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WI Pro of the Season: Pekka Tetri, Information Security & Risk Management Expert 1.5.2012

This is the series of Work Informatics Professionals in business and academia: person, skills, heart and motivation of an ICT expert.
Other WIPro's: Anne Koskinen-Kannisto, Matti Toivonen, Jani Koskinen, Olga Moiseeva, Katriina Korenius, Jonni Henttinen, Erkki Kallio, Adil Umer, Sari Ahonen, Henry Sandell, Henrik Lintunen, Zulfiqar Ali Raffad, Jennifer Ståhlberg, Bahadir Gürkan, and Janne Pitkänen.
See also titles of WI Pros and Pro's at WI-LinkedIn.


How do I see IT in everyday life?

For me, IT is a tool or a method that helps someone. It satisfies a human need, making the world a bit better. With IT, we can essentially provide a service. IT services and technologies itself are made by people, for the people, and people are the users of those services. The most important thing in my opinion is that the people not only matter but are the very key for IT, its purpose and reason for existence to begin with. We should all keep this in mind when we are designing new information systems, programming, building prototypes or doing any other type of IT related work. IT is about people and service, IT is not the actual object of work!

What my current work is about?

Officially, I’m in charge of PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard) compliance of the largest merchants in Finland, information security and risk management (I work in the financial sector). What I’m really doing could be stated differently: compliance issues (especially PCI DSS) can be difficult and yet mandatory for merchants. My job is to help and support them to understand their options and let them make informed decisions that would support their bottom line.

In order to be successful in what I do, I must understand the real needs of our customers, which starts from understanding their context: what is their environment like (technical infrastructure, people, processes, work practices)? After understanding what the company is comprised of and realizing their need and vision together, we plan how we can get from the current situation all the way to the goal, extracting all the benefits we can along the way. My service has been successful when we have reached the goal together, extracted all the benefits, and it was all supportive and aligned with the business strategy.

It should be noted that even though my field of work is information security, similar (if not the same) rules apply anywhere else as well. In short, my actual work is about removing people’s stress by reducing the complexity of security issues their IT is required to have, and protecting cardholder data and individual’s privacy.

What WI at Work means to me?

WI has provided me a way of thinking, the cornerstones of what IT is and will be in the future. It has given me an opportunity to have insight that often lacks at the table of other experts. Too often IT professionals recognize the user aspect in the big picture and quickly disregard it as an annoyance or “stupid user error”-factor. I suspect the reason for the previous is that there is a lack of knowledge and set of skills to actually do something about it.

We don’t simply look at an isolated system and figure out its inputs and outputs (or even at the IT architecture for that matter) but make things work realizing the interplay of things involved. For us, the system means more than just hardware and software. We realize IT as a mediator of things, and it suits us perfectly, because we are as WI professionals mediators too.

This is what we learn at WI programme and it gives us competitive edge. I encourage you to choose WI programme and take an advantage of a unique opportunity!

Me and my future

I have been pursuing a career in information security with a focus on users (employers). My experience after graduating has been quite a ride and I have enjoyed it tremendously. I’ve learned that everything is in a constant change and future is unforeseeable. But some things rarely change – like the needs of people, and that we need to solve problems, not create them. I’m still using my WI background as the foundation for my professional work. With a strong base, everything else is just an update or an additional approach.

I hope to see you in the near future and collaborate with as many of you as possible.

Sincerely,

Pekka Tetri
Co-founder and partner at XenSense Oy
Information Security and Risk Management Expert at Luottokunta

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