Connect with us

Alumni Speak

‘Stay cautious!’ Cybersecurity professional shares ways to protect privacy over the internet

Customer Success Specialist at Cisco, Yash Kejariwal, says, “Online security is the need of the hour for every business and individual in this digital era”



How often do you change your password? When was the last time you checked your device’s VPN settings? Have you ensured to take a round-up of those critical security alerts over your email?

Well, these are now crucial aspects of our lives. Just as we keep re-energising our mind and body regularly, in a similar manner, our devices and networks too need to refresh. And when not done, they can advance into serious technological hitches and become fodder for cyber attackers. An alumnus of Apeejay School, Saket, Yash Kejariwal is a Customer Success Specialist – Cyber Security at Cisco in Małopolskie, Poland. In an interview, he discusses more about online safety and the domain of cybersecurity. Read On:

Please tell us about your educational background.

My entire schooling was done at Apeejay School, Saket. In fact, I discovered my interest in Computer Science there. Later on, I pursued a Bachelor of Technology in Computer Science Engineering at Vellore Institute of Technology, Tamil Nadu.

During my course, I explored more in the domains of Cyber Security and Computer Networks, which is why I chose Cisco during placements. Luckily, after an internship stint there, I also got a chance to work in the company as a full-time employee.

What went into the making of your career?

It was a mix of recognising my passions and finding the right platform to showcase it. And, Cisco really helped in spearheading my dreams. It has been close to five years now in the company.

At Cisco, I started my career as a Technical Consulting Engineer in Bengaluru. Eventually, customer management and escalation handling are some of the skills I learnt. Then, I wanted to move into a more proactive role, so I applied as a Customer Success Specialist – Cyber Security in Poland. In this vertical now, I drive adoption and renewals of systems and solutions. I help build team capabilities and like to stay updated with the tech-based know-how. Since I am an extrovert, interacting with people and re-solving their issues as a Customer Success Specialist is very satisfying for me. I largely cater to customers across Europe and the Middle East.  

How is your life in Poland different from that in India?

When I relocated to Poland, I faced a few cultural and linguistic barriers. As there is a lesser percentage of English-speaking people in the country, it became difficult to communicate fluently and effectively. But, as I look back now, I feel that it was a necessary learning curve. And what really helped me through this was my passion for basketball. Once I felt more settled here, I started going out to play the sport. Eventually, I broke the ice and built a circle of friends. Through their help, my transition became smoother.

One of the major differences between the two countries is the pace of life. In India, things move very fast and in Poland, life is slow and relaxed. The country also has a unique work culture and it offers opportunities to know more and more about people from across the globe. This is a welcome change for me and it is aiding my personal development too. Of course, there are times when I miss my home and family back in India.

Do tell us more about the work culture in Poland.

Work-life balance and time is valued in all countries across Europe. People respect one another and make an attempt to understand each other’s cultural sensitivities and backgrounds. A likeable aspect is that they don’t shy away from sharing their thoughts. I love that! The independence and sense of individualism they possess is unique. It is simply admirable!

What’s new in the field of cybersecurity?

Businesses are increasingly looking for cybersecurity strategies to drive outcomes and stay clear from cyber-attacks. Cybersecurity has permeated into each aspect of every business, whether it is an e-commerce website or a manufacturing industry. And so, the major challenge at hand for big or small organisations is the vendor overload. As the ecosystem of these companies is not optimised to cater to attacks, they often end up buying different solutions from a host of vendors which may or may not solve the purpose.  

Cybersecurity is surely complex and at present many attempts are being made to simplify it. Further, the advancement and enhancement of the user’s experience, the networks and security in using these products is something big! A lot of customisation is taking place in this domain because the demands of a manufacturing industry as against a healthcare vertical will be different. Thus to resolve these issues, we need to be prepared.  

Advancement in technology also comes with vulnerabilities over the internet. Therefore, the need to have a proper cybersecurity strategy and a security ecosystem is crucial. Individuals, too, need to be more cyber aware and protect their privacy and data over the internet. My suggestion is to stay cautious and be aware of mechanisms such as VPN, create strong passwords and filter your data while feeding it on any portal.  

How will cybersecurity bring about a new world?

The future holds many chips, devices and enterprises to be connected with the internet. For all of that, we need to ensure that each of these components and networks is secure. That’s the reason why cybersecurity will transform the world in the near future. Right now, the industry is full of promise!

For those looking to kick-start their tech-driven career, your advice?

Technology is a very broad field, so one must know where their passion lies. My suggestion would be to narrow it down and see if you want to become a software developer or engineer, or if it is artificial intelligence, machine learning that floats your boat. Think about it and then research about what’s happening in the market, what are the job prospects and relevant skills.

Most of my tech-based learning came from the industry along with the online certifications I took. So, I would recommend that one must make use of online resources and keep upskilling themselves. The field of Cybersecurity has a huge demand for talent. Students should participate in as many technology quizzes, hackathons and inter-schools and dive deep into the tech domains. Other aspirants must take online certifications, perform internships, and involve themselves in graduate programmes, etc.

Your experience at Apeejay, Saket?

The school helped shape my personality. I am grateful for every opportunity that Apeejay provided me. I have been an academic achiever but also loved to debate and take part in sports. Interacting with people and working on group projects were some of the activities I loved to do! I vividly recall that once Ms. Anita Paul, ex-Principal of our school, sent me to the British Council for a summit in which I interacted with people from 50 different countries.

In hindsight, I realise now that it was my first brush with those belonging to different cultures, backgrounds, etc. So when I came to Poland, this high-school experience really helped me. I also remember a NASA trip from school which enabled my passion for technology. Later on, the choices I made for my career were set due to these experiences. At present, I might have travelled to 12 countries in about 1.5 years, and the confidence to do so has been instilled in me by school teachers and friends. 

Mrini Devnani is a Principal Correspondent and Marketing Coordinator at Newsroom. She covers student achievements, conducts interviews, and contributes content to the website. Previously, she served as a Correspondent specialising in Edu-tech for the India Today Group. Her skill areas extend to Social Media and Digital Marketing. For any inquiries or correspondence, you can reach out to her at [email protected]

The Musical Interview with Anamika Jha