Tending Bonsai and Analyzing Tons of Data: Capsulator Harini Kannan

March 17, 2020

Harini Kannan is a data scientist at Capsule8. She joined us in May of 2017 as a data science intern after graduating from the University of Texas, Arlington, and has been working with us full-time since December 2017. In the nearly three years she’s been a Capsulator, Harini has been an important part of the data science team—collaborating with the entire company to analyze streams of data looking for trends.

How she ended up at C8 is an interesting story. “It was a very chance occurrence,” she says. “I found it through Twitter.”


“Yeah, Capsule8 was a young company that had just gotten started less than a year before. And I got to know about Capsule8 from Twitter. Someone posted about openings and there was an email address. I was unsure about the cybersecurity industry, but I emailed to see if there was a statistics role. My note was forwarded to the data science lead. And that’s how I landed the job.”

With a great background in statistics, but scant experience in cybersecurity, Harini knew the learning curve would be steep. But she was ready for it. And the welcoming, collaborative culture at Capsule8 was an immense help.

“When I was doing my internship, I learned how to program in a language I’d never used before. I had amazing help from the team that built the foundational code. From that, we were able to branch off and write our own features for the product.”

How about asking for help when you don’t know the answer to a question? Absolutely.

“You can ask for help whenever you want. I think that’s great. And that’s how it should be. I learned a lot and I and keep learning a lot about security. The team’s strong security and software engineering background has been an amazing thing to witness. The data science research team collaborates across the company and our products come out of that. I think that collaboration is one of the highlights of Capsule8.”

An average day at Capsule8? There’s isn’t one. “It changes depending on the kinds of problems we have to solve. But every day, I’m focused on analyzing, experimenting and building a model for a specific attack.”

How about the coolest project she’s worked on? “One would be the introduction of our Spectre and Meltdown coverage. I’m very proud of that because it was a zero day and Capsule8 was one of the first ones to open source the detector. And, from a data science perspective, we could figure out new features that are happening with the exploit itself.”

How does she explain what she does for a living to friends and family? That can often be a difficult thing in our field. But Harini has found a way to boil it down. “In terms of my role, I tell people I analyze tons of data and find the meaning in it, and then glean insights out of that.” So, pretty simple. 

Outside of work, Harini goes to a lot of tech meet-ups. And she gets her Zen on by caring for lots of bonsai plants, which appeals to her sense of order. 

“With bonsai, you really have to go through it step-by-step to figure out how to help the plant thrive. It takes effort, focus and care before the bonsai starts to look the way you want it to. But after you put the time in, it starts to look perfect.”

Harini Kannan tends her bonsai like she does her work at Capsule8—she puts effort into it, focuses on the details, and cares deeply about the results.  

It’s great to have Harini on the team!

Are you interested in joining the Capsule8 team? You can check out our open listings on the Capsule8 Careers page!