Nicole Cieslak

Nicole Cieslak is the marketing communications manager at Sumo Logic and editor in chief of the Sumo Logic blog, responsible for sharing company news, research, partner/customer stories and other happenings with external stakeholders.

Posts by Nicole Cieslak

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RSAC 19 Partner Cam: Sumo Logic & PagerDuty Deliver Seamless SecOps

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Sumo Logic Experts Reveal Their Top Enterprise Tech and Security Predictions for 2019

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SnapSecChat: Sumo Logic's CSO Explains the Next-Gen SOC Imperative

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Announcing Extended AWS App Support at re:Invent for Security and Operations

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SnapSecChat: Sumo Logic CSO Recaps HackerOne's Conference, Security@

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Illuminate 2018 Product Update Q&A with Sumo Logic CEO Ramin Sayar

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Exploring the Future of MDR and Cloud SIEM with Sumo Logic, eSentire and EMA

At Sumo Logic’s annual user conference, Illuminate, we announced a strategic partnership with eSentire, the largest pure-play managed detection and response (MDR) provider, that will leverage security analytics from the Sumo Logic platform to deliver full spectrum visibility across the organization, eliminating common blind spots that are easily exploited by attackers. Today’s digital organizations operate on a wide range of modern applications, cloud infrastructures and methodologies such as DevSecOps, that accumulate and release massive amounts of data. If that data is managed incorrectly, it could allow malicious threats to slip through the cracks and negatively impact the business. This partnership combines the innovative MDR and cloud-based SIEM technologies from eSentire and Sumo Logic, respectively, that provide customers with improved analytics and actionable intelligence to rapidly detect and investigate machine data to identify potential threats to cloud or hybrid environments and strengthen overall security posture. Watch the video to learn more about this joint effort as well as the broader security, MDR, and cloud SIEM market outlook from Jabari Norton, VP global partner sales & alliances at Sumo Logic, Sean Blenkhorn, field CTO and VP sales engineering & advisory services at eSentire, and Dave Monahan, managing research director at analyst firm, EMA. For more details on the specifics of this partnership, read the joint press release.

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Illuminate 2018 Video Q&A with Sumo Logic CEO Ramin Sayar

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Illuminate Day Two Keynote Top Four Takeaways

