securing Azure environments

Insights from a senior information security architect at PetSmart

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Ryan Adams is a Senior Information Security Architect on the Information Security team at PetSmart Inc., which has retail locations throughout the U.S., Canada, and Puerto Rico. The team has made a strong investment in Microsoft Azure over the past five years, and Ryan has learned some important lessons along the way about best practices to avoid pitfalls and accelerate success.

Ryan will be sharing these insights and his first-hand experience of ensuring security during today’s remote work environment while utilizing Azure in an exclusive on-demand webinar, along side executives from Microsoft and Barracuda.

Q&A with Ryan Adams, Senior Information Security Architect at PetSmart

Tell me a bit about PetSmart and the role you play there.

PetSmart Inc., is a leader in the pet specialty retail market with over 1,600 retail locations and an e-commerce presence. At PetSmart, we love pets, and we believe pets make us better people. Every day with every connection, PetSmart’s passionate associates help bring pet parents closer to their pets so they can live more fulfilled lives. I’m a Senior Information Security Architect on the Information Security team. My role consists of integrating security into PetSmart systems and processes to ensure the protection of our customers and our business assets.

How long have you been using the public cloud? How did you get started with Microsoft Azure?

Indirectly, for quite some time. More directly, PetSmart invested in Azure starting approximately five years ago, with a significant increase in investment about four years ago. Our move to Azure started with the lift and shift of a pair of web servers previously run out of a managed data center to a new home in Azure Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). From there, our uses of Azure have moved more toward their Software as a Service (SaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS) solutions where today a significant portion of our customer-facing systems are directly or indirectly tied to Azure.

'With a relatively small team, our strategy focuses on promoting a culture of security among those associates closest to making security-impacting decisions' #CloudSecurity #AzureClick To Tweet

How do you and your team approach cybersecurity?

With a relatively small team, our strategy focuses on promoting a culture of security among those associates closest to making security-impacting decisions and focusing our efforts on building design patterns and standards that address security concerns up front.

In 2020, what have been the major themes/trends for you and your team regarding security?

We’ve seen an increase in digital shopping traffic, which has resulted in more focus on e-commerce capabilities and security protections. We’ve also moved a significant portion of our corporate associates to work from home and have addressed internal security concerns by moving away from network-centric security controls to end-point or cloud-based security controls.

What do you see as major focus areas for security at PetSmart in 2021? 

In 2021, we’ll be focused on enhancing e-commerce protections, expanding customer account protections, and providing associates access to more capabilities in a secure manner.

Free webinar

Get more insights from Ryan in the on-demand webinar, Securing Azure Environments: Insights from PetSmart, Microsoft, and Barracuda. He will be presenting alongside Nills Franssens, Cloud Solution Architect at Microsoft, and Fleming Shi, CTO at Barracuda.

Watch the webinar now, and gain a thorough understanding of the specific challenges that you’ll need to address as you migrate your IT infrastructure to a public-cloud environment.

Watch the free webinar now

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