Meet out Talent...Kristine Beitland, Director, Corporate Affairs, Microsoft Norway

25 May 2018 10:12 | Anonymous

How do we work to ensure people trust technology? This month, we had the pleasure to interview Kristine Beitland, active participant in our Women Talent Pool Programme and Director of Corporate Affairs at Microsoft Norway and one of the country’s top experts in information security and crime prevention. After studying law and before shifting to the private sector, Kristine worked 16 years in the police. In this interview, she will explain how she shifted from the public to the private sector, how Microsoft ensures that customers trust tech and last but not least, why diversity and inclusion are at the very heart of the company!  

You have worked for 16 years in the police as a prosecutor and manager before starting a career at Microsoft. What made you decide to shift to the private sector and how did you feel working in such a male dominated environment such as the police?

I had 16 incredible years in the police with multiple challenging tasks, working as Prosecutor, Head of the  Organized Crime Unit and later as Chief of Staff of the Police Immigration Service. I decided to change from the police to the private sector because I wanted to tackle new challenges, and immerse myself in cybersecurity and digitalization

I started working as the Director of the Norwegian Business and Industrial Security Council and during my time there, a major terrorist attack in Algeria on January 16, 2013 that killed 40 employees of one of the member companies that we represented. As a consequence I was exposed to a lot of media attention, interviews, discussion panels, and national tv that gave the organization political attention and visibility, and  Microsoft offered me a position as they needed someone that perfectly understood the complex mechanisms of the government and knew how to carry a high-level conversation on cybersecurity. I decided to accept this exciting new challenge and since then, I have been working for Microsoft!

I decided to change from the police to the private sector
because I wanted to tackle new challenges,
and immerse myself in cybers ecurity and digitalization.

You have participated to WIL’s EU Luncheon Debate on “The New Face Digital Transformation: AI, IoT and Blockchain”, during which we explored the transformative impact of these technologies, which are disrupting all industries, bringing new opportunities but also new challenges, in particular in terms of data protection and security. Why is trust and cyber security so important on this digital transformation journey? How does Microsoft work to ensure that people trust technology?

Microsoft is one of the biggest cloud providers  with / data centres available in 140 countries in 50 regions worldwide! Cyber security and privacy is thus fundamental for our company, and Microsoft and other tech companies are the first responders to cyber-attacks on the internet!

To tackle the increasing cyber security threat, Microsoft has more than 3500 security engineers working with cyber security, and invested over 1 billion USD in cybersecurity. Microsoft Threat Intelligence Centre, for example, has streaming data from over 200 cloud services, using machine learning behavioural analysis and forensic technology to create a real-time picture of cyber-attacks and cyber threats to our customers. If the system detects threats, our Cyber Defense Operation Centre is immediately alerted. If the attack persists, we do not only work with the customer to solve the issue, but we also use legal proxies to take down the domain and eradicate the attacker together with our Digital Crime Unit! Tech companies like us have the first responsibility to keep people safe. So onthe 17th of April 2018, Microsoft and 33 other companies signed the Cybersecurity Tech Accord that was strongly promoted by Microsoft. Microsoft, Facebook, and 32 other companies signed last month the Cybersecurity Tech Accord committing us to work together and protect customers around the world.

At Microsoft, we can thus proudly say we are the first line in ensuring digital data protection!

Microsoft is one of the biggest cloud providers
with data centres available in 140 countries and
in 50 regions worldwide ! Cyber security and privacy is thus fundamental
for our company.

Microsoft has been a Premium sponsor of WIL for many years, as part of its strategy to promote diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Do you feel supported as a woman?

Microsoft is probably one of the most inclusive companies that we have in the Europe, and diversity certainly is one of the features that makes Microsoft so unique. To give you an example, I only have female managers! Microsoft is also a very special workplace because one of the company’s mission is to lift its talents and I believe this is the reason why the partnership between WIL and Microsoft is such a profitable one.

In addition, I lead philanthropies work were we have a number of programmes in Microsoft philanthropies that are specifically targetingyoung girls to encourage and inspire them to pursue a career in Computer Science and STEM. It is also meant to tackle the loss of interest that we see girls have after the age of 12. These programmes  focus on promoting role models, as we have found out that role models double young girls’ chances of being interested in technology and STEM. In addition, Microsoft periodically holds workshops on the use of technology for young female immigrant’s  as readiness to explore careers in Norway.

Microsoft is probably one of the most inclusive companies that we have in Europe, and diversity certainly is one of the features that make Microsoft so unique. To give you an example, I only have female managers!


We at WIL have a tradition, to conclude the interview with a question from Proust’s questionnaire. We have picked the following one for you:

Which living person do you most admire?

If I may, I would like to respond to this question with two answers.

The women I look up to the most are my daily heroes, the professional and hardworking female colleges and managers that work closely with me here at Microsoft, who inspire me every day to grow and learn!

The other figure that has greatly inspired me is Madeleine Albright, the first woman to become the United States Secretary of State (she served from 1997 to 2001 under President Bill Clinton). There is a quote of Albright that I find very witty but also very true: "there is a place in hell for women who don't help other women".

The women I look up to the most are my daily heroes, the professional and hardworking female colleges and managers that work closely with me here at Microsoft, who inspire me every day to grow and learn!

 

Biography

Graduated lawyer from the University of Oslo with some management courses from the Norwegian Business School and the Norwegian Defense University College. Experienced manager (17 years) and board member (Amcham, SmartCity Bærum and the Norwegian Centre for Information Security).

After graduation she worked 16 years in the police as a prosecutor and manager, 2+ years as the director of the Norwegian Business and Industrial Security Council, and joined Microsoft 3+ years ago as a director for corporate affairs.


Kristine has two daughters ages 11 and 16, and is passionate about sports and politics.



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