Nicola Grantham of Capgemini offers insight into her exciting cybersecurity work and tells aspiring professionals to expect the unexpected from a career in cybersecurity


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Capgeminis Nicola Grantham shares cybersecurity journey

Capgemini's Nicola Grantham shares cybersecurity journey

Nicola Grantham at Capgemini says cybersecurity isn’t all about teenage hackers or middle-aged people in grey suits: two stereotypes generally associated with the world of cybersecurity. She says: "I’m an incident investigator in a small team of men and women from a range of backgrounds. Our two senior managers are an ex-government fraud investigator and a former police forensics investigator. We’re quite a young team, drawn from the public sector, technology firms such as Apple, and direct from school or university."

Find your way in

Capgemini cyber security

"My own route into cybersecurity started when I joined Capgemini’s apprenticeship programme at the age of 17. I’d already been working while I was at school, which was difficult to manage, so I was looking for something that allowed me to work and study at the same time. I looked at a lot of apprenticeship programmes. I really liked maths and physics at school, and Capgemini offered apprenticeship opportunities that really interested me. I got a place on its Software Development level 3 apprenticeship. I then went on to a level 4 apprenticeship in Systems and Networking," Nicola adds.

"My first role was in configuration management on a public sector account, where I worked for three years. During that time I completed assignments in the business operation center, in change management and other areas. I found I had a real interest in security, and a great role came up internally as an incident investigator on the account. I went along to find out more, and ended up getting the job."

Nicola describes her role as really fascinating. Her team investigates all cybersecurity incidents across Capgemini’s clients and started out just working on the one account, but now covers the whole business.

Keep up to date – and embrace change

Capgemini creative problem solving

Nicola really likes variety of her role, the travel and the problem-solving aspect. "It is a high-stress environment, since we’re dealing with quite serious security incidents, but that really appeals to me," she says. "We are always trying to stay ahead of potential threats, and keep abreast of trends. That means we do everything from keeping up with technology news to staying informed about political movements that could impact threat groups. We have relationships with organisations that provide threat intelligence and, of course, we keep an eye on Twitter!"

Most of Nicola's time is spent reacting to incidents when they occur. That could mean she needs to travel overseas at the drop of a hat. She is part of a close-knit team, which means they can be flexible and support each other when they need to drop everything to investigate an incident at short notice. As well as reacting to events, the team also develops recommendations following any incident, so that they can be more proactive in future.

Creative thinkers wanted

One of the things Nicola enjoys most about her role is being able to get to the bottom of problems. She explains: "It’s an ideal role for people that are creative thinkers, out-of-the-box thinkers and problem solvers. If I had to say what I was ace at, it would be creative problem solving. Finding different ways to gather information, to investigate issues and to link different events to find creative solutions to problems."

Love your career

Nicola loves many things about her role, but she says the top of the list is probably the travel: "I like the variety it brings, the challenge, and the people I get to interface with – working with different clients, different teams and in different countries."

Nicola's role is ideal for people who don’t want to be doing the same thing every day – as you never know what situation you might be involved in.

Build your personal brand

Capgemini breaking stereotypes

If Nicola had to give some advice to her younger self starting out in her role, it would be to come forward more with her opinions and to recognise that her opinion is as valid as anyone else’s.

"Capgemini really encourages you to put yourself forward," she adds. "You’re encouraged to build your own profile; to establish what you want to be known for. It’s very valuable to have that in mind and to work towards being that person. For me, I want to be known as someone who is really eager to learn and willing to have a go at anything. I want people to think that no problem is too impossible for me to have a go at."

Looking to the future of cybersecurity, it’s clearly a fast-moving, ever-changing environment. When Nicola started, she was just looking at threats to one account, now she gets to see nearly all accounts across Capgemini. So the role keeps growing, the team keeps growing and their capabilities and toolsets keep growing. Nicola concludes: "I don’t see that changing any time soon."

Choose a career that’s going places with Capgemini

To find out how to launch your own career journey in cybersecurity with progressive employer, Capgemini, take a look at the opportunities available.

 

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