I always want to be one step ahead of hackers

Varsha Choudhary, IT Security Specialist

Varsha Choudhary (30) works with other IT security specialists on the Global Security Monitoring Team to protect Rabobank's applications and systems. They continuously improve the bank's digital defense walls.

“When I was younger, I wanted to be a hacker. While I was studying for my bachelor’s degree in Computer Science Engineering, my fellow students were mostly interested in coding and programming. I thought that was cool too, but I wanted to be different and started working towards my goal of becoming a security specialist.”

“I worked hard to gain knowledge of networks, different operating systems, how to exploit vulnerabilities, and so on. After my studies, I started out as a developer, but I worked hard and through further studies I finally reach my goal. Currently, I work as an IT Security Specialist, protecting the bank from cyberattacks and hackers.”

Developing within the bank

“Within Rabobank, my knowledge of networks, different operating systems and even programming is very useful. I chose cybersecurity at Rabobank because we work with different tools, such as SIEM.SIEM stands for Security Information and Event Management. It is a solution that helps organizations detect, analyze and respond to threats before they harm business operations. SIEM tools collect and analyze large amounts of data in real time from an organization’s various applications, servers and users so that cybersecurity teams can quickly detect and block attacks. SIEM tools use predetermined rules to help security specialists define threats and generate alerts. This allows me to quickly increase my knowledge of different tools and quickly develop further. I see myself moving through Rabobank as an electron: everyone shares knowledge, and you can participate in other teams to further enhance your skills.”

Varsha Choudhary, IT Security Specialist at Rabobank working on laptop

Working together on cybersecurity

“As security specialists, we protect the bank by understanding how a hacker thinks. We always try to be one step ahead of them. To do that, we have a threat hunting team, a security monitoring team and a team that performs vulnerability scanning and penetration tests. My job is to lay the groundwork for our threat hunters. If the rules in SIEM tool are incorrect, they can’t do their job. We therefore work with digital maps, on which we inform each other about who takes on which task. We do this not only in our own team, but also other in teams dealing with cybersecurity. This keeps our work streamlined, and the bank secure.”

The open culture means I am not afraid to ask about new opportunities, and I know I can achieve my goals at the bank.
Varsha Choudhary, IT Security Specialist

Global protection

“I like the idea that in our work we protect Rabobank globally: we also work for other regions, like North America, Brazil and Australia. I think we must contribute to stability in this way. Customers must be able to trust their bank, and because of our efforts, they can be sure that their information and money are safe. But the development of data and technology is moving so quickly that it is becoming increasingly difficult to protect that data. We are getting smarter all the time in monitoring and defense, but hackers are also constantly improving their attacks. That’s why we always want to be one step ahead of hackers.”

Working together in an open culture

“I think that the reason the cooperation between teams is so good is that we have a very open culture at the bank. I notice that people trust us. They really pay attention to what you say, and there is room for criticism. We also receive a lot of constructive feedback. We celebrate our successes together, and what I secretly like very much: you never have to dress formally here. You can really be yourself. The open culture also means that I dare to ask about new opportunities at the bank, and I know that I can achieve my goals here.”