Did you know that mixed-gender teams lead to higher profits and sales for organizations? It’s because of this, and the opportunity to create an environment where all people can bring their whole selves to work, that VMware is committed to creating a diverse and inclusive workplace community. Connect with VMware Member of Technical Staff, Vartika Agrawal, and hear how her drive to continuously innovate within Information Technology is empowering women to lead change in their careers at the Grace Hopper Celebration in India.
Role: Member of Technical Staff
Office Location: Bangalore, India
Years at VMware: 1
Share what a typical day is like for you at VMware.
Once you start doing what you love for a living, the work is no longer work. A day at VMware is never monotonous as each day comes with its own challenges, priorities, and learnings, which is empowering me to achieve my full potential. I am a morning person, so I prefer starting work early. For me, a typical day starts by catching up on emails, checking my calendar, and making a rough plan for the day. After this, my team syncs up to share status updates on what we’re each working on. From there, I dedicate time to work on vSphere We Client, which is the VMware product that I’m currently working on. The second half of the day consists of meetings, technical discussions, and continued work on the problem I took up in the morning. Outside of my immediate work responsibilities, I give back through the VMware Foundation, participate in research projects, and organize team events such as birthday celebrations, team lunches and day outings. I try to balance time between regular product work and other activities as it helps keep me refreshed and rejuvenated. On days with fewer projects, I spend time playing games like foosball and table tennis with my teammates.
What inspired you to pursue a career in Information Technology?
Information Technology is rapidly growing as there is constant innovation happening in the field. Computers and coding have fascinated me since high school. At the RV College of Engineering, Bangalore, I got a chance to explore this field in depth. A degree in Computer Science provides an immense number of career options to choose from based on interests and skill sets. There are pure technical jobs for people who love math and coding. There are Program Manager roles, which do need knowledge of computers, but are more of management jobs. As a member of the IT community, I feel that I am receiving the opportunity to contribute to the continuous changing dynamics of our society.
You have a poster on “Cache-Based Side-Channel Attack on AES in Cloud Computing Environment” and “IoT Transaction Security” being shared at Grace Hopper (#GHCI15) India. Can you share more about what the poster addresses?
“Cache-Based Side-Channel Attack on AES in Cloud Computing Environment” is based on the work done with my friends during my final semester at RV College of Engineering, Bangalore. Our paper demonstrates cache-based side-channel attack between virtual machines where a malicious virtual machine owned by an attacker extracts an AES encryption key from the victim’s virtual machine, which is spawned on same physical machine. Software implementation of AES uses table lookup operations, which affects the cache. These lookup indices are closely related with private key used for encryption/decryption. Leakage of the key can reveal lot of confidential information. My poster session paper shows how the attacker can obtain this key and how one can combat the attack by disrupting the cache-access patterns during encryption.
“IoT Transaction Security” addresses security requirements when IoT devices are connected to the cloud. IoT is an emerging technology. As more and more devices are interconnected, and send and receive data over the network, it becomes important to protect the data from security vulnerabilities. My poster session paper provides confidentiality and integrity of data originated from an IoT device that is sent over the network to the Cloud through the following ideas:
- Providing direct HTTPS connection between IoT devices and cloud by eliminating the mediator devices
- Bitcoin block chain ledger principle to achieve decentralization and scalability in IoT network
The 2015 theme for the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing India is Our Time to Lead. What does this theme mean to you?
It’s time that mainstream society acknowledges and supports women pursuing technical careers just as it does for men. Research shows that diversity within teams leads to better business outcomes, so it makes sense from an innovation and ethical perspective to empower woman at all levels within an organization. The Grace Hopper Celebration in India, which brings together over 12,000 people every year, is a great platform to raise awareness about the importance of women in the workplace while empowering women in their professional and personal growth through meaningful connections with others across the technology community.
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