Getting to know Natasha Michel

November 12, 2019

LinkedIn wouldn't be the company it is today without the engineers who built it and the talented individuals in technical roles across the company. They are the ones who create, build, and maintain our platform, tools, and features—as well as write posts for this blog. In this series, we feature some of the people and personalities that make LinkedIn great.

Natasha Michel is a Senior Security Risk and Compliance Program Manager at LinkedIn working on the House Security Governance, Risk, and Compliance team. Her team focuses on building and maintaining member and customer trust. This is done by ensuring LinkedIn adheres to various information security industry standards and regulatory requirements, managing organizational security risks effectively across the board, and improving the maturity of security governance. 

  • natasha-headshot

What are some of the coolest projects that you and your team have been working on?
I’m currently optimizing our security risk management strategy by building and implementing a comprehensive framework that supports the security organization. This helps us proactively identify, prioritize, and mitigate security risks in order to protect our critical assets. By developing a comprehensive security risk framework, senior management is able to gain a better understanding of the organization’s point in time security posture, plan for and forecast risk management response, and support investments in security and privacy risk mitigation efforts. As an example, I have designed and customized a risk assessment framework specifically for Mergers & Acquisitions. Additionally, as part of the Enterprise Risk Management program, I collaborate with the Legal Compliance team on an executive level risk reporting metrics. 

Why are you so passionate about Security Risk and Compliance?
When I first joined LinkedIn, I spent a lot of time learning about and understanding the gaps that can occur when it comes to supporting a holistic approach to risk management. Every organization is different and requires specific solutions. For some, this is the less exciting aspect of information security and privacy risk management. For me, however, I love it!

I enjoy cultivating spaces where decision makers can be fully transparent about what keeps them up at night and working together to implement methods that mitigate their concerns. My current projects require making a culture shift and adopting a “we are all in it together” approach to risk management. At any level or in any space, change can be difficult. Supporting this cultural transition allows me to harness and demonstrate one of my best attributes: the ability to power through difficult situations by promoting mindfulness and balance. In this case, this entails promoting mindfulness in risk management and compliance.

Compared to other places you've worked, how do you like working at LinkedIn?
Of all the environments I have worked in, the collaborative culture on my current team is unmatched. We work well together in solving difficult cross-functional security issues and support each other to realize our capabilities and full potentials. It’s the people at LinkedIn, especially within House Security, that motivate me to come to work every morning excited and ready for action! It’s such an amazing feeling to feel empowered to own challenges and find solutions while simultaneously feeling fully supported. I feel well-respected and inspired by the people that surround me daily, and I’ve never felt alone whenever I need support or resources to achieve my goals, large or small, career-focused or personal.

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Natasha at GHC 2019

What is something about you not found on your LinkedIn profile?
I’m a yoga enthusiast and teach Vinyasa Yoga classes three times per week. Practicing and teaching yoga helps me become a better listener and observer, and ultimately more compassionate and mindful with respect to individuality and change. Promoting radical self-reliance and self-expression, I had the honor of teaching Vinyasa Yoga at Burning Man this summer and was also recognized as a cultural influencer. In addition to yoga, I’m enrolled in a wellness course that meets twice per week to learn how to harness the power of food, affirmation, self-care, and holistic healthy choices to promote an empowered and balanced lifestyle.

What are some other favorite things to do when you’re not at the office?
I love travelling around the world, participating in or teaching yoga in remote places, and sharing my experiences with others. I especially enjoy being a mentor, whether it’s mentoring LinkedIn interns or younger family members. Promoting wellness and giving back to society are values that truly drive me, and I’m privileged to have the opportunity to share my passion every other Saturday by teaching a custom yoga class at a women’s trauma and healing center. There, I’m challenged to practice active listening and empathy in order to customize yoga classes based on that week’s theme or area of focus (i.e., letting go). It gives me so much joy to help create a space safe space where women can enjoy the healing properties of yoga while cultivating their own personal practices.