Shafath Ali M.
Tech Professional Protects His Customers from Potential Security Threats
As our virtual presence continues to rise, security is in the forefront of everyone’s minds. For people whose jobs involve network protection and maintenance, being on high alert is especially important. Shafath Ali M. is one such tech professional whose job is to create a barrier between his customers and potential threats.
Whenever a car is turned on and the driver connects to the infotainment services, Shafath Ali M. is at the car company’s home office, checking and scanning the system to make sure it is free of security breaches and safeguarded from hackers.
A solution architect for cybersecurity at General Motors (GM), Shafath makes sure that the wireless communication between the GM vehicle to the GM office is protected. This makes it possible for a driver to start the car from his or her phone, call for help if roadside assistance is needed, connect to the internet and access an array of other services without a glitch.
In the past few years, most car companies have developed and offered a growing number of infotainment services to car owners. As with all networks, these systems can be breached, sometimes with dire consequences.
"There are many hackers out there who want to disrupt services," Shafath explains. "We work to ensure that there's no disruption, intrusion or denial of services, whether it's voice, SMS or data." Still, this possibility is what keeps cybersecurity solution architects like Shafath awake at night.
Shafath first became interested in telecom at Touro Graduate School of Technology, from where he graduated in 2013. "After earning my degree in information technology in India, I traveled to New York City and entered Touro to obtain additional training and skills," he recalls. "At Touro, Jack Romano, director of the Information Systems program, was instrumental in encouraging me to enter the field of telecom and helped to guide me towards courses and professors."
Shafath's senior project, which focused on LTE (Long Term Evolution) for telecom networks, a standard for wireless broadband communication for mobile devices and data, was critical in helping him land his first job with Sprint in Detroit, Michigan. At Sprint, he worked as an RF (radio frequency) optimization engineer. From there he landed other technology jobs including working for the "Big Three," Ford, Chrysler and finally taking a position with GM, where for the past two years, he's helped to secure the systems of Chevy, GMC, Buick and Cadillac by detecting vulnerabilities, employing layers of defensive measures and constantly scanning for new threats on Telecom Network.
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