E48 - Sunil Karrir at Orgvue

Lewis West
Sunil Karir

By Lewis West & Sunil Karir

On our 48th episode of The Route to Networking, our Head of Cyber Security, Lewis West, is joined by Sunil Karrir. Now the Senior Information Security Analyst at Gravitee, and former Information Security Analyst at Concentra Analytics, he discusses the challenges he faced when trying to enter the Cyber Security industry.

Prior to his career in the Cyber Security space, he spent 20 years in Finance in the Logistics sector. He left Finance in February 2019 when he was called by an IT firm. They offered him a structured training program and he ended up completing a few certifications with them.

He worked as an Engineer looking after clients, proxies, and firewalls and at that time, he had no idea what was going on. Within the same firm, he was given the chance to do the 15027001 recertifications and the Cyber Security Centrals recertification, which helped him build on his skills.

After speaking to a few people within the company, they said that Cyber Security was the place to be, so he took his certification and thought… now what? Wanting to make a jump into a different career, he was advised to apply for 10 jobs a day in any role and it would initiate conversations with industry professionals across different sectors. He got his first Cyber Security role in August 2021, through a previous guest on our show, James Dyson. He was offered the opportunity to talk to someone and they ended up taking a punt on him.

Something he wishes he knew before starting out in his career was to actually go into something he was passionate about. Looking back, he didn’t have a passion for Finance and if he was introduced to Cyber Security at an earlier date, he would’ve gotten into it a lot sooner. He advises everyone to not feel under pressure that you’ve got to be a graduate or have a master's as the whole academic landscape has changed massively. He is seeing a lot more on-the-job vocational training these days so there are more opportunities for anyone to get into the space. If you follow what you enjoy, give it your all, it will break through so make sure you don’t give up.

The steps he takes to ensure he’s staying up to date with technology is the certification route. He had a boss that was always challenging him, pushing him to do more and it was a great way for him to learn. There are so many sources of information where you can learn the fundamentals now, joining online forums, watching YouTube videos etc. These are just a few of the ways that not only he uses but everyone else should do too.

Sunil discusses his biggest networking disaster and how despite the bad things that happen in business, we should look forward to the good times ahead. While he was working as an MSS Engineer, he was preparing all day to implement a Proxy Wall for a client, and he forgot to put a ‘.b’ on the end of the wall and it didn’t work. He needed to have it implemented by 9 pm and he finished for the day at 8 pm. A hard lesson learned but it allowed him to check over the minor details before making any firm decisions.

Some advice for any aspiring Network Engineer, you need to be doing your homework and be able to demonstrate that you’ve put the work in. Be proactive, do your research, and do you really want to be in Cyber Security? Keep plugging away and determine what more you can do and if you can be better, who inspires you? And most importantly, never give up.

With the world of Networking improving and evolving at a rapid pace so is the technology. The emerging technologies that excite Sunil currently are Machine Learning and AI. They are becoming huge in the industry, but he stresses that we all have to be mindful that we’re always going to need human intervention. If you can master those technologies, then you’ll be in a great position.

During our infamous quick fire round, Sunil tells us his most controversial opinion… Make sure you give the full episode a listen to find out what he says.