I work as Cyber Security Consultant for Sopra Steria, a digital services provider to private and public organisations. In total I have worked in the IT industry for about 20 years, specialising in networking and security, and I've worked with a wide variety of customers.
When I initially heard that the UK government was creating a National Cyber Security Centre I was intrigued to see how this would develop. It seemed a bold statement to say you were going to create, on a national scale, an organisation whose aim was to make the UK the safest place to do business online. I had been through a similar change journey when Sopra Steria developed a cyber centre for its own customers, so I knew first hand that this was a big challenge, albeit a rewarding one.
What I hadn’t realised was that I was about to become a bit more involved in the NCSC's journey!
In July 2017 I was asked by my company if I would like to become an Industry 100 integree - representing Sopra Steria in the NCSC. I jumped at the opportunity. My objectives for this placement were to:
- develop myself as an individual
- aid collaboration between my company and the NCSC
- contribute to the vision of the NCSC, and take the opportunity to be part of that bigger picture for the UK.
Very quickly I found myself, with other Sopra Steria representatives, meeting the NCSC Industry 100 management team at Nova South. I learned more about how the scheme operated and agreed the terms of reference. Working out the logistics of balancing the days I would be working in London with the NCSC, and my existing company commitments, were important.
In August, a mere month after the suggestion that I join as an Industry 100 integree, I started in a role in the NCSC Operations team.
And six months in I am pleased to report it is has been extremely positive and productive - my objectives are being fulfilled. The operations role is very technical and for me to be able to deliver I’ve had to work with new tools and in new areas of cyber that I hadn’t previously experienced. However, there is a real culture of knowledge sharing and collaboration within the team and a willingness to succeed. This sharing of knowledge, tooling, and threat intelligence on cyber has enabled me to increase my capability to deliver as a security consultant and to feed back to the Sopra Steria Security Operations Centre, and to the wider company cyber security teams, which ultimately benefits our customers.
What has impressed me most in my time working on Industry 100 is that representatives from all the different industries (some who are possibly competitors) work together as a team within NCSC in a positive atmosphere towards a common goal. In the past I haven’t always experienced this collaboration in the IT Industry; I have seen different providers sometimes work in silos just to meet their own objectives and priorities. That has not been the case here, and for me it is this positive collaboration that is the key to success going forward.
If you are interested in becoming one of the Industry 100, have a look at the positions currently available and the application process.