Discover the daily life of a Security Architect
Specialized in networks, Romain Foucaud has gradually evolved towards cybersecurity.
Where does your taste for IT come from?
I got my first computer in high school. At that time, smartphones didn’t exist; we were receiving Internet via 56k modems and were starting to see ADSL arrive… It already seems so far away today! At the time, I was fascinated by the Internet; I quickly grasped its possibilities, especially in terms of knowledge exchange and possible connections between people.
During your studies, you specialized in networks. What were your motivations?
I had two choices for my degree: development or networking. I couldn’t see myself spending all my time in front of a computer coding. Networks included a notion of exchanges, communication, tasks, and more varied missions: I did not hesitate.
You joined Orange Business Services as a Network and Security Engineer. Why did you choose to specialize in cybersecurity?
I was recruited to work on network issues and cybersecurity for our customers in the South of France. The Marseille agency had just been created, and there were only three of us: a salesperson, a pre-salesperson, and me in production. It was above all this business project and the human adventure that excited me. We were a start-up within a large group: we immediately felt the impact of our work. My various projects allowed me to specialize in network and security solutions, particularly related to data centers.
In January 2015, you were leaving for a year in Australia. How was it?
After a few years at Orange Business Services, I asked for a sabbatical to travel around Australia for a year with my partner. It was fantastic: as many discoveries as beautiful meetings. I even worked in unified communications for a few weeks at the Perth airport. When I came back, as planned, my old job was waiting for me.
Since 2017, you have been a Security Architect for Orange Cyberdefense. What were your motivations for joining us?
When I returned from Australia, I stayed with Orange Business Services for another two years. Orange Cyberdefense had recently been created; I asked for internal mobility, which I obtained.
I immediately liked the project of this new subsidiary and the vision of Michel Van Den Berghe, its founder, which sees security in 360°. I also wanted to find a start-up spirit, as cybersecurity was already booming at the time. This dynamism made me want to join.
What are your missions today?
I am a Security Architect. My job is to support pre-sales on advanced technical issues, then to design the architectures during the integration phase. I lead technical design workshops with our customers, create models, and ensure the solutions’ production. At the end of the project, I provide training for them to be autonomous.
We have to manage several projects in parallel; each one usually lasts between ten and fifty days. I work a lot in a team, whether it’s with salespeople, pre-salespeople, project managers, production engineers, or other architects. I go from project to project; each time, I have to adapt to the technical solution and the client’s context.
That’s what I like about my job: it’s not about deploying a standard solution; it’s tailoring it to meet the needs of each client. We work with industries, hospitals, administrations… it’s very varied.
What has been your evolution at Orange Cyberdefense?
My hiring as an architect has already been an evolution: it is a position with more consulting, technical coordination, less production. Since I was hired, I’ve done training and certification on our partners’ solutions. I have also completed an in-house expertise development program.
What is your daily life like?
I am often at our customers’ sites; I travel throughout the South Region of France. When I’m at the office, I write documentation for clients, including technical specifications and architectural drawings. I supervise interns, which is very important to me because I like to transmit.
What do you like most about your work?
I love working in new technologies. It’s a sector in continuous renewal: what is true today will not necessarily be true tomorrow. It’s a job for people who are passionate about it, where you have to question yourself a lot and, above all, where you never get bored. I also like the fact that I have a lot of interaction with my colleagues and our clients.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to become a Security Architect?
You have to adapt to any situation, be autonomous, and do a lot of technology monitoring. Be passionate, curious, and rigorous: there is no room for error in our profession!
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