Day two of Illuminate, Sumo Logic’s annual user conference, started with a security bang, hearing from our founders, investors, customers and a special guest (keep reading to see who)! If you were unable attend the keynote in person, or watch via the Facebook Livestream, we’ve recapped the highlights below for you. If you are curious about the day one keynote, check out that recap blog post, as well. #1: Dial Tones are Dead, But Reliability Is Forever Two of our founders, Christian Beedgen and Bruno Kurtic, took the stage Thursday morning to kick off the second day keynote talk, and they did not disappoint. Sumo Logic founders Bruno Kurtic (left) and Christian Beedgen (right) kicking off the day two Illuminate keynote Although the presentation was full of cat memes, penguins and friendly banter, they delivered an earnest message: reliability, availability and performance are important to our customers, and are important to us at Sumo Logic. But hiccups happen, it’s inevitable, and that’s why Sumo Logic is committed to constantly monitoring for any hiccups so that we can troubleshoot instantly when they happen. The bottom line: our aspiration at Sumo Logic is to be the dial tone for those times when you absolutely need Sumo Logic to work. And we do that through total transparency. Our entire team has spent time on building a reliable service, built on transparency and constant improvement. It really is that simple. #2: The Platform is the Key to Democratizing Machine Data (and, Penguins) We also announced a number of new platform enhancements, solutions and innovations at Illuminate, all with the goal of improving our customers’ experiences. All of that goodness can be found in a number of places (linked at the end of this article), but what was most exciting to hear from Bruno and Christian on stage was what Sumo Logic is doing to address major macro trends. The first being proliferation of users and access. What we’ve seen from our customers, is that the Sumo Logic platform is brought into a specific group, like the security team, or the development team, and then it spreads like wildfire, until the entire company (or all of the penguins) wants access to the rich data insights. That’s why we’ve taken an API-first approach to everything we do. To keep your workloads running around the globe, we now have 20 availability zones across five regions and we will continue to expand to meet customer needs. The second being cloud scale economics because Moore’s Law is, in fact, real. Data ingest trends are going up, and for years our customers have relied on Sumo Logic to manage mission-critical data in order to keep their modern applications running and secured. Not all data is created equal, and different data sets have different requirements. Sometimes, it can be a challenge to store data outside of the Sumo Logic platform, which is why our customers now will have brand new capabilities for basic and cold storage within Sumo Logic. (Christian can confirm that the basic storage is still secure — by packs of wolves). The third trend is around the unification of modern apps and machine data. While the industry is buzzing about observability, one size does not fit all. To address this challenge, the Sumo Logic team asked, what can we do to deliver on the vision of unification? The answer is in the data. For the first time ever, we will deliver the State of Modern Applications report live, where customers can push their data to dynamic dashboards, and all of this information will be accessible in new easy to read charts that are API-first, templatized and most importantly, unified. Stay tuned for more on the launch of this new site! #3: The State of Security from Greylock, AB InBev and Pokemon One of my favorite highlights of the second day keynote was the security panel, moderated by our very own CSO, George Gerchow, with guests from one of our top investors, Greylock Partners, and two of our customers, Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev) and Pokemon. From left to right: George Gerchow, CSO, Sumo Logic; Sara Guo, partner, Greylock; Khelan Bhatt, global director, security architecture, AB InBev; John Visneski, director infosecurity & DPO, Pokemon Sara Guo, general partner at Greylock, spoke about three constantly changing trends, or waves, she’s tracking in security, and what she looks when her firm is considering an investment: the environment, the business and the attackers. We all know the IT environment is changing drastically, and as it moves away from on-premises protection, it’s not a simple lift and shift process, we have to actually do security differently. Keeping abreast of attacker innovation is also important for enterprises, especially as cybersecurity resources continue to be sparse. We have to be able to scale our products, automate, know where our data lives and come together as a defensive community. When you think of Anheuser-Busch, you most likely think of beer, not digital transformation or cybersecurity. But there’s actually a deep connection, said Khelan Bhatt, global director, security architecture, AB InBev. As the largest beer distributor in the world, Anheuser Busch has 500 different breweries (brands) in all corners of the world, and each one has its own industrial IoT components that are sending data back to massive enterprise data lakes. The bigger these lakes get, the bigger targets they become to attackers. Sumo Logic has played a big part in helping the AB InBev security team digitally transform their operations, and building secure enterprise data lakes to maintain their strong connection to the consumer while keeping that data secure. John Visneski, director of information security and data protection officer (DPO) for the Pokémon Company International had an interesting take on how he and his team approach security. Be a problem solver first, and a security pro second. Although John brought on Sumo Logic to help him fulfill security and General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) requirements, our platform has become a key business intelligence tool at Pokemon. With over 300 million active users, Pokemon collects sensitive personally identifiable information (PII) from children, including names, addresses and some geolocation data. Sumo Logic has been key for helping John and his team deliver on the company’s core values: providing child and customer safety, trust (and uninterrupted fun)! #4: Being a Leader Means Being You, First and Foremost When our very special guest, former CIA Director George Tenet, took the stage, I did not expect to walk away with some inspiring leadership advice. In a fireside chat with our CEO, Ramin Sayar, George talked about how technology has changed the threat landscape, and how nation-state actors are leveraging the pervasiveness of data to get inside our networks and businesses. Data is a powerful tool that can be used for good or bad. At Sumo Logic, we’re in it for the good. George also talked about what it means to be a leader and how to remain steadfast, even in times of uncertainty. Leaders have to lead within the context of who they are as human beings. If they try to adopt a persona of someone else, it destroys their credibility. The key to leaderships is self awareness of who you are, and understanding your limitations so that you can hire smart, talented people to fill those gaps. Leaders don’t create followers, they create other leaders. And that’s a wrap for Sumo Logic’s second annual user conference. Thanks to everyone who attended and supported the event. If we didn’t see you at Illuminate over the last two days, we hope you can join us next year! Additional Resources For data-driven industry insights, check out Sumo Logic’s third annual ‘State of Modern Applications and DevSecOps in the Cloud’ report. You can read about our latest platform innovations in our press release, or check out the cloud SIEM solution and Global Intelligence Service blogs. Check out our recent blog for a recap of the day one Illuminate keynote.

