In our latest edition of our "Splunker Stories" series, we meet with one of Splunk’s Senior Incident Handlers, Tony Iacobelli.
We sat down with Tony to learn more about the path which led him to Splunk, the fun he’s created in a serious environment, and his passion to protect our clients' data. Tony also sat down with our Talent Brand and Community Senior Manager, Jubal Ince, for a podcast you can view here!
What did you do prior to joining Splunk and how did you end up at Splunk?
Prior to Splunk, I was working as an Incident Response Lead at a large public research university, and believe it or not, I found Splunk’s job posting on Reddit and applied from there!
I started my career with Splunk as a DFIR Analyst, and after less than two years in this role, I was promoted to my current position of Senior Incident Commander.
Tell us about your story. What experiences made you who you are today?
Some of the key experiences which shaped me comes from when I first decided I wanted to pursue a career in cybersecurity!
I was originally a networking professional, and after going through and working at a cybersecurity firm, I just fell in love with the work and thought it was the coolest thing on planet earth to kick bad people off of networks.
From there, I consistently worked to hone my skills to earn the position I am in now.
I’ve found that any time I have failed at something, it's ultimately helped me improve as a person. People are often afraid to fail, and while I necessarily don't want to fail at something, if I do, I make sure I learn from it and prevent similar situations from happening in the future.
How have your unique experiences and insights made you successful in your career, and at Splunk?
With Splunk being the company that it is, naturally, data is a big part of everyone's success here.
In my experience, the biggest challenge is being able to bring the right data to the right problems. I think a lot of my success has amounted to bringing the right data to the right problems, spanning across different organizational units, and ensuring we come together as one cohesive team to tackle the world's most challenging cybersecurity issues.
What do you enjoy about working at Splunk?
Every company likes to say that their culture sets them apart from the rest of the pack, but here at Splunk, that claim is actually backed up.
The amount of openness and frankness we are able to have with each other allows us to actually bond as co-workers and I am happy to call most of my co-workers friends.
Beyond that, the talent here is unparalleled. I've never worked somewhere with so many smart and talented people who are developing state of art technology in their fields. Needless to say, I am constantly humbled by the caliber of our talent at Splunk.
Additionally, the diversity of all of the wonderful people at Splunk has helped me grow personally. I’ve been able to interact with people from different cultures, backgrounds, and experiences, all of which has made me a better person and allowed me to understand different and better solutions to problems.
Which Splunk Values (Innovative, Fun, Disruptive, Open, Passionate) resonates most with you?
Everyone who knows me would likely say that I am open and fun!
I've found that being open and genuine leads to finding much more common ground with others and helps me understand where people are coming from, which helps me be a better coworker and friend.
As for the fun aspect, I routinely try to have events that bring my team together, whether it be coffee breaks or bringing all kinds of games to our SGS happy hours; I like to have a part in making my peers smile at least once a day!
Beyond that I also coordinate international coffee exchanges within the team to help feed my addiction for REALLY good local craft coffee. So far, I've received coffee and tea from four countries on three continents!
Splunk's vision is "A world where data provides clarity, elevates discussion and accelerates progress." How does your work contribute to this?
My most direct contribution to this is ensuring that the platform in which this vision can be executed on is secure and available for all who want to use it.
Securing services as large and complex as Splunk Cloud Platform is no easy task, and there will always be an actor trying to break into these systems. By being on the front line of these intrusions, we're able to limit potential damage and make sure that we are improving our game to ensure our customers continue to enjoy the best-in-class security that they expect from Splunk.
Splunk's mission is to "remove the barriers between data and action, so that everyone thrives in the Data Age." What does this mean to you?
This simply means everyone has access to tools that ensure they are able to bring the right data to their problems at hand.
If we are not making data-based decisions, then we ultimately can't trust that whatever we decided was the right decision.
It’s awesome to be a part of the Splunk team, working to ensure our platform that brings data to action is trustworthy and secure. This means all of our customers can rest assured they have the best-in-class products they expect from Splunk and are protected by our world-class security team.
What can we find you doing outside of work? Hobbies or interests?
I am a fiend for National Parks and love spending quality time with my friends (it's extra special when they come along to parks). This year I plan to go to Crater Lake, Yellowstone, Zion, Cuyahoga Valley and even the Wave in Arizona! When I am not traveling, I am usually biking around Cincinnati, trying new restaurants, or just enjoying the time I get to spend with friends.
Anything else that you'd like to share that you haven't already?
Everyone knows about my love for Ohio's chili. We even have a Slack channel that was started for us to debate some of the most pressing questions of our time, like "is a hotdog a sandwich" (it is), "is Chicago-style pizza actually pizza" (it's delicious, but it's more of a casserole), and "is Cincinnati Chili amazing" (the answer is ALWAYS yes, but I am a bit biased) This channel is even making an SGS cookbook with some of our favorite foods!