Name: Lucy McGrother
Job Title: SOAR Lead Platform Integrator
Company: Fujitsu Services
Tell us an interesting or fun fact about you:
I have won a National Cricket Award for the fastest first class century alongside Andrew ‘Freddie’ Flintoff in 1999.
What drew you towards a career in cyber security?
I never actively sought a career in cyber security, I went to it out of necessity when my then current role was being made redundant and I wanted to remain within the company.
What do you enjoy most about what you do in the industry?
The daily challenges that are thrown at me, whilst I don’t work on the front line so to speak, I work on leading edge products and often standing up solutions to enable testing, proof of concept work to be completed.
What things are the most challenging in your role?
The unknowns where you think you are close to completing a piece of work and new curve balls, whether it be access, software or other limitations that suddenly delay the completion and to resolve it’s completely out of your control.
What have been your career defining moments?
Taking that first IT role, which was a leap of faith at the time and the first Ada Lovelace Day run by Fujitsu.
What changes have you seen in the cyber security industry in the time that you have been in it?
The rate of change is fast paced, even more so than other sectors I’ve worked in.
But the biggest change has been moving into the cloud, which has really ramped up in the past few years and the new challenges that it presents.
What trends or changes do you think we will see in cyber security in the next 10 years?
Because of cloud I think the biggest change will be that we will start to see the end of desktop/worktops as we know them. We will be using more terminal based access which will fundamentally change the equipment we need and its associated security.
How much job demand have you seen for cyber security professionals, and what things to you think will shape this demand in the coming years.
Demand is going to go be on an upward trend especially as any cyber threat could be catastrophic for industries like Health Care, Government systems.
Has the coronavirus pandemic impacted on your career, and if so in what ways?
I personally have not seen any impact however generally I think it has changed the focus of corporate security to end user security as more people than ever are working from home.
What soft skills do you think are important for women in cyber security to have?
There are a number of soft skills which are important for both men and women, though some come a lot easier to women than men in my opinion.
Those skills include clear communication, listening skills, taking responsibility, positive attitude, assertiveness and a sense of humour.
Why do you think more women should consider a career in cyber security?
Go for it – to try is not to fail, to fail is not to try. If you try it and love it great, it not, at least you gave it a try.
How does someone from another industry make the move into cyber security?
Cyber security affects every aspect of life, if you want to make the cross over to cyber security, consider where you use it and how you might change something that has impacted your current work life.
What advice would you give to a women looking to make the move into cyber security?
Don’t worry about matching the skill set exactly, just ensure that you have an abundance of enthusiasm to try and learn and be aware how your current skill set can be transferred to a cyber security environment.
In your perspective – what are the biggest cyber security threats to companies presently?
Complacency – thinking it couldn’t happen to them and failing to plan for the worst thing happening.
Do you think it is important to close the gender gap in cyber security and if so, how do you think this could be done?
Closing the gender gap is so incredibly important because if you don’t have that representation it will lead to decisions being made on assumptions, the same goes to representation of communities as well.
While the situation in the cyber security industry has marginally improved in recent years, it is still a very male dominated world. What are your thoughts on this, and have you seen an improvement yourself?
I have been lucky in that I have worked in a security team which has more females in it than I have ever previously worked with in any IT role – and they are not just helpdesk call loggers, they are technical but generally the teams are still managed by men and they tend to look for people like themselves, so it perpetuates that lack of diversity and not just between men and women but other aspects of society too.
Finally, is there anything else you would like to share with our readers?
Two new highlights to my career in the space of 24 hours.
The day before the book was released I found out that I had been awarded Fujitsu Distinguished Engineer status during this year’s round of nominations.
Read Lucy’s chapter and others in “The Rise of the Cyber Women: Volume 1″, available now via the links below: