Google has some of the top technology experts in the country working for them in various capacities — one of their more colorful job positions is, apparently, known as “Security Princess” — or at least that’s what goes on Parisa Tabriz’s business card.
Tabriz is in charge of a division of hackers at the company, who are tasked with handling any and all security threats facing Google Chrome.
Tabriz wanted a job title that had a bit more spice than, say, “IT Solutions Expert” or “Information Security Engineer.” Tabriz came up with the title after a trip to Japan, in which business cards are required for professional introductions. Although some people went with “hired hacker,” Tabriz says that she likes to “one-up people.” This is now Tabriz’s official title at Google.
Their team basically have to think like criminals in order to understand potential flaws or threats in the system and weed them out without before others catch on. Google Chrome is currently the world’s most-used browser, and Tabriz has a lot of responsibility. She heads more than 30 [professional hackers throughout the U.S. and Europe.
To get her team to “think like hackers,” she often asks them to do unusual tasks, like rig vending machines to give out free snacks. “There’s a lot of similarities with the know-thy-enemy part of war,” she said in an interview with Elle.
“Hired hackers are very important, they call them ‘ethical hackers’,” says Chris Traxler, Managing Partner at TSI. “The only true way to test out your network and IT structure is to attempt to find vulnerabilities. Historically, these employees have turned from using their efforts in a negative way to a positive way – now we’re seeing more employees that are being educated specifically for ethical hacking.”
Tabriz, as a woman, is a bit of an anomaly in the tech world — especially when it comes to hacking. Tabriz says, though, that she’s never felt too intimidated, and she works as a mentor for other young women in the company and teaches them how to successfully deal with Google’s corporate environment.
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