Welcoming Magen to The Agate Group
A Rising Star
April 24, 2019
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Passionate Engineers Make A Difference

The Agate Group is proud to have a team of the brightest engineers in the market that allow us to do what we do best – bringing scalable technology solutions that broaden and advance what our customers can do for their business.

As we initiated our toast during our 2019 company kick-off dinner, another reason for celebration emerges for Team Agate.

In the center of our dinner table, a gasp, a shriek, and a giddy bounce of joy was the prelude to the evening toast. We all stopped with a raised eyebrow at a smiling team member in the middle of the dinner table. What’s the added excitement?

We immediately found out the exciting news that we are so proud to announce. Our very own Sushma Kalle is one of the exclusive selections for her research and has also been chosen to present at the 2019 Network and Distributed System Security Symposium (NDSS) conference. The focus of the 26th NDSS Symposium held at Catamaran Spa and Resort in San Diego, California on the 24th to the 27th of February 2019 is security and privacy, including the security of emerging networks including the Internet of Things (IoT), integrating security into network protocols, security for future Internet architectures, usable security and privacy, and security for large-scale critical infrastructure. The NDSS fosters information exchange among researchers and practitioners of network and distributed system security.

Sushma’s research uncovered vulnerabilities in a programmable logic controller (PLC) for industrial control systems, which caters to powerful industries such as energy and trailways. A PLC is a tiny computer that can execute tiny programs that you do not have to monitor. Examples of critical work for PLCs include traffic lights, waterways, power supplies, etc. Working on one of the PLC’s, Sushma and her team uncovered a critical vulnerability which is explained in her work. Her goal was to spread awareness to organizations and share insights on security measures within this technology paradigm. Sushma kick started her passion for Software Engineering in her early teens. At 13, she was clear about her path and decided that the limits should be endless regarding her impact on the industry. In India, in a small village, where she grew up, there’s traditional expectations about women and settling down as their focus. Sushma had other plans, and her goal was to establish and pursue her passion at full force. And a strong support system has been behind this accomplished young lady: her mother and sister. Surrounded by a supportive family,  it’s no wonder why she quotes, “I do this all for my family because they support me and my mom she’s so strong, and stays strong for me. So I want to make her proud”.

In chatting with Agate’s CEO, Cherryl Macalino, she explains, “We have amazing team members, and Sushma is a great example of what this means. She truly enjoys what she does, she is thoughtful, and shares that enthusiasm with an audience whether you understand programming principles or not. When we hired her, I knew she has that “special” factor. In addition she also splashes color and liveliness in our workplace. We’re so proud of this recognition she received, and we look to be part of the force behind her for continued contribution here and to a greater community, our industry.”

When Sushma is not coding, she enjoys designing, painting, and reading. In the office, before she starts her workday, she’s in the kitchen making Citrus Powder out of citrus peels that we distribute to the team for tea, water, desserts. Somebody blurted as we are wrapping up this article, “and cooking – don’t forget to add she loves cooking!” Yes, she also loves to cook. The Agate Group is a great place to work because of team members with great minds and amazing spirits like Sushma! Great job Sushma, now what’s next?

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