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Illuminate Day One Keynote Top Five Takeaways

Today kicked off day one of Sumo Logic’s second annual user conference, Illuminate, and there was no better way to start the day than with a keynote presentation from our CEO, Ramin Sayar, and some of our most respected and valued customers, Samsung SmartThings and Major League Baseball (MLB). The event was completely sold out and the buzz and excitement could be felt as customers, industry experts, thought leaders, peers, partners and employees made their way to the main stage. If you were unable to catch the talk in person or tune in for the Facebook livestream, then read on for the top five highlights from the day one keynote. #1: Together, We’ve Cracked the Code to Machine Data At Sumo Logic, we’re experts in all things data. But, to make sure we weren’t biased, we partnered with 451 Research earlier this year to better understand how the industry is using machine data to improve overall customer experiences in today’s digital world. We found that 60 percent of enterprises are using machine data analytics using for business and customer insights, and to help support digital initiatives, usage and app performance. These unique findings have validated what we’ve been seeing within our own customer base over the past eight years — together, we can democratize machine data to make it easily accessible, understandable and beneficial to all teams within an organization. That’s why, as Ramin shared during the keynote, we’ve committed to hosting more meet-ups and global training and certification sessions, and providing more documentation, videos, Slack channels and other resources for our growing user base — all with the goal of ‘lluminating’ machine data for the masses, and to help customers win in today’s analytics economy. #2: Ask, and You Shall Receive Continued Platform Enhancements Day one was also a big day for some pretty significant platform enhancements and new solutions centered on three core areas: development, security and operations. The Sumo Logic dev and engineering teams have been hard at work, and have over 50 significant releases to show for it, all focused on meeting our customer’s evolving needs. Some of the newer releases on the Ops analytics side include Search Templates and Logs to Metrics. Search Templates empower non-technical users like customer support and product management, to leverage Sumo Logic’s powerful analytics without learning the query language. Logs to Metrics allow users to extract business KPIs from logs and cost-effectively convert them to high performance metrics for long-term trending and analysis. We’ve been hard at work on the security side of things as well, and are happy to announce the new cloud SIEM solution that’s going to take security analytics one step further. Our customers have been shouting from the rooftop for years that their traditional on-premises SIEM tool and rules-based correlation have let them down, and so they’ve been stuck straddling the line between old and new. With this entirely new, and first of its kind cloud SIEM solution, customers have a single, unified platform in the cloud, to help them meet their modern security needs. And we’re not done yet, there’s more to come. #3: Samsung SmartThings is Changing the World of Connected IoT Scott Vlaminck, co-founder and VP of engineering at Samsung SmartThings, shared his company’s vision for SmartThings to become the definitive platform for all IoT devices, in order to deliver the best possible smart home experience for their customers. And, as Scott said on stage, Sumo Logic helps make that possible by providing continuous intelligence of all operational, security and business data flowing across the SmartThings IoT platform, which receives about 200,000 requests per second a day! Scott talked about the company’s pervasive usage of the Sumo Logic platform, in which 95 percent of employees use Sumo Logic to report on KPIs, customer service, product insights, security metrics and app usage trends, and partner health metrics to drive deeper customer satisfaction. Having a fully integrated tool available to teams outside of traditional IT and DevOps is what continuous intelligence means for SmartThings. #4: Security is Everyone’s Responsibility at MLB When Neil Boland, the chief information security officer (CISO) for Major Baseball League took the stage, he shared how he and his security team are completely redefining what enterprise security means for a digital-first sports organization that has to manage, maintain and secure over 30 different leagues (which translates to 30 unique brands and 30 different attack vectors). Neil’s mission for 2018 is to blow up the traditional SIEM and MSSP models and reinvent them for his company’s 100 percent cloud-based initiatives. Neil’s biggest takeaway is that everyone at MLB is on the cybersecurity team, even non-technical groups like the help desk, and this shared responsibility helps strengthen overall security posture and continue to deliver uninterrupted sports entertainment to their fans. And Sumo Logic has been a force multiplier that helps Neil and his team achieve that collective goal. #5: Community, Community, Community Bringing the talk full circle, Ramin ended the keynote with a word about community, and how we are not only in it for our customers, but we’re in it with them, and we want to share data trends, usages, and best practices of the Sumo Logic platform with our ecosystem to provide benchmarking capabilities. That’s why today at Illuminate, we launched a new innovation — Global Intelligence Service — that focused on three key areas: Industry Insights, Community Insights and Data Science Insights. These insights will help customers extend machine learning and insights to new teams and use cases across the enterprise, and these are only possible with Sumo Logic’s cloud-native, multi-tenant architecture. For data-driven industry insights, check out Sumo Logic’s third annual ‘State of Modern Applications and DevSecOps in the Cloud’ report. You can read about our latest platform innovations in our press release, or check out the cloud SIEM solution and Global Intelligence Service blogs. Want the Day Two Recap? If you couldn’t join us live for day two of Illuminate, or were unable to catch the Facebook livestream, check out our second day keynote recap blog for the top highlights.

