Anant Mathur, IT Security
Senior Consultant, Professional Services, Bell Canada
“Working in IT security means the job depends on what’s hot in the news, like hacking. Security is big business!”
Anant was a member of the small team that designed the National Do-Not-Call List, allowing phone customers to opt-out of telemarketing calls. For such a huge project, its six-month time frame was extremely challenging. “We had to complete research and analysis, while planning and designing the service itself. It was ultra fast paced, and truly demonstrated what people are capable of when they put their minds to it”, Anant says. The final product is one that has affected the lives of millions of Canadians, something Anant is very proud of.
Anant’s role as Solutions Consultant with Bell Canada is a hybrid role, blending tech skills with communication and business abilities. He works on a team that meets with retail, telecommunications, or government clients, discusses their IT security needs, and then implements a custom-built or vendor specific software solution.
Keeping computer networks secure is increasingly important, with issues around online identity management, passwords, and safe network access being important to many businesses worried about hackers. Anant’s role is to consult face-to-face with clients, strategize their tech security needs, map out architecture, and work with a team to implement the design. “With constantly evolving threats, you need to stay ahead and know the tech solutions to these threats”, Anant says.
A Day in the Life
“Depending on the project, I sometimes don't see the office for months, since I’m working on site”, Anant says. The amount of time away from the office depends on how big the contract is, and the firm’s security needs. In that sense, there is no typical day – you have to be prepared to work anywhere, sometimes on overnight trips.
Anant immigrated to Canada from Bangalore, India to complete a Bachelor of Applied Science in Electrical Engineering at the University of Toronto, in 2005. He then began his career with Novell, one of the earliest multinational computer software and networking companies in the industry, before joining Bell Canada in IT security consulting – where he’s been for three years now.
Tips for Success
- Learn different languages: No, not those kinds of languages. As a consultant, you have to speak plainly and clearly to the needs of your clients, without confusing them with tech terms they’re not familiar with. But you also have to speak to your colleagues in tech jargon in order to make the job gets done. Communication is key – know who you’re talking to!
- Specialize: “There’s a great demand for engineers who have a niche specialty, like IT security”, Anant says. Find a specific area you’re interested in, and become an expert!
- Stay grounded: There’s a lot to be said for keeping hobbies, or making time to volunteer. Anant volunteers with recent immigrants to Canada, helping them feel comfortable and acclimatize them to life in Canada – something he can relate to as an immigrant himself.