Storage networks connect devices, arrays, and databases via fiber optic cables, switches, routers, and network protocols, allowing businesses to access stored data from different locations.
As a result, storage networks are vulnerable to a variety of cyber threats that can cause outages, make critical application data unavailable, and lead to massive financial losses.
Enterprise Hosting Forums interviewed Heather Giovanni for her views on the evolution and growth of storage network security in the market:
Giovanni is vice president of software engineering for HPE Storage. She started her career at HPE, later spent time working at other companies and recently returned to HPE to fill this role. Previously, Giovanni was VP of engineering at Palo Alto Networks, worked on the Cloud Next Generation Firewall platform, and worked at Aruba Networks, where she was executive sponsor and lead lead. for the first release of AOS-CX. She holds a computer science degree from California State University, Sacramento and lives in Roseville, California with her family.
Storage Network Security Market
Enterprise Hosting Forum: How did you first start working in the network hosting security market?
Giovanni: I’ve been in the embedded space and especially the networking space for quite a while, basically since I finished college! I switched from networking to security then to storage. I recently returned to HPE to work in the storage department. I was getting ready for a new area of technology and wanted to dig deeper into some of the intricacies of hosting, especially networking and security. I’m putting together different parts of my career history, while working in a field where I’m learning new things.
Enterprise Hosting Forum: What is your favorite thing about working at HPE?
Giovanni: What I like most about working at HPE is the people and the team spirit. The mental strength the team has when we work on big projects together — it’s inspiring. That’s what led me to boomerang back to HPE.
Enterprise Hosting Forum: What sets HPE’s approach to storage network security apart from the competition?
Giovanni: One thing that really sets us apart is our history. We’re a company that’s been through seasons and transitions, and that’s an important part of our story. So when we interact with customers, we can really understand their struggles as they manage the transition — because we’ve been there. For customers who are moving to the cloud, we know what it’s like!
We are using our experience as a company to inform what we offer and how we engage
client. That’s why we’re taking a hybrid approach to the cloud so we can meet our customers anywhere.
Enterprise Hosting Forum: What is an important security technology that you are particularly interested in?
Giovanni: Maybe not exactly a technology, but one area I’m interested in is data protection. There is a lot of data being generated all the time. Storing and protecting that data in a very strong security system is important, and how you manage and optimize your storage devices is also important. So this is a complex and highly involved area in our industry.
Enterprise Hosting Forum: What is one storage network security technique that teams should implement?
Giovanni: One technique I would recommend to teams is to create strong relationships with their suppliers and partners. For us at HPE, we’ve always wanted to help our customers solve the problems they’re having. When a customer tells us what their business needs are and what their concerns are, we can make sure they get the exact right solution.
Enterprise Hosting Forum: What is the overall hosting network security strategy that companies should implement?
Giovanni: I would say that the most important strategy for cybersecurity is to think about your entire network. Especially when building or upgrading/refreshing a network — see all the pieces and how they fit together to ensure optimal operation.
Enterprise Hosting Forum: What is the biggest security mistake you see businesses make when implementing their hosting network?
Giovanni: One potential security mistake is when a customer uses a collection of “best” solutions in their network. What often happens is that components are put together in a non-cohesive way. I think of it like this: I love baking — and there’s a big difference between buying flour, butter, and sugar versus making a cake. It’s the same with hosting network security — think about the results, then find the right recipe for your environment; don’t just find the right ingredients.
Enterprise Hosting Forum: What are some of the current trends in the hosting network security market that are promising?
Giovanni: I started working with embedded systems because it was a challenge: it’s a limited resource and a long-lived product, so we had to meet a high technical threshold with everything. we provide. As technology – and the technology lifecycle – changes, that has changed. But I think the current trend is bringing us back to where there is a high degree of detail in our product development, and I see that promising — for my work, for me personally. and for our industry.
Enterprise Hosting Forum: What are the biggest factors driving change in storage network security?
Giovanni: Cloud. But it is driving change that is different now than it was a few years ago. What we’re seeing is more and more options for cloud-based solutions — which means vendors and customers need to be more and more dedicated to what they’re creating and deploying. It used to be “cloud or not”; we now have public cloud, private cloud, on-premises, air and all kinds of licensed and service-as-a-service products running on our networks. Navigating and optimizing across all these cloud combinations is a key factor driving change right now.
