"How I made it as a Cyber Security Pro"

Career Insight Series with Francis

For our series of Career Insight, Boston Link steps into the world of technology to interview our latest talent placement Francis, a pro in Senior Cyber Security Officer.

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Why did you get into the technology industry?

My uncle spoke a lot about his own career in tech and I was inspired by his stories. From then on, I always wanted to be an Engineer. One evening after high school I went to visit my uncle and there was a job opening, and as they say; the rest is history.

What career advice do you have for others in this field?

'Diversifying skillsets' was the best career advice I've heard. It's never one perfect model that fits all and continuous learning is so important in this industry. I think we should always aim to better our skills because this field is such a dynamic and fast one. I've changed cloud software programmes, and implemented GDPR guidelines - it's a landscape that is forever changing and our jobs are a constant learning curve. One that we should always aim to stay ahead of as much a possible.

As soon as GDPR was a hot topic, I had to sign up for a course to understand what it means for the company I worked at, and this was straight after my Ph.D. in Information Security Management. When it comes to changing jobs, this initiative has helped me stand out from the crowd. 

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What personal attribute has most helped you succeed in your career? 

I've moved from London to Spain to Malta, what a journey! I think I've always been described as someone who is professional and diligent, but what has really helped me succeed is a can-do attitude. When you work with so many different people and cultures and you have to adapt to different technologies and skillsets in such a fast-paced industry, a can-do attitude has always been important. 

What is the best piece of career advice you’ve ever been given?

Invest in continuous personal development and acquire industry certifications.

What advice do you have for those who are looking for a new IT role?

They should do what no-one else is doing; think of ways to stand out from the crowd. A lot of IT professionals only tend to use their IT skills and certifications forgetting that there is a world that exists outside the IT sphere. If IT professionals mix their technical skills with life sciences or humanities or business and finance courses, career horizons could further be expanded.

What has been the biggest challenge you’ve overcome in your professional career to date?

When I was studying, I also worked a full-time job. It was tough, but it makes my career progress all that more fulfilling knowing how hard I worked.  

In 5 year’s time, what do you think will be the biggest change in the online security industry?

I see a big change in cloud technology; regulations, security challenges, as well as business acquisitions. I also predict a massive shift away from the orthodox way of working, teaching, and learning to remote ways of using tech and therefore, implementing new innovative technologies with this shift. 

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