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Posted by: Richard Saunders, Director, Trustworthy Computing
Many years ago I worked for a company in the UK that made paint. I was part of a team planning an official visit by HRH Princess Anne to open a new multi-million pound research laboratory. We thought it would be nice to assign roles to some of the people working in the new facility. One chap in particular, a renowned doctor of science no less, was given the task of opening a door for Her Royal Highness. That’s it, just open the door for her to pass through.
Come the big day, Princess Anne made her way down the hallway, got to the doctor and his door, which he opened perfectly. She paused and said to the chap “and what do you do?”
Utterly flustered, all he could manage by way of reply was: “Er, um, er. I open the doors.” She smiled and moved on. He never lived the moment down.
That’s a rather convoluted way of introducing a new series of personal profiles about people who work on Trustworthy Computing, within a division of the same name. As you may know, Trustworthy Computing (TwC) was formed 10 years ago last month. We’re proud of what we’ve achieved over the last decade, but know we have much more yet to do. We thought it would be fun to take a look at some of the people in TwC and what they do both in and out of work.
Over the next few weeks from time to time we’ll be posting 30 second profiles on some of our people. The first is on Adrienne Hall, TwC general manager and a regular blogger on this site.
- What do you do in TwC and how long have you been doing it?
For the last four years I’ve been leading a team focused on helping organizations keep their networks secure and helping individuals stay safe, secure and private on the internet. A key area of focus for me right now is the cloud and what we are doing to make it secure, private and reliable for our customers.
- What’s the first thing you do every day at work?
Sit down with a soy latte to scan the news headlines and read news coverage.
- What is the biggest security challenge facing the industry?
Push me for only one and I’d have to say machines and devices that do not routinely apply security updates. Effective updating discipline is a fundamental yet critical defense against cybercriminals.
- What’s the biggest contribution you or your team has achieved in the last 10 years?
Predictable and clear communication regarding monthly security bulletins so that customers know how to protect themselves. It is also rewarding to see people increasingly acknowledge Microsoft as a leader in protecting the security and privacy of customer systems and information, and in providing world-class security intelligence.
- What do you do to unwind?
I love to switch my Windows Phone off, power down my laptop and watch some classic period drama TV. My favorite right now is Downton Abbey.
- Favorite band?
I’m a huge U2 fan, especially their early work. Their second album, Rattle and Hum, is my favorite album, and “Angel of Harlem” my all-time favorite track.
- You work in security, privacy and reliability. Was that by accident or by design?
Totally by design. Before TwC I worked in sales roles and spent time with customers experiencing security issues. It made me seek out a role in the group responsible for addressing them.
- You win the lottery. What’s the first thing you’d do?
Buy a sailboat. Then back to work Monday morning of course.