Deepa’s path to Operate services has been a dynamic one. From starting in the tech industry, to taking time out to focus on her family full-time, to a new career fighting cybercrime—read how she applies her passion for insight and constant learning to help drive client operational success.
Briefly explain what you do at Deloitte.
I’m a Senior Solution Delivery Lead delivering Cyber Operate services as part of a team who oversee the cybersecurity programme for a large global institution. I’m based out of Chennai, India. Our 120 strong team work across several locations in India and are responsible for monitoring the 24/7 health of our client’s global network, applications, and technology infrastructure to help make sure that their organisation is secure from threats. My role includes governing the ongoing cybersecurity programme and delivering actionable insights, to better optimise Deloitte’s support.
How would you explain what you do to someone who knows nothing about Operate services?
We offer managed end-to-end cybersecurity solutions that help clients achieve their cyber security operational goals and meet risk and regulatory requirements. Our work can range from proactive cyber-risk management to threat-event detection and response. We ask key questions, help clients navigate risks, and expedite their overall operational performance.
Tell us about an Operate services project you're most proud of working on in your career.
My current project is one that I am really proud of. Not only because I’m exposed to so many learning opportunities due to the size of the operation, but also because it is my first project at Deloitte after taking a 12-year break from working. Moving into Cyber Operate services after a long break and changing roles has opened the door to numerous learning experiences that have been exciting and refreshing.
What does a typical day of work look like for you?
My day usually begins with examining data—looking at metrics and data analytics and producing reports that review the holistic health of our client’s cyber operations. This informs ways in which we can improve the security posture for our client in the coming day. Data-driven insights are also used to suggest security gaps that need to be remediated and how proactive solutions can be implemented. Also, as part of the governance team, my role involves reviewing the day-to-day operations of some of our programme workstreams, identifying potential gaps in our processes and taking corrective actions. In all, I help ensure that cyber security operations continue to run like a well-oiled machine.
How did you end up in Operate services?
I began my career in product development at a large global IT organisation. I then moved to application development and transferred to Seattle in the US. Afterward, I took a 12-year career break to focus on my family. I never considered that I might return to work in a professional role again, and especially in cyber at Deloitte, until a friend of mine referred me via the Deloitte US Encore Programme, an initiative aimed at helping people return to work after extended career breaks. I was trained and given the right tools to seamlessly shift into this new role, at a new organisation, in a completely new specialisation, and to kickstart my career again.
What excites you most about your role? Why do you do what you do?
My current role is full of opportunities that allow me to stay connected to the ever-evolving cybersecurity space. As technology grows, so does the size and sophistication of threats and risks that organisations face. There’s always a new challenge and you’re always on your toes to stay ahead of the game.
What's the most challenging part of your job?
A lot of my work revolves around deciphering large volumes of data. Analysing and accurately representing this data to our clients in a way that they understand is by far the most challenging aspect of my job. Thankfully, I have the support of great managers and teams to help keep it all together.
What's a common misconception about working in Operate services?
I think when people look at Operate projects that go on for several years, like my current client, what they may see is monotony. Operate is anything but monotonous. Because of ever-changing client needs and complex digital ecosystems, our responsibilities are also constantly in flux, which keeps things interesting. We thrive on this and find avenues to ideate and innovate to present new solutions to client challenges.
What advice would you give your younger self about working in Operate services?
I think everyone’s fear is getting stagnant or not growing in a company or role. Operate roles require patience but constant learning. I would tell my younger self to persevere and keep your door open to a world of learning opportunities and exciting challenges.
What do you like to do outside of work? And why is it so special to you?
I’m a big reader and love languages. I enjoy reading everything from classics in my native language, Tamil, to satirical British comedy like P.G. Wodehouse. I try to stay as close as possible to the native Indian languages because I also enjoy translating and staying connected to my roots. As a fun fact, I recently translated the Prime Minister of India’s speech from native languages Hindi to Tamil.
Note: The services and experiences described herein are intended to demonstrate Deloitte's experience and capabilities in these areas, however, due to independence restrictions that apply to audit clients (including affiliates), Deloitte is unable to provide certain services based on individual facts and circumstances. Therefore, the experiences and descriptions would not apply to services to audit clients.