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From intern to Director

Name: Kyle S.
Job Title: Director, Cloud Security, Business Technology

I’ve been with Discover since 2005—started as an intern! When I’m not thinking about how to secure the cloud, I enjoy time with my lovely wife and our dog. When left to my own device, I follow the latest trends in pop culture and tabletop gaming. I have a great love for telling narrative stories and as such enjoy rolling twenty-sided dice to slay dragons.

How did you land at Discover?

I went to school at Illinois State University for a degree in Computer Science. I was introduced to Discover through one of the school’s numerous job fairs. The Discover intern program at the time was ahead of the other companies at the fair, providing intern events, housing and friendly people. I made my decision to do whatever I could to get an internship opportunity at Discover. Anything to get my foot in the door and I’m very happy that Discover saw something in me and offered me an internship.

I’ve had many different roles throughout my career at Discover. Currently, I am a Director of Cloud Security but just before that I was the product manager and people leader of our Cloud Cybersecurity teams. I guide our cloud cybersecurity strategy, act as a cloud security consultant for the enterprise, and coach a wonderful group of engineers who build out incredible cybersecurity cloud products.

Great experiences, Great Work, Great People

I’ve had numerous great experiences throughout my career at Discover. During my internship, I learned how to network with peers and I made some life-long friends in the process. That network has continued to serve as a support system throughout my time at Discover.

One moment I’m particularly proud of is helping to organize the Robocar Rally. This event helped demonstrate the benefits of cloud computing and machine learning. What started off as an idea from a small piece of feedback, turned into a wonderful learning experience on our campus. We had folks in the upper levels of the building watching the Robocar car track on the ground floor!

While this is just one example, the most common factor to all of the great experiences I’ve had at Discover is the people. I’ve met so many fascinating folks from around the company and it’s been an absolute pleasure to work with such awesome and amazing people.

The difference is in the cloud… cyber cloud that is!

While our team’s contributions may be behind the scenes, I view our team as enablers. For example, when we recognized that security misconfigurations in the cloud could open the door for security threats, we typically tackle this issue by looking into the commercial marketplace for solutions and the products at the time were uninspiring.  So in the spirit of innovation and investing in our talent, we decided to build our own solution!

Our product accomplished a few things. It gave our enterprise developers a set of security guardrails to operate within when deploying infrastructure to the cloud – nearly frictionless cybersecurity. It skilled up our engineering team with cloud security knowledge that will be required as our cloud adoption increases. It also demonstrated the spirit of innovation that Discover promotes – as the product has been recognized by the cloud security community and our cloud providers.

Build more than tech

From a technical skill standpoint, the freedom to pursue new opportunities internally at Discover has enabled me to gain skill sets across test automation, IT operations, systems administration and infrastructure architecture to build a solid foundation for my current role in cybersecurity.

From a development standpoint, wearing different hats and working with numerous teams helped build my people leadership experience. There’s an old metaphor I say often: “I stand on the shoulders of giants.” I have had great mentors throughout my career at Discover who knew what they had to do to push me forward. Whether telling a story, creating a vision or putting together a solution to tackle a complex problem, I’ve been able to exercise my talent for those skills at every opportunity I’ve had at Discover.

Build People:  Investing in them leads to successes

I believe what makes Discover different is our investment in our people. The ability and support to look for new opportunities internally is something I have taken advantage of and not experienced in previous companies. I’ve learned from those before me that investing in our talent yields long term benefits. In retrospect, every sound and rewarding decision I’ve made was made with an eye on talent investment. It’s a common theme in our success.

How is your work and the work of your department meaningful?

Taking care of the security of our customer’s data is integral to all that we do. The talented group of folks I get to work with everyday deliver cybersecurity innovation to enable our business while being relentless in the pursuit to protect our customers and our brand.

If you want to be part of a community of builders, if you want a company that invests in you, if you want to create things that matter, if you want the freedom to express yourself in the work that you do – Discover is the place to be.

We also have great benefits and a remote work-at-home program.

 

 

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“Why would I say no?”

Gunwantha

Name: Gunwantha

Job Title: Senior Cybersecurity Analyst

While in college, I became interested in cybersecurity and ethical hacking as a career so I was talking to anyone and everyone that was hiring. I had a job offer lined up when on a whim I talked to a Discover recruiter in the computer science building about cybersecurity. The ethical hacking role didn’t work out but I ended up interviewing for a role on the Security Intelligence and Incident Response Team and Discover extended me an offer. The job required less travel and involved work that I had been studying to do. How could I say no?

How does this experience compare to other jobs you’ve had in the past?

This role is more hands-on which I really enjoy. Additionally, it is nice to have co-workers that care about my opinion. It is difficult to have a voice when you are young in the technology industry, but I have never had an issue like that at Discover. Everyone gives their time freely and respects my opinion. They even take it one step further and advocate for me.

What’s a typical day for you at the office?

Each day is broken into three major components — issues, development and meetings/emails. Every day we go over feature requests, product issues, etc., and assign them out to those who are best suited to fix or develop them. Then, usually in the early afternoon, I will try to get all my meetings and emails taken care of as well as complete any necessary online training. Finally, near the end of the day, I work on development tasks, which usually involves building new technologies or scripts for our Security Operations Center to use. Every day is a bit different and always challenging and the role has been a great fit for me.

Interested in working in Business Technology?