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.
Talk to most cyber security professionals and the story of their career usually begins with a Commodore 64 or a video game controller. For Vedant Kaushal, F-Secure’s Head of Operator Sales in APAC, his story starts in Jaipur, also known as the Pink city of India, with a slightly less advanced piece of technology.
“Radio communication had always attracted me,” Vedant said. “When I was in seventh grade, I made an amplifier out of a broken shortwave radio.”
With this amp, coupled with a SW radio circuit he was able to pursuing his hobby of Dxing, or receiving and identifying distant radio signals — a passion that never left him as he studied Information Technology and volunteered to use his two-way radio communication skills for college campus security. He then spent more than a decade working with some of the largest Telecoms in Asia, including Bharti AIRTEL, Reliance Infocom, and Media house like HT Media Ltd. After that, he tackled digital value-added services at Docomo Digital, where he headed up their telecom business for India region.
Working with products and services that help connected people satisfied the same urge Dxing did. It also gave him some free time to pursue his radio transmission license.
“I finally cleared my amateur exam in general grade category five years ago and got into the amazing hobby of ham radio, which has allowed me to make new contacts across the globe using my own radio device and antenna setup,” he said.
This again gave him the opportunity to help protect people using technology by joining a club that support emergency relief.
“Ham radio serves as the only mode of long distance communication when cellular telephony and the internet fails,” he said. “I supported my club station during the massive earthquake in Nepal, and we were able to track and locate a lost traveller from Kolkata in Nepal by establishing a contact in the relief camps there.”
On the weekends, he also volunteers to keep his local roads safer by volunteering as a Road Safety Officer with the Traffic Police in Gurugram. Vedant helps devise new traffic management plans and ocassionally participates in education and enforcement campaigns.
Check out this video that recognizes the contribution he’s made to helping reduce driving under the influence in his community:
Vedant’s same passion for helping others worked its way into his professional life. He decided he wanted to get into the security side of the technology to secure services vulnerable to hackers and have more of a direct impact on subscribers.
So he joined F-Secure as the Telecom Business Head for consumer cybersecurity in APAC
“From the last 4 years, I’ve led Telco operator services, where I spearhead sales, operations and business development activities for F-Secure across Asia, including India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Hong Kong, Macau and Singapore.”
Now his amateur and professional passions sync up in a way they never have before.
“I find ham radio operations during a disaster quite similar to cybersecurity,” he said. “In my day job, I am like a digital life savior for people accessing Internet. And in my own time, I’m an actual life savior. Technology makes both possible.”
IT security is essential in Asia because the growth is relentless. Year-year over year growth is expected to exceed 5 percent this year.
Cyber security is the perfect fit for Vedant, who loves traveling the continent and meeting new people, and he sees plenty of room for other digital lifesaves.
“As a cybersecurity professional you will always be in the middle of latest technology,” he said. “Machine learning, automated bots, and IoT will drive the industry and much of the world for the next decade.”
From his first broken shortwave radio to his brand new smartphone, Vedant has found ways to reach out and make the world a safer place, while having a little fun.
“It’s our job to make sure our customers are protected no matter wherever they access Internet or what device they use. What could be better than that?”
Check out our open positions if you want to join Vedant and the hundreds of other great fellows fighting to keep internet users safe from online threats.