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      August 23, 2023

      Navigating through Cybersecurity roles at Continental: From Software Development to Research

      Cybersecurity as a field caught my attention and enthusiasm during my university days. I got the opportunity to continue in this field, a little after I joined Continental India. I began work as a test engineer, however, I discussed my interest in cybersecurity and software development which led to me working as a cybersecurity developer. I continued in this journey for 3 exciting years. As humans, we are explorers and we always look for something new. This innate nature of humans pushed me into looking for new opportunities. This pursuit ended up with me making a internal job transition again. This time, not only with my role but also my location. From a cybersecurity developer I made a pivot into being a cybersecurity researcher. From India, I moved to Singapore. “Is that so simple?”, some may ask. Well, the good news is “Yes, it is “. What do you need to do that? One, come work with Continental and two, be a sincere and a hardworking individual.

      To answer some questions that you might have in mind

      1. How is it working as a cybersecurity developer at Continental ?

      Working as a cybersecurity developer gave me the opportunity to gain in depth understanding of both cybersecurity and automotive systems. I got to learn and explore new things on a daily basis. The teams are set up in a global context, which allows you to work and interact with people from multiple locations. A constant interaction is always a good way to learn and grow, both technically and otherwise. What else does a student fresh out of university want, right? There are multiple forums where cybersecurity engineers, researchers, developers both from the industry and the academia background from the company, come together and exchange the expertise with each other on a regular basis. This enables to learn and be up to date on all the state of the art in cybersecurity. I was not only able to participate in these sessions as an audience but was also able to share my learnings at multiple instances. This network demonstrates being “for one another” which is one of the core values of the company.

      2. How is it working as a cybersecurity researcher at Continental ?

      For a developer, it is a bit of a challenge at first. But as already mentioned, having a sincere and hardworking mindset can overcome these challenges. In my view, being a cybersecurity researcher is an extension of being a cybersecurity developer. One just needs to gain skills on research methodologies, writing research papers and having a curious mind. For conducting the experiments, you already have the skills acquired as a developer.

      Continental has many industry-academia collaborations in the form of corporate labs. I have taken the opportunity to work for one such corporate lab. These corporate labs have the best brains in academia working there. As an engineer, getting an opportunity to work with colleagues with PhDs and Post Doctorates is a learning and a humbling experience. It is like you are friends with your professors. There is also a huge opportunity to improve your communication skills, since being able to present the proof of concepts and research papers at multiple forums is part of your work.

      To conclude, Continental as an organization believes in flexibility and growth opportunity for its employees. My career trajectory is a proof of this belief. This is just a small example of navigating through 2 cybersecurity roles at Continental. There is a plethora of roles, in cybersecurity and otherwise, waiting to be explored by you and me. Come, join me in this journey of Continental’s 150 years of expertise and beyond!


      Suraj Menon

      Specialist Automotive Security and Privacy