Name:  Genevieve Wells
Job Title:  Managing Director
Company:  Hayman Executive

Tell us about yourself and what you do in cyber security.

I’m a recruiter with over 25 years’ experience working with mainly young / growing software vendors helping them expand in EMEA.  For the last few years, I’ve specialised in working with emerging / expanding Cyber software vendors looking to land and or expand their EMEA sales operations.   I’d say it’s 80/20 US to others.

I source and help them hire high calibre Sales, Pre-Sales and other customer facing positions that are critical to them achieving their expansion goals and revenue targets.  I have a long established and trusted network of contacts across predominately EMEA but am also well connected in the ‘international’ market APAC (Singapore and ANZ).

Often young companies looking to expand into EMEA have little experience or certainly current knowledge of the market they are looking to hire in.  With my experience I’m able to guide and advise them on how best to achieve their objectives.  They often want a ‘first feet on the street’ type hire, capable of wearing many hats – but often need advice on how to attract these Alpha candidates and what they need to do to enable that.  I become a ‘trusted advisor’ to my clients enabling them to focus on their core business activities, knowing that their hiring concerns are being dealt with by a longstanding industry professional who knows how to translate their USPs and Wow factor into compelling presentations to sometimes passive candidates.   Even with incredibly challenging briefs – I deliver.

How did you find out about the UK Cyber Security Association?

Through my lovely long-term contact Nat Schooler and subsequent introductions to Chris Windley and to Lisa Ventura.

What made you decide to join the UK Cyber Security Association?

 I’m passionate about the need for Cyber Security – it’s an absolute urgent need in today’s increasingly digital world – which has been accelerated due to the pandemic.  I’ve fallen for a phishing scam in the past and know how terrifying those moments are before you can cancel your cards etc. And I know what I’m looking out for!   If I fell for it, you can bet your bottom dollar that many many others did too.  The ‘bad guys’ get ever more sophisticated with their attacks – we must stay at least one, preferably two steps ahead of them.  Making the digital world a safer place is a key focus.

How did the support from the UK Cyber Security Association benefit you in your cyber security career?

As a result of my involvement with the UKCSA I’ve already had the opportunity to meet companies that I could partner with in my offerings to my clients, offering a holistic approach to their EMEA expansion, as well as introductions to companies that are considering their first international hires outside the domestic US market.  I’m also learning more about the entire Cyber landscape – not just my slice of it.  This is wonderful as the more I know and the more contacts I have, the more I can help my clients achieve their goals.  And ultimately, stop the bad guys – or if not totally stop them, slow them down and cause them headaches.

Do you find the UK Cyber Security Association helpful in your day-to-day job?

Absolutely!  Being a member has opened new avenues of learning, shared experiences and meeting new industry contacts who are all passionate about keeping the digital world safe for all – whether for us, our children or our parents.   Our children and parents are more likely to be more trusting of ‘digital encounters’ – we must protect everyone, particularly those most vulnerable to attack.  The new network I’m getting to know is going to be critical to ensuring we are able to meet the demands of companies needing to expand their EMEA sales operations.

Are there any other UK Cyber Security Association benefits that have stood out to you since joining?

The newsletters are incredibly useful, as are the networking events.  Once we are out of Covid restrictions, I can’t wait to meet my fellow members face to face and have more ‘natural’ conversations.

Would you recommend the UK Cyber Security Association to other individuals and organisations actively working in the cyber security industry? 

Absolutely!  It’s wonderful that there’s now a ‘body and voice’ to consolidate news, views and opinion in the cyber space.  The more we network and communicate, the harder the ‘bad guys will find things –

What do you think are the biggest challenges in cyber security today?

Sophisticated phishing attacks on Joe Public, Ransomware on businesses of any size and vulnerabilities around ‘smart’ technologies (baby monitors for example) – some of the instances I’ve heard of have made my skin crawl.   And for all Cyber security providers, whether vendors, MSSPs or VARs, hiring the right people is going to be a key concern for them. 

Is there a quote or a piece of advice about cyber security that you would like to share?

“There are only two types of companies; those that have been hacked and those that will be hacked.”
Robert Mueller, FBI Director, 2012.

Finally, please feel free to share a fun fact about yourself or let us know what you like to do to relax/what your hobbies are 😊

I’m a mean Scrabble player with a current game top word score of 149 (Leadless) over two triple words and with 50-point bonus for getting all 7 letters out) and a top game score of 619.

I’m also an Avgeek having started my working life at Britannia Airways.  The smell of A1 Aviation Fuel is one of my favourite scents!  Best smelt on a hot ramp in summer with the buzz of a busy airport in the background.

Current out of work interests aside from Scrabble and Aviation are Golf (high handicapper, but I’m a newbie and working on it!) and running (I’m a newbie, couch to 5k started in November 2020 and now regular runner – I go first thing before work – great to bank those steps and that cardio before I start work) and the coast/beach – call it what you will – I love it!

For more information about Genevieve and Hayman Executive, visit their website.