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Black Hat 2018 Buzzwords: What Was Hot in Security This Year?

It’s been a busy security year, with countless twists and turns, mergers, acquisitions and IPOs, and most of that happening in the lead up to one of the biggest security conferences of the year — Black Hat U.S.A. Each year, thousands of hackers, security practitioners, analysts, architects, executives/managers and engineers from varying industries and from all over the country (and world) descend on the desert lands of the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas for more than a week of trainings, educational sessions, networking and the good kind of hacking (especially if you stayed behind for DefCon26). Every Black Hat has its own flavor, and this year was no different. So what were some of the “buzzwords” floating around the show floor, sessions and networking areas? The Sumo Logic security team pulled together a list of the hottest, newest, and some old, but good terms that we overheard and observed during our time at Black Hat last week. Read on for more, including a recap of this year’s show trends. And the Buzzword is… APT — Short for advanced persistent threat Metasploit — Provides information about security vulnerabilities and used in pen testing Pen Testing (or Pentesting) — short for penetration testing. Used to discover security vulnerabilities OSINT — Short for open source intelligence technologies XSS — Short for cross site scripting, which is a type of attack commonly launched against web sites to bypass access controls White Hat — security slang for an “ethical” hacker Black Hat — a hacker who violates computer security for little reason beyond maliciousness or personal gain Red Team — Tests the security program (Blue Team) effectiveness by using techniques that hackers would use Blue Team — The defenders against Red Team efforts and real attackers Purple Team — Responsible for ensuring the maximum effectiveness of both the Red and Blue Teams Fuzzing or Fuzz Testing — Automated software that performs invalid, unexpected or random data as inputs to a computer program that is typically looking for structured content, i.e. first name, last name, etc. Blockchain — Widely used by cryptocurrencies to distribute expanding lists of records (blocks), such as transaction data, which are virtually “chained” together by cryptography. Because of their distributed and encrypted nature the blocks are resistant to modification of the data. SOC — Short for security operations center NOC — Short for network operations center Black Hat 2018 Themes There were also some pretty clear themes that bubbled to the top of this year’s show. Let’s dig into them. The Bigger, the Better….Maybe Walking the winding labyrinth that is the Mandalay Bay, you might have overheard conference attendees complaining that this year, Black Hat was bigger than in year’s past, and to accommodate for this, the show was more spread out. The business expo hall was divided between two rooms: a bigger “main” show floor (Shoreline), and a second, smaller overflow room (Oceanside), which featured companies new to the security game, startups or those not ready to spend big bucks on flashy booths. While it may have been a bit confusing or a nuisance for some to switch between halls, the fact that the conference is outgrowing its own space is a good sign that security is an important topic and more organizations are taking a vested interest in it. Cloud is the Name, Security is the Game One of the many themes at this year’s show was definitely all things cloud. Scanning the booths, you would have noticed terms around security in the cloud, how to secure the cloud, and similar messaging. Cloud has been around for a while, but seems to be having a moment in security, especially as new, agile cloud-native security players challenge some of the legacy on-premises vendors and security solutions that don’t scale well in a modern cloud, container or serverless environment. In fact, according to recent Sumo Logic research, 93 percent of responding enterprises face challenges with security tools in the cloud, and 49 percent state that existing legacy tools aren’t effective in the cloud. Roses are Red, Violets are Blue, FUD is Gone, Let’s Converge One of the biggest criticisms of security vendors (sometimes by other security vendors) is all of the language around fear, uncertainty and doubt (FUD). This year, it seems that many vendors have ditched the fearmongering and opted for collaboration instead. Walking the expo halls, there was a lot of language around “togetherness,” “collaboration” and the general positive sentiment that bringing people together to fight malicious actors is more helpful than going at it alone in siloed work streams. Everything was more blue this year. Usually, you see the typical FUD coloring: reds, oranges , yellows and blacks, and while there was still some of that, the conference felt brighter and more uplifting this year with purples, all shades of blues, bright greens, and surprisingly… pinks! There was also a ton of signage around converging development, security and operations teams (DevSecOps or SecOps) and messaging, again, that fosters an “in this together” mentality that creates visibility across functions and departments for deeper collaboration. Many vendors, including Sumo Logic have been focusing on security education, offering and promoting their security training, certification and educational courses to make sure security is a well-understood priority for stakeholders across all lines of the business. Our recent survey findings also validate the appetite for converging workflows, with 54 percent of respondents citing a greater need for cross-team collaboration (DevSecOps) to effectively investigate, prioritize and correlate threats for faster remediation. Three cheers for that! Sugar and Socks and Everything FREE Let’s talk swag. Now this trend is not entirely specific to Black Hat, but it seems each year, the booth swag gets sweeter (literally) with vendors offering doughnut walls, chocolates, popcorn and all sorts of tasty treats to reel people into conversation (and get those badge scans). There’s no shortage of socks either! Our friends at HackerOne were giving out some serious booth swag, and you better believe we weren’t headed home without grabbing some! Side note: Read the latest HackerOne blog or watch the latest SnapSecChat video to learn how our Sumo Logic security team has taken a DevSecOps approach to bug bounties that creates transparency and collaboration between hackers, developers, and external auditors to improve security posture. Sumo swag giveaways were in full swing at our booth, as well. We even raffled off a Vento drone for one lucky Black Hat winner to take home! Parting Thoughts As we part ways with 100 degree temps and step back into our neglected cubicles or offices this week, it’s always good to remember the why. Why do we go to Black Hat, DefCon, BSides, and even RSA? It’s more than socializing and partying, it’s to connect with our community, to learn from each other and to make the world a more secure and bette place for ourselves, and for our customers. And with that, we’ll see you next year! Additional Resources For the latest Sumo Logic cloud security analytics platform updates, features and capabilities, read the latest press release. Want to learn more about Sumo Logic security analytics and threat investigation capabilities? Visit our security solutions page. Interested in attending our user conference next month, Iluminate? Visit the webpage, or check out our latest “Top Five Reasons to Attend” blog for more information. Download and read our 2018 Global Security Trends in the Cloud report or the infographic for more insights on how the security and threat landscape is evolving in today’s modern IT environment of cloud, applications, containers and serverless computing.

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SnapSecChat: A DevSecOps Approach to Bug Bounties with Sumo Logic & HackerOne

Regardless of industry or size, all organizations need a solid security and vulnerability management plan. One of the best ways to harden your security posture is through penetration testing and inviting hackers to hit your environment to look for weak spots or holes in security. However, for today’s highly regulated, modern SaaS company, the traditional check-box compliance approach to pen testing is failing them because it’s slowing them down from innovating and scaling. That’s why Sumo Logic Chief Security Officer and his team have partnered with HackerOne to implement a modern bug bounty program that takes a DevSecOps approach. They’ve done this by building a collaborative community for developers, third-party auditors and hackers to interact and share information in an online portal that creates a transparent bug bounty program that uses compliance to strengthen security. By pushing the boundaries and breaking things, it collectively makes us stronger, and it also gives our auditors a peek inside the kimono and more confidence in our overall security posture. It also moves the rigid audit process into the DevSecOps workflow for faster and more effective results. To learn more about Sumo Logic’s modern bug bounty program, the benefits and overall positive impact it’s had on not just the security team, but all lines of the business, including external stakeholders like customers, partners and prospects, watch the latest SnapSecChat video series with Sumo Logic CSO, George Gerchow. And if you want to hear about the results of Sumo Logic’s four bounty challenge sprints, head on over to the HackerOne blog for more. If you enjoyed this video, then be sure to stay tuned for another one coming to a website near you soon! And don’t forget to follow George on Twitter at @GeorgeGerchow, and use the hashtag #SnapSecChat to join the security conversation! Stop by Sumo Logic’s booth (2009) at Black Hat this week Aug 8-9, 2018 at The Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas to chat with our experts and to learn more about our cloud security analytics and threat investigation capabilities. Happy hacking!

