28 April 2023
Rini Gopinath relocated to the Netherlands to work at ABN AMRO. 'Cyber security in the banking sector. What's more interesting than that?'.
What do you do at the bank?
'I’m the product owner for the Online Brand & Phishing protection team. We protect ABN AMRO against online brand abuse and try to prevent phishing attacks. We spend all day tracking and taking down fake websites, e-mails, text messages and sham profiles on social media like Facebook, Instagram and even TikTok. Reputational risk is a major issue. Our brand identity is used to entice people. I work with five great guys. I, myself, am from India, another team member comes from Iran and the rest are Dutch. We talk a lot about work, but also the customs, traditions and food from our home country. What's good about it, what's not.'
And, what's good about your work?
'Cyber security at a bank... What's more interesting than that? Clients can lose so much money due to fraud, as well as assets like jewellery, bonds, et cetera. Not only do we protect clients from these phishing scams, but we also protect our employees from phishing attacks. As a computer science student, I discovered what's possible once you have some knowledge of the cyber world. I was amazed by what I found, and I decided to learn how to hack. My first "discovery" was the vulnerability of my university's website. Anyone could set up anything there. This is where my passion for cyber security was born. But I wanted to be on the right side. That's why I'm now helping organisations to defend themselves against these attacks. I even moved to the Netherlands to do this work at ABN AMRO.'
Why did you want to work at ABN AMRO?
'I really wanted to work in the financial sector, and I soon discovered that ABN AMRO takes its employees' ideas seriously. That's why, after six years, I still work here. When you have an idea, someone should listen to you. My managers have always listened to me. They really coach you, which is good for your personal development and for the bank. The bank even provides a nice personal development budget every year. When you're able to share your ideas, you add value to the bank. My supervisor also always asks me how I feel about my career. If I have to leave the bank to follow my dream, that's fine too. Six months ago, I became a mother to a beautiful daughter. And now, I find that the bank gives me all the space I need to be with my child. The bank stands for Family Comes First.'
Your work sounds exciting...
'It often is. We share hacking stories and security incidents, train our colleagues from other departments and stay alert to the new types of global attacks. My goal is to make every bank employee aware of the dangers lurking on the Internet and to make it impossible for cybercriminals to attack my bank using phishing techniques. Cyber security is such a hot topic. Not just for a bank, but for society as a whole. Everyone should be aware of the dangers and be conscious of what they are sharing on social media, where they are keeping their passwords, and so on. So, be sure to protect yourself, but also your family and children. I don’t know a single child who isn't on social media, so they should know that they cannot just leave their name and details all over the place. That's why I give talks at schools.'
What kind of problems do you encounter at the bank?
'Positions often require five years' experience, at a minimum. That’s a real shame because it prevents you from discovering the potential of young people who have less work experience. Fortunately, this is changing. After six years of protecting the bank from cyber attacks, I was ready to move up the career ladder. I asked if they'd give me the chance, and they did. I'd proven myself, and now I'm working as a manager in a role that combines all my interests and skills. What's more, the bank's security department has clear objectives and a vision for the coming years. That also appeals to me.'
Would you like to apply tor a vacancy on Rini's team or in another department at ABN AMRO? You can apply here!