Behind the Scenes with Emilio Escobar, Director of Information Security
The Behind the Scenes series is a collection of posts and videos designed to give you a peek at the inner workings of the Hulu tech team and introduce you to the men and women who build the systems that bring TV to the internet.
Name: Emilio Escobar
Title: Director of Information Security
Joined Hulu: December 5th, 2016
College / University: University of Puerto Rico (computer science)
Tell us about your journey. How did you end up at Hulu?
I am one of the lucky ones who got exposed to computers at a very early age, in the late eighties, early nineties. Computers have always been a passion of mine, particularly in the security space after I developed an interest in finding information when it wasn’t readily available for consumption. That led to the curiosity mindset of “How do I get access to information I need, just because I am curious about it?” Being interested in computers jump started the natural progression of earning my Computer Science degree at the University of Puerto Rico. With a software development background, I helped organizations build technology from a security standpoint; whether that involved building things to protect the company or to measure protection of the company. Being exposed to security at the beginning of my career to growing my career, such as my involvement in driving the security program at PlayStation, led to the opportunity at Hulu. Hulu provided the brand recognition in a company that I wanted. I saw that it was fast-moving and had a lot of potential for growth, and it has since proved to be true. It has been an interesting journey to get here, but a very rewarding one.
What do you do at Hulu?
From an overarching perspective, I am responsible for all information security activities, which involves strategic planning, team building, budget decisions, and overall approach. My day-to-day consists of making sure that teams are doing work they need to be doing, but also that we are enabling the business to move where it wants to go in a secure manner. Outside of that, I have conversations with the rest of the organization on how we can protect them while they’re doing their jobs. Ultimately, building partnerships, driving the value of security, and leading the team in a way that meets Hulu’s needs are my primary focuses.
In what ways has Hulu challenged you and enabled you to grow?
Being an entertainment company that is driven by tech creates this interesting hybrid of highly technical talent and very creative talent at Hulu. Demonstrating the ability to drive a function that meets both ends of the spectrum from a requirement standpoint has been a really interesting challenge. In addition, the rapid growth of the company has presented the interesting challenge of having to move fast and meet demand to get things done quickly.
Share three tips for someone looking to land a job like yours.
For my specific function I would say:
- Approach every problem with an open mind.
- Disregard reasons why things are a certain way; instead concentrate on what the constraints were when a decision was made and how they can be improved.
- Always focus on continuous improvement and how to show value constantly to the business.
I think open mindedness is the overarching quality to have in all of those.
What do you love most about Hulu’s tech culture?
Every team is constantly challenged; each team challenges each other and asks questions. Regardless of the maturity level of where we are in our career paths, everyone shares a similar mindset of collaboration. I’ve seen this more prevalent at Hulu than other places. Here, it is less a mindset of “This is my domain stay out,” but more of the mindset of “How do we work together?” People wear multiple hats by default, and I think that goes to show the great talent we have; it’s a group of highly technically and capable individuals who are willing to bend over backwards for the company.
What’s your favorite TV show? What are you currently streaming on Hulu?
I’m a TV junkie at heart, so I have quite a few of them! I am a huge SNL fan. When you are in a field like Information Security, it is nice to have some comedy in your life! Handmaid’s Tale is by far my favorite piece of content, because it not only shows what society could be, but primarily concentrates on the rebellious mindset of society that has gotten us to where we are today. Just recently, True Detective is up there too, because I am a big fan of detective shows.
What do you like to do for fun outside of work?
I am an avid backpacker and camper, which are two activities that I really enjoy when I’m out of the office!