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Employee Spotlight: A Dreamer with a Passion for Product Design & Mentoring

In this Sumo Logic Employee Spotlight we interview Rocio Lopez. A lover of numbers, Rocio graduated from Columbia University with a degree in economics, but certain circumstances forced her to forego a career in investment banking and instead begin freelancing until she found a new career that suited her talents and passions: product design. Intrigued? You should be! Read Rocio’s story below. She was a delight to interview! When Creativity Calls Q: So tell me, Rocio, what’s your story? Rocio Lopez (RL): I am a product designer at Sumo Logic and focus mostly on interaction design and prototyping new ideas that meet our customers’ needs. Q: Very cool! But, that’s not what you went to school for, was it? RL: No. I studied economics at Columbia. I wanted to be an investment banker. Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve been a nerd about numbers and I love math. Part of it was because I remember when the Peso was devalued and my mom could no longer afford to buy milk. I became obsessed with numbers and this inspired my college decision. But the culture and career path at Columbia was clear — you either went into consulting or investment banking. I spent a summer shadowing at Citigroup (this was during the height of the financial crisis), and although my passion was there, I had to turn down a career in finance because I was here undocumented. Q: That’s tough. So what did you do instead? RL: When I graduated in 2011, I started doing the things I knew how to do well like using Adobe Photoshop and InDesign to do marketing for a real estate company or even doing telemarketing. I eventually landed a gig designing a database for a company called Keller Williams. They hired an engineer to code the database, but there was no designer around to think through the customer experience so I jumped in. Q: So that’s the job that got you interested in product design? RL: Yes. And then I spent a few years at Cisco in the marketing organization where they needed help revamping their training platforms. I started doing product design without even knowing what it was until a lead engineer called it out. I continued doing small design projects, started freelancing and exploring on my own until I connected with my current manager, Daniel Castro. He was hiring for a senior role, and while I was not that senior, the culture of the team drew me in. Q: Can you expand on that? RL: Sure. The design team at Sumo Logic is very unique. I’ve spent about seven years total in the industry and what I’ve been most impressed by is the design culture here, and the level of trust and level-headedness the team has. I’ve never come across this before. You would think that because we’re designing an enterprise product that everyone would be very serious and buckled up, but it’s the opposite. The Life of a Dreamer Q: Let’s switch gears here. I heard you on NPR one morning, before I even started working at Sumo Logic. Tell me about being a dreamer. RL: People come to the U.S. undocumented because they don’t know of other ways to come legally or the available paths for a visa aren’t a match for them because they may not have the right skills. And those people bring their families. I fell into that category. I was born in Mexico but my parents came over to the U.S. seeking a better life after the Tequila crisis. I grew up in Silicon Valley and went to school like any other American kid. When Barack Obama was in office, he created an executive order known as the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, since Congress has failed to passed legislative action since 2001. To qualify for the program, applicants had to have arrived in the U.S. before age 16 since June 15, 2007 and pass a rigorous background check by homeland security every two years. . I fell into this category and was able to register in this program. Because most of the immigrants are young children who were brought here at a very young age, we’ve sort of been nicknamed “dreamers” after the 2001 DREAM Act (short for Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act). Q: