Improving Google’s security and threat detection is all in a day’s work for Harrison Mbugi
Harrison Mbugi’s interest in information technology (IT) – and how the Internet works – led him to studying a Bachelor of Computer Science, then later a Masters in IT. After taking some security classes for his Masters, his fascination for cyber security was sparked.
It wasn’t until Harrison joined Google that he realised cyber security was the perfect STEM gig for him. “I had to learn more about different pathways, consult my mentors at Google and then decide which pathway to take based on what interested me the most,” he explains.
And now? Harrison is kicking goals as a security engineer, where he maintains, identifies and implements ways to improve security in order to safeguard Google’s information systems assets. His big picture goal is to continue to improve threat detection, and one of his favourite projects has been building detection on the cloud.
Working in STEM
When it comes to the STEM workplace, Harrison believes diversity introduces new experiences and ideas that can inspire creativity. “Studies have shown that diverse teams are more productive and outperform non-diverse teams,” he says. “More diversity in the STEM workforce means more innovation and better solutions to the problems faced by mankind. Also ensuring that these solutions will work for all, not just a few groups of people.”
Harrison admits that he sometimes used to wonder if STEM was for him, but now he knows that STEM is for everyone. His advice? “Read about different fields and careers in STEM. Find out which one interests you the most. Look for mentors to guide you. And most importantly, don’t give up.”
Harrison’s study and career pathway
- Founder, Youth for Africa
- Bachelor of Science in Computer Science, St. Xavier’s College (India)
- Masters in Information Technology, Loyola University Chicago (USA)
- Information Technology Resident, Google
- Security Engineer, Google