When speaking to people who never considered a career in cyber or information security, we often find an audience put off by the perception that it is only for the technically minded. This couldn’t be further from the truth! Lucy Chaplin, a young consultant from the United Kingdom (U.K.) who became an Associate of (ISC)2 last year, demonstrates the possibilities.
Lucy considers herself lucky to have missed out on graduate programme schemes for management consulting. Coming out of Bristol University in 2012 with an honours degree in Economics and Politics, these programmes seemed to be the obvious choice at the time; and she made a concerted effort to contact The Big Four global consulting firms and small consultancies alike. Her research led to KPMG’s risk consultancy practice, which was a little bit more technical than the career she had imagined, but not daunting.
“I have never looked back. I asked for the opportunity to speak to as many people as I could around different practice areas and it became obvious that this was a high-growth industry that promised a lot of opportunity,” Chaplin says.
Celebrating her 25th birthday this year, Lucy is well aware that her choice has fast-tracked her career. She has worked on a variety of business, technical and strategic programmes examining technical risk, business resilience, infrastructure, cybersecurity and now Data Insight Services, where she helps clients take advantage of the volumes of data they have running through their systems to maximise the impact of their data and reporting. Her assignments have even included a stint on the McLaren Alliance, where she got a close-up view of the cars and met star Formula One driver Jenson Button.
Given the level of information and IT security required in the work she was doing, Lucy sought to solidify her knowledge in this area. Luckily, she was supported by her employer to pursue the Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP®). She is now an Associate of (ISC)2 while she gains the five years’ experience required for full professional recognition.
“This was a great credential to work for because it really helped me get a broader view of the field, and the directions I could take in my career,” she says, adding, “As a young female who hadn’t studied the area, it also demonstrates that I understand the technical aspects of what I am working on. I continue to be very business-oriented, with a strong understanding of how technology works; but I have never had to be a technology expert. I work with others when such deep expertise is needed.”
What advice would Lucy give to graduates today?
“When you graduate, there is so much pressure on you from employers, family and peers to have a clear idea of what you want. But I got into a field that was changing too much to be able to build a five-year plan. In this organisation, my five-year plan changes with both the firm’s and my priorities. Take the time to talk to as many people as you can. Ask recruitment agents to refer you to people who can talk to you about their work. Attend events and ignore the pressure — let them tell you what is possible.”
Find out more about how you can become certified by (ISC)² here: https://www.isc2.org/associate/default.aspx
Find out more about (ISC)² : www.isc2.org
–Lyndsay Turley, director, Communications & Public Affairs, EMEA, (ISC)2