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Essent @ Tweakers Privacy & Security Event

Ismail Osman, Jurgen Kloosterman
7 minutes

On Saturday November 19th, Essent had the privilege of participating in the Tweakers meetup, a gathering centered on the vital topics of privacy and security. At Essent, the protection of both privacy and security is very important as we develop and support the various systems used by our customers and employees on a daily basis. Our colleagues Ismail and Jurgen were eager to participate in the Tweakers meetup as a valuable opportunity to expand their knowledge and skills in these areas. After summarizing the event, they will be sharing their personal experience with us, sharing the valuable knowledge and insights they gained on privacy and security.

To kick off the talk, we provided an overview of Essent as an energy retailer and the diverse array of products and services we offer and delved into the inner workings of our organization, discussing the Essent Business System and the utilization of SAFe in our IT department.

Moving on from these topics, we provided a brief overview of the measures we take to ensure the security of our systems as they are developed, as well as how we assess data privacy for key Essent applications such as Regelneef and Verbruiksmanager Plus.
Given the expansion of our IT landscape and the growth of our team, it is critical that we can confidently trust in the security of our ap plications. In today's rapidly changing market, we are proactively driving change in our DevOps teams to adapt to these challenges.
To encourage engagement and participation, we posed a series of thought-provoking questions related to privacy and security to the audience. These questions touched on topics such as the necessity for software developers to fully comprehend the risks present in their software, the nature of privacy and security as a form of risk management, and the methods of effectively managing risks.
These discussions ultimately led to the final segment of the talk, which focused on identifying and addressing the greatest risks to privacy and security at Essent.

As a company heavily reliant on the energy market and its fluctuations, our teams must be nimble in order to deliver. With a customer base of approximately two million, we have a vast amount of data at our disposal, necessitating continuous checks throughout the design and development phases, as well as in the pipelines that build our code and the repositories that hold the source code.

To keep pace with evolving tool stacks and the adoption of modern technologies in departments like the Tech Lab, there is a pressing need for standardization and the utilization of secure, default components and processes. This includes adhering to a consistent way of working, leveraging cloud-native technologies and infrastructure as code to establish a verified platform, and implementing security awareness and threat modeling techniques to identify and eliminate risks at an early stage.

Through our commitment to integrating privacy and security into the design, development, and support of our systems, we have learned that this is a repeatable yet ongoing process. To continuously lower the risk of new threats, it is essential to regularly review and assess our approaches. By automating certain processes, we are able to redirect our efforts towards innovation and further enhancing our existing DevOps workflow, while also exploring the potential of new tools that support and empower our teams.

What were the experiences of Ismail and Jurgen during the Tweakers Privacy & Security event?

Attending tech events is always an exciting experience for me, and the Tweakers privacy and security meetup on Saturday was no exception. I was excited to have the opportunity to attend and learn about the latest trends and developments in the privacy and security industry.

The highlight of the event for me was undoubtedly hearing from industry leaders and experts. It was inspiring to listen to tech pioneers, founders of successful startups, and researchers working on cutting-edge technologies as they shared their experiences and insights on the challenges they face in regards to security and privacy and how they overcome them.

In addition to the informative talks, the meetup also had an exhibition hall where I had the chance to speak with a number of individuals who are interested in working in the energy industry. It was a wonderful opportunity for me to represent Essent as an employer and share more about the company and the opportunities we have available.

Overall, my attendance at the Tweakers privacy and security meetup was an exceptionally valuable and enjoyable experience. I was able to learn a great deal, network with others in the industry, and stay up-to-date on the latest trends. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to attend and am looking forward to future events like this.

Ismail Osman - IT Management Trainee

Representing Essent during our talk was a great experience, but what I really enjoyed were the conversations that took place throughout the day. Our goal was to engage in meaningful discussions with our audience, and I believe we achieved that.

In addition to our own presentation, I also greatly enjoyed the opportunity to listen to and learn from the diverse range of speakers at the event. With a wide range of experts in both privacy and security in attendance, there was truly something for everyone to take away from the talks. Overall, the Tweakers Privacy & Security meetup was a valuable and enjoyable experience that I am grateful to have had the chance to be a part of.

Jurgen Kloosterman – IT Security Expert a.i.

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