Alina Matyukhina, Cybersecurity Manager at Siemens is on fire for IT…
… because she is helping to protect people’s livelihoods and privacy, as well as the cybersecurity of the essential systems in smart buildings, where people live and work.
In her role, Alina Matyukhina is ensuring that products and solutions for smart buildings meet the required cybersecurity standards while supporting the needs of users and stakeholders. We have asked her a couple of questions:
What fascinates you about IT?
«Our world becomes more and more connected: Digitalization does not only concern businesses, but has a direct impact on people’s daily lives. Especially in pandemic times, IT helped us to work from home, keep connected with our colleagues, communicate with our family, loved ones, and friends. IT plays important role in shaping digitalization in buildings. In the past, buildings were just concrete buildings, equipped with the pretty basic operation- heating, lighting. With digitalization, buildings become smarter, energy-efficient, more comfortable to their occupants. Thanks to IT and cloud technologies, today operators of the buildings don't need to go on-site and risk their lives but can operate buildings from remote. Unfortunately, the benefits of IT can be lost if IT is not adequately protected. Every 39 seconds, there is a cyberattack happening somewhere in the world. Every day, I’m spending my career fighting cybercrime. I'm ensuring that people, data, and buildings are safe and secure. My goal is to protect building occupants- their livelihoods and privacy.»
Where do you see yourself in 5 or 10 years?
«In 5 years, I see myself in a role that continues to challenge me and that provides me opportunities to grow my skill-set. As a Chair of the "Smart Infrastructure" working group at Swiss Cyber Forum, I'll keep improving the digital safety and security of society and economy in Switzerland and globally.»
What would you have liked to know when you had to choose a profession?
«All my life I have been dreaming of doing something which can help our society – not in 20 years, but right now! My path can truly be named “from theory to practice”. Do you remember the time you got asked what your favourite lesson at school is? To me, it was and has always been clear: mathematics. Ever since then, my passion and skills grew, and I have received many academic prizes and awards, conducted research in the field of number theory which led to new use cases for cryptography and finally, I finished my PhD in Computer Science at the age of 25. Having accomplished many academic achievements, I wanted to aim for the real problems and how to solve them. Today, as a Cybersecurity Manager at Siemens Smart Infrastructure, I am helping to protect people's livelihood and privacy. »
Any advice you would like to pass on to girls who are on the brink of choosing their career path?
«Of course, it is always good to have an appropriate background in Computer Science and IT, but it’s not required. The key is not a technical background, but your willingness and desire to learn how technology works – and to never stop learning. In addition, there are a growing number of fields in IT that do not focus on solving technical problems, but instead on more human-focused problems. These require softer skills, such as privacy, governance, or IT law and ethics… I'd say: Go for IT!»
Thank you, Alina, for being an inspiration to girls and women in IT.