And under DACA you’ve been able to apply for a work permit? RL: That’s right. I have a work permit, I pay income taxes, and I was able to attend college just like a U.S. citizen, although I am still considered undocumented and that comes with certain limitations. For instance, my employer cannot sponsor me and I cannot travel outside the United States. The hope was that Congress would create a path for citizenship for Dreamers, but now that future is a bit uncertain after they failed to meet the deadline to pass a bill in March. For now I have to wait until the Supreme Court rules the constitutionality of DACA to figure out my future plans. Q: I can only imagine how difficult this is to live with. What’s helped you through it? RL: At first I was a big advocate, but now I try to block it out and live in the present moment. And the opportunity to join the Sumo Logic design team came at the right time in my life. I can’t believe what I do every day is considered work. The team has a very unique way of nurturing talent and it’s something I wish more companies would do. Our team leaders make sure we have fun in addition to getting our work done. We usually do team challenges, dress up days, etc. that really bring us all together to make us feel comfortable, encourage continued growth, and inspire us to feel comfortable speaking up with new ideas. I feel like the work I am doing has value and is meaningful, and we are at the positive end of the “data conversation.” I read the news and see the conversations taking place with companies like Facebook and Airbnb that are collecting our personal data. It’s scary to think about. And it feels good to be on the other side of the conversation; on the good side of data and that’s what gets me excited and motivated. Sumo Logic is collecting data and encrypting it and because we’re not on the consumer-facing side, we can control the lens of how people see that data. We can control not only the way our customers collect data but also how they parse and visualize it. I feel we’re at the cusp of a big industry topic that’s going to break in the next few years. Q: I take it you’re not on social media? RL: No. I am completely off Facebook and other social media platforms. When I joined Sumo Logic, I became more cautious of who I was giving my personal data to. Advice for Breaking into Design & Tech? Q: Good for you! So what advice to you have for people thinking of switching careers? RL: From 2011 to now I’ve gone through big career changes. There are a lot of people out there that need to understand how the market is shifting, that some industries like manufacturing, are not coming back, and that requires an adaptive mindset. The money and opportunity is where technology and data are and if people can’t transition to these new careers in some capacity, they’re going to be left out of the economy and will continue to have problems adjusting. It’s a harsh reality, but we have to be able to make these transitions because in 15 or 20 years from now, the world will look very different. I’ve been very active in mentoring people that want to break into technology but aren’t sure how. Q: What’s some of the specific advice related to a career path in UX/design that you give your mentees? RL: Sometimes you have to breakaway from traditions like school or doing a masters program and prioritize the job experience. Design and engineering are about showing you’ve done something, showing a portfolio. If you can change your mindset to this, you will be able to make the transition more smoothly. I also want to reiterate that as people are looking for jobs or next careers, it’s important to find that place that is fun and exciting. A place where you feel comfortable and can be yourself and also continue to grow and learn. Find meaning, find value, and find the good weird that makes you successful AND happy. Stay in Touch Stay in touch with Sumo Logic & connect with us on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook for updates. Want to work here? We’re hiring! Check out our careers page to join the team. If you want to learn more about our machine data analytics platform visit our “how it works” page!

