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Ask Prajal Kulkarni for Advice
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Prajal Kulkarni
Prajal Kulkarni

Prajal Kulkarni

Security Consultant

Microland Limited

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Brief description about me
Firstly thanks a lot for giving me this opportunity, I work as a security consultant for a company in Bangalore. I graduated from Goa Engineering College doing my Electronics and Telecommunication in 2010. I was a campus recruit and was inducted directly in the Vulnerability Assessments and penetration testing team of my company. My core expertise are in the field of Web application security and network security.

Important career decision
Computer security has always been my first choice to build a carrier. But it is really hard for a fresher to find a smoother way in a company which has security as its primary domain; I should say I was lucky to get the field which I always wanted.

Degree that I recommend
Security is such a vast field that there are areas of specializations in every aspect of it. There  are firewalls, web applications, network devices, Intrusion Detection systems, Antivirus software,  Operating Systems, Programming and  even embedded design! Each of these fields have their own  certifications, either vendor based or community driven, however, if you are looking to become a  Penetration Tester or a Web Application Security Engineer then I would recommend the OSCP and the  SANS certifications. CEH and CISSP have become too pedestrian with a lot of people being able to easily crack them.

My view
I have personally seen in my career a lot of freshers who have skills that are expected to be  present in somebody with 5 years of experience in Computer Security. There are a lot of youngsters who are in the final years of college and are busy hacking the night away. As technology is  progressed, it has become accessible to a lot more people, that includes students and individuals  who are way more curious in the learning curve than most other "professionals". It also pays off in the long run as freshers tend to work with their first company longer than the average experienced professional while continuously striving to create a presence in the organization by doing good work.

My skills
I believe positive thinking is one thing which has always driven me, there were times in my carrier when I have failed my targets but I have taken it as a new learning experience and this has what kept me motivated and going forward.

My role model
There are many to count, I drive inspiration from various people in many circles of life. My parents will always be my heroes they have worked a lot all their life to make me who I am. In the field of security I follow many people and respect their work which includes Adam Mein(Google Security), Riyaz Walikar(www.riyazwalikar.com) , Jeremiah Grossman(whitehat secucrity), Nils Juenemann etc.

Upcoming Trends
Security is an ever evolving domain. It does not take years for a trend to shift into view, however  that said, I think Cloud Security, Data Protection and Privacy, HTML5 Rich Internet Applications  Security and Malware Research would I think be areas were companies and governments would invest in the coming months, if not years.

My goals and ambitions
Doing quality research in the field of Web app security is what currently I am working on. The coming five years will  definitely see a lot more changes in field of security, so as a security researcher I would surely want to make an impression.

My achievements
It is really important in our field that we continue our research apart from our daily work routine. My interest in Web application security has earned me a place in Google Security Hall of fame, Facebook Whitehats, and Adobe/GLPI/Ebay/Acquia/ConstantContacts/37Signals/Owncloud/Ifixit Acknowledgement pages.

Advice to students
Career is a very ambiguous word when it comes to what youngsters want. Most freshers would accept any job offer they get and spend the next 5 years or so cursing the day they accepted the offer.  Making sure that you enjoy doing what you do makes your everyday effortless. Love your work not your desk or company. Individuals new to the field of security should read, practice, research, document and repeat the steps over and over again.

My point of view
India has always been seen as a service provider in contrast to being a product developer. There are far more consultants and support personnel here than programmers and there is nothing wrong with that. We haven’t done anything wrong, its just perspective. Products come and go but the ability to explain how the product works and support the product if it misbehaves is something that we have.  Companies leading in innovation, research and product development have always had Indians in the board rooms, be it Microsoft, Apple or Google and that is something I'm really proud of.

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