Aastha Kalra

Security isn’t always the first thing that comes to mind when you think of BT, but when it comes to keeping everyone safely connected, ‘We Are The Protectors’. We recently sat down with Aastha to learn more about her role as a Protector in India, the learning opportunities she’s been offered here, and her favourite projects so far.

What is your role?

I work as a Security Architecture and Design Professional focussing on Zscaler and firewall technologies.

How would you describe BT to people in India who may not be as familiar with it as we are in the UK? And what made you apply for the role?

BT is the backbone of network infrastructure for multi-national companies with hundreds or thousands of employees globally. BT designs, builds, and supports various connectivity solutions for its clients and outstanding connectivity is the beating heart for BT. BT was my employer of choice, mainly because of its innovation DNA and large and diverse customer base. BT operates at high standards delivering standout customer experiences and creates massive learning opportunities for its employees. Beyond that, BT focuses on continued skills development, diversity and inclusion, and employee wellbeing.

What excites you about working as a Protector for BT in India?

A BT Protector gets a unique opportunity to be a rising changemaker, a positive representative of the BT brand, which stands for creating positive change and championing responsible tech. All Protectors share a passion for technology and a passion for the BT Community. As a protector, I am focused on enhancing my professional skills and endorsing BT's inclusive culture.

What is your favourite project you have worked on?

I support clients across varied sectors, and I've had opportunities to do some very exciting work during my tenure so far, but the most exciting project has been implementing zero trust security using the Zscaler Private Access (ZPA) technology for a major consumer goods organisation.

We initially set it up in “open VPN” mode which means all users have access to all internal applications via ZPA. We are now working with the customer to move to a zero trust model with ZPA wherein only authorized users will have access to the applications on the specific port numbers. This provides an additional layer of security at the ZPA level along with the security checks enforced by the actual applications themselves. It’s quite interesting in the sense that we have tried to use aspects of machine learning alongside manual analysis of data to build robust zero trust policies on ZPA.

How does you and your team’s work help our customers achieve their business goals?

My team’s core agenda is to keep the network infrastructure for our clients always “running securely” and meet the network security needs of different audiences and customer types.

How has BT supported your development and career growth?

What I love about my work in BT is that every day is a different day. It doesn’t matter what project I do, I always find a large variety in my day-to-day tasks that is impossible to predict, and it has never been boring and monotonous. My work at BT has given me enormous opportunities with respect to various projects to learn something new and be a better version of myself when it comes to my technology skills.

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