August 1, 2018

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SnapSecChat: The Demand for Security as a Service

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Employee Spotlight: Exploring the Parallels Between Finance and DevSecOps Engineering

In this Sumo Logic Employee Spotlight we interview Michael Halabi. Mike graduated from UC Santa Cruz with a bachelor’s degree in business management economics, spent some time as an auditor with PwC, joined Sumo Logic as the accounting manager in the finance department, and recently transitioned to a new role at the company as a DevSecOps engineer. [Pause here for head scratch] I know what you’re thinking, and yes that is quite the career shift, but if you stay with us, there’s a moral to this story, as well as a few lessons learned. Work Smarter, Not Harder Q: Why did you initially decide business management economics was the right educational path? Mike Halabi (MH): I fell into the “uncertain college kid” category. While I was interested in engineering, I was also an entrepreneur at heart and knew that someday, if I were to start my own business, I would need a foundational business background as well as a variety of other life experiences outside of textbook knowledge. Q: How do you approach your work? MH: Everything in life, no matter how scary it may appear up front, can be broken into a series of simpler and smaller tasks. If you learn how to think about problem solving in a certain way, you can make anything work, no matter how far beyond your skill set and core competency it may originally seem. This is especially true in the technology industry where success often depends on doing it not just better, but also faster, than the competition. Breaking down complex problems into bite size chunks allows you to tackle each piece of the problem quickly and effectively and move on to the next. Q: What’s the best way for a business to achieve that — doing it better and faster? MH: Automation. This is applicable across the board. The finance industry is full of opportunities to automate processes. Half of what a traditional finance team spends its time doing is copy/pasting the same information into the same email templates or copy/pasting a formula in excel and manually tweaking each line. In other words, a bunch of tedious outdated practices that could be easily automated thanks to modern programs and technologies. One instance I recall is someone spending a full day calculating a small subset of a massive spreadsheet line by line: eight hours to do one-tenth of the massive workbook. With a proper understanding of the problem and how to leverage the tools available, I wrote a formula to copy/paste in 30 minutes that completed the entire workbook and is still in use today. Scalable, simple, efficient — this formula removes manual error and works every time. And this was a quarterly project, so that many weeks’ worth of highly paid time is saved every quarter. Low hanging fruit like this is everywhere. Q: So how did you capture the attention of Sumo Logic’s technical team? MH: Word got out about my closet-coding (really, I annoyed everyone to death until they let me help with something fun) and soon, various people in various teams were sending side projects on troubleshooting and automation my way. I continued on like this for awhile — finance accounting manager by day, coder by night until I was approached by our CSO and asked if I’d like to transition onto his team as a DevSecOps engineer. Connect the Dots Q: Let’s back up. How did you initially get into coding? MH: I took an early liking to video game development and while I didn’t have a formal engineering or coding background, using the above methodology, I taught myself how to make simple games using C++/SDL. Then, once I started helping out with various projects at Sumo Logic, I discovered Python, C# and Go. By spending time experimenting with each language I found different use-cases for them and in trying to apply what I’d learned I was pushed into the altogether different world of infrastructure. Making solutions was easy enough, getting them to less technically inclined folks became a new challenge. In order to deploy many of my cross functional projects at Sumo Logic, I had to learn about Docker, Lambda, EC2, Dynamo, ELBs, SSL, HTTP, various exploits/security related to web-based tech, etc. I devoted more of my time to learning about the backend and underlying technologies of the modern internet because making a service scalable and robust requires a holistic skillset beyond simply writing the code. Q: Are there any interesting parallels between finance and engineering? MH: As an auditor at PwC, I worked frequently with many companies from the very early startup stage to large public companies, and the problems most all of these companies face are the same. How do we get more done without hiring more people or working longer hours, and without sacrificing work quality. In finance the problem is handled generally by hiring more at a lot of companies. Q: Can you expand on that? MH: You need to look beyond the company financials. Increased revenue to increased work can’t (or should never) be a 1:1 ratio. For a company to scale, each individual employee has to understand how his or her role will scale in the future to keep pace with corporate growth and needs. You scale an organization by using technology, not by mindlessly throwing bodies at the work. That’s what I learned from finance. You don’t need a team of 10 people to collect money and write the same email to clients multiple times a day, when you can automate and have a team of two handle it. Manual processes are slow and result in human error. In engineering I think this concept is well understood, but in finance, in my experience, many companies behave as if they’re still in the 1500s with nothing more than an abacus to help them do their job. Find a Passion Project Q:What would be your advice to those considering a major career shift? MH: Our interests and passions will shift over time, and there’s nothing wrong with that. If you decide one day to do a complete 180 degree career change, go for it. If you don’t genuinely enjoy what you do, you’ll never truly advance. I loved designing video games and automating financial processes, which led to my career shift into engineering. Did I put in long hours? Yes. Did I enjoy it? Yes. Passion may be an oversung cliche but if you aren’t invested in your work, you’ll go through the motions without reaping any of the benefits, including the satisfaction of producing meaningful work that influences others in a positive way. Q: What’s your biggest learning from this whole experience? MH: The biggest takeaway for me as a coder was that theoretical knowledge doesn’t always apply in the real world because you can’t know how to make something until you make it. Coding is an iterative process of creating, breaking and improving. So never be afraid to fail occasionally, learn from it and move on. And don’t put yourself in a box or give up on your dreams simply because you don’t have a formal education or piece of paper to prove your worth. The technology industry is hungry for engineering talent, and sometimes it can be found in unusual places. In fact, finding employees with robust skill sets and backgrounds will only positively impact your team. Our collective experiences make us holistically stronger.

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