We live a part of our life online and with increased online presence, comes the threat of IT security. It is not often that we get to meet a woman who has made her mark in this space. Let us meet Swati Shah, who is an IT Security professional and works tirelessly to ensure that the online world is a safer place for her firm and its clients.
Tell us a little about yourself. What do you do professionally?
I am an IT security professional and have spent over 15 years fighting virus attacks, hackers, payment frauds and the likes. I have earned my graduate degree in information technology and have always enjoyed the space. It has been an interesting journey to see how the digital space has changed and evolved over the past decade. We are so much more advanced and entrenched in the online world now, and hence IT security has become more important than ever.
I work for a world leading independent commodity trading and logistic house, headquartered in Geneva. However, my job has always been sector agnostic. I have worked in a bank, in a mutual fund, with the Big 4's and now in the commodity space.
Besides work, what do you enjoy doing?
I love travelling. I am pretty much always ready to pack my bags and set out to explore a new country. Nature, architecture, culture - all are my travel inspiration.
Besides travelling, I enjoy sports as well. I play football, table tennis and badminton. It is a great way to de-stress and unwind. Sports keep me fit and healthy - physical and mental health go hand in hand.
Travelling and sports, both, let me meet new people and make friends. They are a great way to bond and share a few fun moments.
Is there any childhood instance that has shaped you?
I have always been inspired by my Dad. I have seen him work really hard in his prime so that he could create a nest for us and for his older years. He has made me realise the value of having a long term goal and taking baby steps to get there.
He has inspired me to in all that you can, when you can, because it is not always that one has the means and the ability to do so. Procrastination is a vice that is a hurdle and will come in the way of success.
What does success mean to you?
I believe in living life everyday. Hence, I set out little targets that I want to achieve during the day. It could be completion of a project at work or feeding a dog. Success is the satisfaction that I experience when the day ends, because I have done what I wanted to do.
Small things add up to big things. Small tasks make up a huge project. Succeeding step by step makes the journey enjoyable and helps me live everyday to the fullest.
What traits would you recommend young women to develop to be able to succeed in today’s world?
Success comes to those who work hard. Being smart and intelligent does not replace hard work. There are no shortcuts to success.
Do not be complacent. It is an ever changing world and you need to keep yourself updated with what is happening. Learn new skills and upgrade your skill sets. If you do not do that, you will get left behind.
Lastly, be agile and learn to pivot. Remember that you will need to adapt to the changing environment, whether it is at work or on the personal front.
Arm yourself with the skills and do not shy away from hard work - that is the mantra to success.
Ethiko salutes a dynamic woman!