automatically sent to F-Secure Security Cloud for analysis.

“We are kind of a team of AWS experts here in Poznań,” Marcin said. “We organize frequent workshops for our co-workers. And we also support developers whenever they have a problem with infrastructure or deployment.”

He compares the pace of his work to that of a firefighter. When the fires are burning, his job is intense and unpredictable and then there are stretches where he gets to focus on stuff that inspires his imagination.

“When something goes wrong on in production systems, you really need to drop everything and deal with the emergency,” he said. “When nothing is on fire, you gone go off on a tangent and debug a mysterious case.”

Marcin got used to the IT world in as the member of an ecommerce operations team. As Mikko Hypponen – F-Secure’s Chief Research Officer – often notes, every company is a software company by this point in the twenty-first century. This is especially true for any company that sells anything online. So every company eventually will be acquainted with the demands securing their digital assets and resources.

“We faced constant attacks on our web applications—dozens types of DDOS attack, floods, web scraping, spoofed traffic.”

At F-Secure his attention moved from protecting big data centers to focusing on client services.

“I think the main challenge is keeping the complexity of big projects manageable.”

And he has to do this knowing the number of components that need to be accounted for will continually keep growing.

“A system engineer’s job is the constant balancing between chaos and stability,” he said. “That’s part I really like.”

Knowing chaos could be just around the corner would be unsettling for a lot of people, but for Marcin it gives him a chance to practice his motto: “Don’t panic!”

He follows this rule both in his private and professional life. And he thinks this mentality will serve anyone who wants to get in the business of fighting digital fires.

“Also, be curious and tenacious,” he said. “You need to understand on very deep level how things works to be able to break them. And you have to go even deeper if you want to secure your systems before a breach.”

This requires a sort of “sixth sense,” he says.

That’s something you may or may not have. But you’ll never find out for sure, unless you get a little space.

Check out our open positions if you want to join Marcin and the hundreds of other great fellows fighting to keep internet users safe from online threats.

Jason Sattler

27.10.18 3 min. read

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