Last time, I talked with Glenda Snodgrass. She’s a founder and the president of The Net Effect, a cybersecurity services company. This time, I had a fascinating discussion with Nitha Suresh. She taught me a bit about penetration testing and aircraft data networks.

Kimberly Crawley: Hi Nitha! Tell me a bit about what you do.

Nitha Suresh: I am currently working with Synopsys as a security consultant. I am a penetration testing consultant. My passion for cybersecurity dates back to the time when I started to break into TV locks and crack dial-up passwords as a child. I always had that analytical and investigative sort of mind. I would spend hours trying to figure out why something went wrong. After I graduated in information technology, I decided to give a shape and form to my passion. I started Googling topics that I’m interested in. That’s when I decided to do my Master’s in information security.

While doing my Master’s, I published my first IEEE paper. Then I did an internship in a company where I was tasked to hack them. That became my first penetration testing engagement. In the past two and a half years, I’ve done pentesting and cyber maturity assessments, and I have managed security operations.

I have published two IEEE papers so far. I’m researching security in aircraft data networks and also on streamlining social media intelligence gathering for optimizing crime investigation.

KC: Aircraft data networks? How do they work? What do they entail?

NS: Aircraft data networks were introduced as a concept in the ARINC 664 specification. They consist of the usual networking devices such as bridges, switches, routers, and hubs. Aircraft data networks are divided into four domains depending on the kind of data they process: passenger entertainment, passenger (Read more...)