I am responsible for building security architecture tailored for each organisation we work with. I work with public sector and large national infrastructure clients to develop their cyber security framework, safeguarding their networks, their workloads and ultimately end users. No organisation is the same and my challenge is to provide the best security approach – one that deals with an ever-changing threat landscape and addresses our customers’ unique challenges.
I started my tech career as a developer, moving to Service Delivery and Operations – but Cyber Security is what I love best! It’s where innovation meets problem solving. My expertise is leading on compliance accelerator projects and enterprise security architecture including governance, risk and compliance. I basically take threats, vulnerabilities, values of assets and various controls – fitting them together, often at speed and with agility, to address risks that may materialise.
A day in my working life
No two projects and no two clients are the same. That is what I enjoy about cyber security – there are limitless opportunities to learn and grow.
The threat landscape is ever evolving, costing businesses time and money. The global cost of cybercrime was over £7 trillion in 2021, predicted to reach £12.6 trillion by 2025. So keeping on top of technological change means that my work is, by nature, highly complex and extremely varied from one day to the next.
Understanding the dynamics of cyber security is critical for staying ahead of today’s threats and protecting our clients. The challenges are great, but that also opens the door to working with some very talented and supportive people. I know everyone says it, but we’re genuinely like a big extended family – people truly look after you and care about you and your career.
To help me unwind, arts and crafts are my other passion, from embroidery to cross stitching and painting – I even crochet my own tops, scarves, and hats!
My career highlights
Successfully minimising risks and protecting organisations and end users from cyber-attacks is top of my list.
I also enjoy creating great environments so teams across different disciplines are able to generate amazing ideas and innovation. This is where a more holistic security model emerges – because complex problems need creative and collaborative solutions.
I am passionate about my role as a mentor supporting the development of my colleagues through the 6point6 Technical Architecture Academy. It’s an amazing feeling to know that I am helping others to build new skills and capabilities. I am a member of the CSA Zero Trust Architecture Working Group where we’re currently working on training modules to better equip organisations with actionable guidance to enhance good security practice.
Learning and development is part of my DNA, which is why I’ve recently started a part-time PhD examining data exfiltration over covert channels to identify preventative and detective measures, helping organisations to mitigate and manage risk.
Cyber security is one of the best jobs in the world because…
It is safe to say that the threat landscape is forever unpredictable and fast moving. There are always new tactics, techniques and procedures used by cyber attackers. Cyber Security Architects must stay ahead of the curve. We are constantly evolving our expertise, learning and developing, which makes it an exciting prospect for anyone who’s interested in a varied but also challenging role.
People often ask me what’s my secret to success in cyber security. Technical proficiency is only half of the battle. You need to hone your engagement skills across various teams and departments. To implement the required security controls, everyone needs to be working towards a common goal, and sharing one vision.