Tell us a little about your role
I’m a Cyber and Information Security Analyst working in the Information Governance department.
The role is difficult to describe in a short paragraph, but I will typically be involved in anything cyber security related, from providing access to websites through our web filters, to providing advice to departments and assessing suppliers when new systems are being implemented.
One of the main things I’ll be looking to do is raise awareness of cyber security to staff throughout the health board, as we all need to do our part to keep our computers, networks, and patient data as safe and secure as possible.
As the role is relatively new to the NHS, it has its fair share of challenges, as I’m effectively trying to change how some parts of the organisation works, but I’m looking forward to tackling them and making the organisation a safe and secure place for everyone.
What has been your career path?
I originally started working for the NHS in a clerical role whilst studying at university. After I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Computer Security and Forensics, I joined the IT Service Desk where I worked for around three years, mainly supporting local GP practices. I then successfully interviewed for a role in the Information Governance team as an Information Security Support Officer and, after two years, I managed to land the role I’m in now.
How did you become interested in cyber security?
I’d honestly like to have a cool story that I could tell everyone, but I think it was simply a movie called ‘Hackers’ that piqued my interest in cyber security when I was younger. It’s one of those terrible 90s movies that I think it is excellent.
I’ve always had an interest in technology, building computers (and breaking them) but always found the cyber security side of things incredibly interesting. Probably a good thing as there is barely a day that goes by without hearing about another security breach somewhere in the world, so it’s not like I’ve chosen a boring career!
Most vivid childhood memory?
Probably going on holiday up north with the family.
Favourite tv programme or celebrity and why?
I’d have to say a show called Mr Robot. I don’t think many people have heard of it, but it’s a cyber security themed show that has a great, but often confusing, storyline. The cyber security, or ‘hacking’ elements are incredibly realistic, which is rare for a TV show.
Note: I do not encourage the use of computer hacking tools in the workplace as demonstrated in the show!
Chocolate or chips?
How do you spend your leisure time?
Probably the same as everyone else at the moment. Going out walks with my other half, reading books, playing games on my PC, or lounging around and watching something on Netflix.
I think once the travel restrictions are lifted, I’ll be looking to travel around Scotland more and will be attempting to climb a few Munros.
Yes! But no pets at the moment though.
One moment that comes to mind is when I was driving the North Coast 500 with a few friends. We organised a guided kayak tour of a loch, and within a few minutes of being in the kayak I somehow managed to flip it and ended up in the water. I’d probably describe it as the coldest I’ve ever been in my life. To make things worse, we were camping that night so I didn’t even manage to get a shower until a day later. Looking back I find it hilarious.
To this day I’m still blaming the kayak, my lack of experience has nothing to do with it…
Hopes for the next decade
Cheaper electric cars and bigger Milky Way chocolate bars.
Oh, and less cyber-attacks. That would be nice too.