People @ ITC: Q&A with Dimitar Dimitrov, Senior Network and Security Engineer

Customer success is a priority at ITC: our focus is to deliver the best possible outcome for our customers. In this series of Q&As, we go behind the scenes and meet some of the people at ITC who are driving the customer experience forward and helping to make the world a safer place to do business, every single day.

For this month’s edition, Senior Network and Security Engineer, Dimitar Dimitrov, talks to us about his journey from pure technical engineering to customer facing, what he enjoys most about his role, and why active listening is an essential skill for any engineer to deliver the best outcome for customers to succeed.

Q: Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I joined ITC just over five years ago and have held several positions within our 24×7 state-of-the-art Security Operations Centre. My roles have allowed me to have hands-on experience with the solutions we deploy to secure a customer’s infrastructure across the board, from firewall network management to security monitoring: all provided though our managed security services.

My role has evolved from pure technical engineering to customer facing and now I work with customers’ service managers and engineers to resolve technical issues which has been great!

Q: What do you enjoy the most about your role?

Everything related to network security devices. Whether it’s configuration changes, working with customers to investigate issues, or advising them on the newer Microsoft technologies, which we offer to tackle current cyber security challenges. Being able to have this holistic view on how traffic is passing through the customers’ networks helps us to keep our customers secure.

I also enjoy working directly with customers to secure their infrastructure. The more I get to know the customer and their business, the more I feel that I can add value because I have a better understanding of what their business requires in terms of cyber security.

Q: What advice do you have for someone who wants to pursue a career as a network and security engineer?

The role of a network and security engineer is crucial to maintaining and proofing network security systems and we often deal with sensitive data. Because of this, it’s important to have relevant work experience and certifications, and a customer-first mindset.

  • Work experience: Look for opportunities to gain experience whether it be on the infrastructure side, or at a technology level. The main thing here is to build up your knowledge in understanding the architecture and investigating issues related to the customer’s specific set up.
  • Certification: There are several certifications that future network and security engineers can get. Which one you choose depends on what area of expertise you want to specialise in but pay attention to trends from major vendors such as Microsoft, Cisco, and Palo Alto Networks.
  • Customer-first mindset: To deliver the best possible business outcome for the customer, it’s critical to constantly seek to understand their business needs. Listen carefully to the requirements being presented so you can meet the expectations as an engineer.

Q: Let’s expand on having a customer-first mindset further. What does it mean to you?

It starts with active listening. It’s about focusing on what the customer is saying, rather than what you’re going to say in response. It’s also sometimes about what the customer isn’t saying and being able to read between the lines.

As an engineer, this skill is essential to understand a customer’s challenges and needs in order to advise on and implement the right solution to deliver the best outcome. Whether it’s a system update or a new service based on the business requirement, the priority is always to manage and deliver it in a way that will not expose the customer to any unnecessary risk and fundamentally improve their cyber maturity overall.

Q: And finally, in your experience, why is ITC a great place to work?

Having the opportunity to grow and develop my skills has always been important for me in my career and it’s what I look for in a place of work. ITC provides the environment and support for us to do this. From my experience, this can be seen in how my role has expanded and evolved over the years and through the special projects I’ve been involved with that have exposed me to other parts of the business or areas of technology that I’m interested in.

For me, it’s about being part of a team and an environment that goes beyond just having a job; it’s about having the ability to provide incredible customer experience and growing as a person while doing it.