Rakesh Datta – Security and Privacy Lead for Microsoft’s disruptive SASE Launch

Additional Info

Job title of nominated professional (or team name)Senior Technical Leader
Company (where nominated professional or team is working)Microsoft Corporation
Company size (employees)10,000 or more
CountryUnited States
Headquarters RegionNorth America


Rakesh Datta, a Senior Technical Leader and Software Architect at Microsoft Corporation (USA), is globally recognized as a preeminent figure in networking and security industry space. At Microsoft, he commands a pivotal role in steering one of the key portfolios driving the company’s recent disruptive launch, the SASE/ZTNA initiative. Rakesh’s expertise in cybersecurity is highly sought after worldwide, resulting in numerous prestigious accolades, including recognition in the Fox Interviewer’s ‘Most Influential 40 Under 40’ leaders for 2023-2024, the Indian Achievers Award in 2023, and induction into Facebook’s esteemed Whitehat Security Researcher Hall of Fame.


• At Microsoft, Rakesh led the groundbreaking launch of the Zero-Trust-Network-Access
or SASE product, overseeing the creation of a cutting-edge security and privacy engineering team. He crafted a state-of-the-art observability framework, prioritizing customer data privacy and GDPR compliance, tailored for 20 multi-tenant cloud and on-premises services. Managing a global fleet of 6000 service instances, this effort processed all Microsoft O365 and internet traffic, handling millions of requests per second.

• As security architect for the Zero-Trust-Network-Access product, Rakesh meticulously managed its security posture, uncovering numerous vulnerabilities and implementing robust engineering frameworks (threat models, component governance etc.) across 20 development teams. His strategic approach facilitated a seamless transition to worldwide public preview, marking a significant milestone in Microsoft's $52 billion projected SASE market entry, with a forecasted revenue of $7 billion, gaining widespread attention within the industry, as evidenced by CNBC's coverage(https://www.cnbc.com/2023/07/12/palo-alto-networks-and-zscaler-tumble-as-microsoft-expands-in-security.html). Rakesh's contributions to this massive historical moment, garnered substantial media recognition(https://www.khaleejtimes.com/kt-network/rakesh-datta-building-microsofts-disruptive-network-security-product).

• Rakesh's cybersecurity expertise extends beyond Microsoft, earning him recognition as an ethical hacking expert. His contributions to tech giants like Facebook have garnered widespread media attention (https://www.freepressjournal.in/tech/indian-engineers-shine-in-facebooks-whitehat-bug-bounty-awards-programme) and prestigious awards, solidifying his position among the industry's top cybersecurity researchers.

• Rakesh is dedicated to giving back, sharing his knowledge by mentoring students at San Jose State University (USA) and collaborating on groundbreaking cybersecurity research. He's a respected public speaker, presenting at conferences like DeveloperWeek and LinuxFest. Rakesh also serves as a judge for prestigious industry awards such as the Globee Awards, BrandonHall Awards, and Cloud Award, reviewing projects worldwide.