Enterprise Hosting Forum: How have approaches to hosting network security changed during your time in the market?
Giovanni: I think cybersecurity has become a more elegant market. When I first entered the industry, networks were simpler; Now, between cyber attacks and the increase in computing power and speed, cybersecurity has become more complex. This requires more thoughtful development and a higher degree of software engineering and technical problem solving. It’s something I like!
Enterprise Hosting Forum: Where do you predict the storage network security market will be in the next 5 or 10 years?
Giovanni: The ubiquity of data is definitely shaping cybersecurity and will continue to do so. Capturing, storing and protecting data is an important issue. We’re seeing more laws around record-keeping and privacy protection — that will continue to have an impact on our industry.
Why is it important to secure your SAN environment? Read more about why SAN security is important.
Personnel in storage network security
Enterprise Hosting Forum: What’s one technology your team wants security and network experts to know about?
Giovanni: More than any technology, I think it’s important for network and security professionals to know how different technologies work together. For example, at HPE, we have compute, storage, networking, and services. Understanding how different technologies work together will help network professionals get the right setup for their workflow.
Enterprise Hosting Forum: If you could give a hosting security professional one piece of advice at the start of their career, what would it be?
Giovanni: Just jump in! I think sometimes reluctance and overthinking happens in the technical field, and I’d say get involved and find a way to contribute. Ask questions, pursue areas of interest, and don’t be afraid to get excited about a project. The rest will fall into place.
Enterprise Hosting Forum: With a shortage of tech talent, how does your team find and retain professionals working in storage network security?
Giovanni: For us, there are two main ways. One is professional networking. It’s always helpful to maintain industry connections and to know when there may be opportunities to connect former colleagues with current opportunities. Another is college recruiting. There’s a lot of really great talent coming out of the university, and hiring professionals early gives us the opportunity to bring in new perspectives and skills. I’ve done recruiting with some of our local universities in California – my colleagues at other HPE campuses are doing the same – and we’re hiring some young professionals really great right out of college.
Enterprise Hosting Forums: For the greatest business impact, what should security and hosting professionals focus on most in their roles?
Giovanni: Network and storage professionals should focus on network resilience. Data, whether it is customer data, transaction data, inventory data, etc., is very important to the business. Focusing on protecting your data — and its accessibility — will have a significant business impact. A network strategy that minimizes risk and minimizes outright disruption should be in focus.
Business Hosting Forums: What is one of your top professional achievements?
Giovanni: Probably Aruba AOS-CX. It was a project that took over two years, led a large team, and it was a roller coaster ride! We built a product that was all new hardware, all new software, and the biggest build from the starter project I led. It was a challenging project, but I’m really proud of the team I worked with and the product we brought to market.
Enterprise Hosting Forum: What is your favorite part of working in the hosting network security market?
Giovanni: My favorite part is working with people who are strongly motivated to solve technical problems. I love the moment when you get the whole group together and say this is the problem and there is a wonderful energy – almost electricity – in the group. People’s wheels start spinning, and they light up with ideas, and I love that.
Business Hosting Forums: What is one of your favorite parts of the work week?
Giovanni: I’m in the office on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and those are my favorite times of the week. We take a hybrid approach to work, so I arrange my schedule to take advantage of quiet focus time on days when I work from home and time to collaborate face-to-face with my team on weekends. my day at the office. It’s great to start a conversation in the hallway or use the large whiteboard in a meeting room for high-energy collaboration and connectivity.
Business Hosting Forum: How does it encourage or inspire you?
Giovanni: Seeing how people make connections and work together in new and different ways is really encouraging. Our lives and work patterns have changed a lot over the past few years, and people have to be creative and intentional about building connections and communicating with their colleagues — and we did. ! I find that encouraging.
Business Storage Forum: Do you have a favorite way to recharge during the workday?
Giovanni: Fresh air and caffeine! I like to go out for a walk or have an afternoon coffee – or both at the same time.
Business Hosting Forums: What is your hobby or favorite way to spend time outside of work?
Giovanni: Since it’s October, I have to say that my favorite hobby right now is Halloween. It’s my favorite holiday – I love designing and sewing, I love dressing, I love decorating, all that.
Learn about Ways to secure your business’s storage area network.