SECURE Perspectives is a monthly column by the Security Industry Association (SIA) profiling women in the security industry. This column is part of SIA’s Women in Security Forum, an initiative to support the participation of women in the security field through programs, networking and professional growth events, and thought leadership opportunities.
For this edition of SECURE Perspectives, SIA spoke with Kasia Hanson, director of ecosystem scale for artificial intelligence (AI)/computer vision and smart cities at Intel. Hanson works closely with partners to scale Intel’s AI and computer vision technologies for the Internet of Things (IoT).
How did you get into the security industry?
I’ve been at Intel for 19 years working with original equipment manufacturer (OEM) customers, end users and channel partners. In 2018, I was offered an opportunity to join our IoT smart video team.
My dad is a retired police officer, so it was a natural fit to focus on security and cities (especially public safety). It’s given me a chance to learn a new segment and lean on my strengths of developing partner relationships and executing sales acceleration initiatives.
What is your current role, and how does it align with your strengths?
I’m responsible for readying the ecosystem to adopt and scale computer vision and deep learning capabilities to serve customers around the globe. I also help our ecosystem partners with sales acceleration strategies to sell their products.
I’ve had a lot of great roles at Intel, but this one is an especially good fit. I love matchmaking partner capabilities and building relationships.
Travel is another passion. It’s been amazing to meet people around the world — Israel, Denmark, China, Poland, Canada, Korea and Australia, among other places — and talk about the security benefits and applications of vision technology.
How does your organization serve the industry?
We have a large channel of partners, including OEMs, independent software vendors (ISVs) and system integrators that build solutions on Intel technologies. We’re enabling the security industry with optimized solutions for vision such as central processing units, graphics processing units, vision processing units, field-programmable gate arrays and hardware acceleration — as well as developer tools such as OpenVINO (Intel® Distribution of OpenVINO toolkit — Open Visual Inference & Neural Network Optimization) that help ISVs develop edge applications that solve their customers’ business problems rapidly.
Our goal is to accelerate IoT adoption by helping technology providers derive value from data. In turn, this enables their customers to increase efficiency, solve problems and inform decisions.
What is your company’s approach to diversity?
Intel is committed to bringing together people from a wide range of backgrounds and perspectives and encouraging an atmosphere of inclusion. In October 2018, we reached full representation of minorities and women in our workforce.
Women fill nearly 25% of our technical roles and nearly 20% of senior positions. I’m proud to work for a company that prioritizes diversity.
With more and more data that shows diversity makes a better workforce, what opportunities do you see for women in the security industry?
The security industry is an exciting space, with many areas applying new technologies like AI. I see plenty of opportunities for women in the security industry — engineering, technology development, product development, sales and marketing. It’s a rapidly growing field where you can learn something new every day.
I’ve had the opportunity to connect with other women in the industry to share common interests, help with connections and compare notes as fellow working moms. That’s been very helpful to me.
What do you see as the most important trend in the security industry?
AI is here, but taking it to the edge is an important trend. Data processing at the edge is coming at the industry very quickly, and it’s transforming security in a wide range of sectors. Customers will have more choice about where their data is processed, stored and analyzed, and some options will reduce costs and network constraints.
Using computer vision capabilities at the edge enables our partners and their customers to harness data in a predictive way, enabling real-time and better-informed decisions while managing security and privacy to keep people – and their data – secure.
What are the biggest opportunities your company — and the industry — are seeing?
The use of connected video equipment is skyrocketing. By 2021, it’s estimated that more than 80% of all IP traffic will be video.
That trend is already generating a huge amount of video data, motivating businesses to consolidate workloads at the edge. In fact, 45% of data will be analyzed at the edge by 2020.
In environments like schools and airports, an IoT-connected camera with AI capabilities might spot a suspicious package at a security checkpoint and alert authorities in real time. Retail stores can use surveillance to prevent loss and leverage vision-based insights to provide the personalized experience shoppers now expect. Other verticals, such as transportation and smart cities, face challenges around preserving the safety of transit commuters while also trying to limit budgetary impacts.
This “smart video” approach has the potential to revolutionize the security industry. Intel’s goal is to empower our partners with validated solutions that can maximize edge capabilities.
What do you hope the Women in Security Forum can achieve for the security industry?
I hope women will see the tremendous opportunity to expand their knowledge in an exciting industry. The World Economic Forum predicts that AI will add 58 million new jobs worldwide by 2022 and create $13 trillion in economic activity by 2030. That’s phenomenal growth, and our voices are needed in this industry.
As a way to reach out to younger women just entering the workforce, I participate in the education and outreach subcommittee of the SIA Women in Security Forum, which gives me the opportunity to share at colleges and women’s groups about the security industry, including career opportunities. Opening doors for younger women to get into the industry is very exciting and rewarding.
What advice would you give women who are in the industry?
I love the notion of women helping women. The security industry is growing in diversity, but we have much more work to do. While continuing to help each other with contacts and references, we must stay informed on new technologies and how they are impacting the security market.
The industry needs passionate, future-focused leaders with deep understanding of emerging innovations and how they can solve business problems. I recommend joining the SIA Women in Security Forum group on LinkedIn, connecting with industry events such as ISC West and East and expanding your network.
Who or what was the strongest influence in your career (e.g., a mentor, an event that inspired your career decision)?
I’ve always been a “people” person. Early in my career, a sales vice president at a small medical company nudged me to get into sales because I loved to help customers. It was scary to know my pay would rely on what I was selling, but I decided to take the risk — and I haven’t looked back.
Over the years, I’ve had several mentors, both men and women, who have called out my strengths and challenged me to grow as a leader. My mom is certainly one of them. A single teenage mom, she raised me to show respect and embrace gratitude for every milestone I achieved.
One of my mentors at Intel challenges me to dive deeply into a topic, ask questions and get smarter. I enjoy sharing career insights with others inside and outside of Intel, including my daughter as she nears college and contemplates her future.
What are the values that guide your career?
We often talk about the notion of work-life balance, but it can be difficult to define — much less achieve. For me, it’s more helpful to focus on what I call the three Ps: passion, purpose and positivity.
I start by asking questions: “What am I passionate about? What’s my purpose? What helps me remain positive?” As I pursue what I love (my career, my children, travel and health), explore my purpose (helping people, guiding and nurturing my kids) and cultivate a positive attitude, I’ve found peace in my personal and professional life. Yoga and meditation help keep me grounded as I navigate a fast-moving life.
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