Cyber Security became my passion
My path to cyber wasn't a smooth one. Growing up on a farm in a small village in rural Hertfordshire (UK) I dreamed of being a ballerina and dedicated most of my teens to the discipline and joy of this art form. At 16 I reached a cross roads and decided to stay on at school, get my A levels and eventually went on to study environmental science at university. Disillusioned, after 1 year I dropped out and feeling like a failure, realised I needed time out to think.
During that year I worked in bars, as an accounts assistant and eventually successfully applied for a role as inside sales rep. at a Cambridge (UK) encryption start up called nCipher - I didn't realise it at the time but this was one of the best decisions of my career.
My first day consisted of a crash course in encryption, then cold calls to ecommerce sites - back then a few websites were starting to take payments online and needed our help to ensure the security used didn't slow them down. I found the subject matter interesting but I soon grew restless and saved up for a round the world ticket, travelling for 3.5 months through Asia, Australia, New Zealand and the USA.
At 21 I returned to university to study physiotherapy, graduating with a B(Sc) Hons. in 2004. My degree taught me so many things but above all, I walked away with a strong ability to listen, to problem solve and think laterally.
Somehow cyber was destined to be because after graduation, I knew I didn't want to be a physiotherapist (I found out after 1,000 clinical hours working in Britain's national health service during my degree that I actually hated hospitals!) and after a phone call from my old boss offering me a job out of the blue, I ended right back at nCipher and have never looked back.
18 years on since that first role in cyber security and I am pleased to say my interest has developed into a passion. I am extremely humbled by the opportunities a career in cyber security has afforded me. Not only have I found a field that I love where I feel I can help others and make a difference, I have met some fantastic people and been able to fulfil my dream of emigrating to Australia.
I have intentionally not included my CV here because I wanted to share more about the why and the how I came to be in cyber security not the 'what' I have done (you can always read more about the jobs I have done via my LinkedIn profile if you are interested
Last but not least I want to share with you my mission, which is to empower others by sharing knowledge and experiences around cyber security that are free from
- Unexplained jargon
- Exaggerated risk
- Unnecessary fear, uncertainty and doubt