Terézia Mézešová is a Siemens Healthineers cybersecurity expert

Terézia Mézešová is a Siemens Healthineers cybersecurity expert

 March 25, 2024

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Terézia Mézešová loves to find and fix weaknesses in systems. She is a code guardian, making life difficult for hackers.

Watch how this cybersecurity expert and her team fight off hackers by analyzing and hardening countless lines of source code every day. Plus, learn what MS-DOS games have to do with Mézešová’s career path.

Siemens Healthineers Cybersecurity Expert and Manager, Terézia Mézešová is based at the Cybersecurity Center of Excellence in Košice in Slovakia.

She works with the very source code of medical technology products. The cybersecurity expert and her team ensure that Siemens Healthineers products are as cybersecure as possible from the very first idea.

Her role with Siemens Healthineers helps patients and contributes to their protection and safe treatment. 

Ensuring a high level of cyber security

Siemens healthineers cybersecurity

Terézia's work always starts with a new product idea. Her team takes care of hardening the very first piece of code that the programmers write for a new product or software solution. In this way, she ensures a particularly high level of cyber security right at the start of the development process.

"Working alongside our programmers, my team ensures that our Siemens Healthineers products and solutions are as cyber-secure as possible right from the initial idea. Our work aids patients, ensuring they can be treated safely and securely with our systems," says Terézia.

Finding bugs and hardening code

Terézia compares her work to that of editors.

"Just as they adhere to certain editorial standards in terms of quality, we identify and solve programming problems. Together with our cyber teams around the world, we create a network of multiple layers of security for our software," comments Terézia.

Mitigating consequences of a cyber attack

Terézia explains that the biggest cyber threat is that hackers can execute any command they want.

"They can copy, change, or delete data. And you don't know what they're doing," shares Terézia.

"We can prevent this with simple means – or at least greatly mitigate the consequences of an attack," Terézia adds.

Benefiting from in-house expertise

Terézia thinks it's great that Siemens Healthineers has the necessary cyber knowledge in-house. As an employee with Siemens Healthineers, Terézia benefits from the internal exchange of knowledge and customers can rely on the fact that all steps of product development are cyber-secure.

"Other companies have to buy in the know-how. This is often very expensive, time-consuming and involves a certain amount of risk and an increased coordination effort," explains Terézia.

Striking a balance between safety and functionality

Siemens Healthineers Cybersecurity Expert

Before Terézia looks at any code, she gets to know the planned product. Only if she knows its function can she protect it properly.

"Code that ends up on our screens will only become a real product in a few years. So I also learn a lot about innovations and trends in the healthcare industry. I find that extremely exciting," says Terézia.

"At the time of testing, we cannot yet know in which environment the software will later run. An important skill for cyber security experts is to be able to make decisions based on incomplete information. Which testing method do we use? How far do we intervene in the code to eliminate vulnerabilities?"

Security measures should not restrict the functionality of the product. "Our work is therefore like a balancing act," suggests Terézia.

Developing specialized knowledge

Terézia explains that the necessary niche knowledge is taught everywhere. After completing her Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science in Slovakia, Terézia specifically chose Tallinn.

"It was one of the few universities with a focus on cyber security that I could afford – unlike Oxford, for example," shares Terézia.

Terézia now lives back in her hometown of Košice and enjoys being close to her family. Even as a young girl, Terézia liked mathematics and everything to do with it. It was easy for her.

"At university, on the other hand, it was often hard work," she says, but "I still enjoyed it a lot."

Checklists against hackers

Terézia leads the team of code testers, something that she has done for around a year now. They provide information, share knowledge, and use tools for an automated vulnerability check.

"Simple checklists often help us to protect the code against SQL injections, for example," says Terézia.

They discuss code changes in the team and with the programmers. "Every opinion has the same weight. This makes working with my competent and great team very pleasant."

"The biggest danger is that hackers can execute any command they want. We can prevent this with simple means or at least greatly mitigate the consequences – right from the design phase of our products," says Terézia.

Role in limiting the damage of hackers

Terézia knows if she has done her job with Siemens Healthineers well when the hackers have a very hard time doing their job.

"Once all the usual loopholes have been closed, the hackers need a lot of time to find any loopholes at all. They have to come up with new, more elaborate ways. They have to come up with new, more elaborate ways. And that is too time-consuming and risky for many criminals. So, at best, they don't even try. And if they do, our work limits the damage," she says.

Terézia's work makes a real difference – for Siemens Healthineers and its customers.

Apply for an exciting career in tech with Siemens Healthineers

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