AWS Security Profiles: Ram Ramani, Senior Security Solutions Architect
In the weeks leading up to re:Invent, we’ll share conversations we’ve had with people at AWS who will be presenting, and get a sneak peek at their work.
How long have you been at AWS?
I’ve been at AWS for 4 years.
What’s your favorite part of your job?
The ability to channel the technologist, sales person, developer, and creative marketer and fuse them all into one in my current role as a security solutions architect at AWS. It’s deeply satisfying to know that multiple AWS services put together can help solve a security problem for a customer.
How did you get started in Security?
I was a product manager in one of my previous jobs where I started working deeper with crypto algorithms used in the financial services industry. This led me to understand how, in certain industry verticals, security is a core part of product building and how important it was to infuse security features into the various functionalities that a product provides. Since then, I have pursued my interest further in this field.
How do you explain what you do to non-technical friends or family?
My 8-year-old daughter once asked me, “Why aren’t you delivering packages although you work for Amazon?” Since then, I always thought about how I would explain to her what I do and this is what I came up with: The Netflix shows that you watch, they are streamed from computers that are hosted on Amazon Web Services. My job is to provide advice to customers, such as Netflix and others, on how they can continuously innovate and enrich their end customers’ experience, while making sure that it’s done in a secure manner.
What are you currently working on that you’re excited about?
Customers are trying to use AWS security services at scale to solve for security problems that span multiple regions and multiple AWS accounts. Currently, I am working on providing prescriptive guidance to customers on trade-offs that they need to think about while building and protecting their data on AWS across their multi-account and multi-region architectural deployments.
You’re presenting at re:Invent this year – can you give readers a sneak peek of what you’re covering?
Protecting data in transit is an important security control that AWS customers want to implement. In this talk, we are working with one of our customers, BlackSky, and talking about their initiative to achieve TLS Everywhere. We will cover architectural trade-offs, automation at scale, and architectural best practices while using AWS Certificate Manager (ACM).
What are you hoping your audience will do differently after your session?
After attending this session, customers will become more comfortable in knowing that AWS Certificate Manager (ACM) can help them achieve TLS Everywhere for the applications and architectures that they build on AWS.
From your perspective, what’s the biggest thing happening in security right now?
In my opinion, a lot of startups that build security products are now being born in the cloud, and, with AWS Marketplace, it’s very easy for customers to take advantage of these security services that these startups build and integrate it within their AWS accounts. This is big for the security startup ecosystem and can spur a lot of innovation in security.
What is your favorite Leadership Principle at Amazon and why?
Think Big is one of the leadership principles I really like. The reason is that the ability to think big about any problem that one is trying to solve will allow you to look at the problem across multiple dimensions, and the end result can produce significant impact and a superior customer experience.
What’s the best career advice you’ve ever received?
One of my mentors told me to never give up if the first iteration of a product fails. I have seen that persisting through failures can lead to lot of learning about what customers actually want and, in the long term, helps build valuable customer experiences.
If you could go back, what would you tell yourself at the beginning of your career?
I would have told myself to seek out and work with teams with a growth mindset, along with a strong builder’s culture.
From what I understand, you enjoy table tennis in your free time, correct?
This is a sport I have played since high school and I got into it then. I like the competition and the pace of the game. The margin of error is very low in this game, and I love how the probability of winning changes every minute, making it super competitive and fun.
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