September 21, 2020
Delivering Security expertise with a big smile
By: Harata Ng

Converting to our Security Practice

I never planned to have a career in Information Security – you could say I was converted into the sector – but I could not have made a better move!

I joined Accenture as a graduate straight from university after obtaining a few qualifications but none of them had anything to do with information security. I was referred to Accenture by a friend who had my CV and submitted it.

I started out in Technology Consulting doing SAP deployment and supply chain transformation. Then I needed a new project and was staffed at a new client within days. As I started the project, I quickly realised it was not a technology project, but a security project and I thought ‘why am I here, this is not aligned to my practice and career aspiration’.

But, after working with the team for just a week, I found them really supportive of me building a career in Security and they convinced me stay. They explained how the industry globally is needing more security experts than what we can currently supply. Also, the advancement of technology and interconnectedness of our modern life mean we are constantly faced with greater security challenges over time. Afterall, it is, and will remain a hot space that offers a bright future for technology professionals. Given that future prospect, I thought about it and quickly agreed to the move to security practice.

Becoming a Subject Matter Expert

1.5 year and a few training later, I am now a Security Strategy Consultant with various certifications under my belt, advising world class clients in redefining their security strategies. The best thing about my role is that I don’t work purely on delivery, but also strategy definition as well as contributing in growing the practice alongside our leadership team.

I’ve now worked on three projects in the Security space, but I think the one that stands out most was a two-month project at an ultra-luxury automobile manufacturer where I was thrown in at the deep end of third party security assessment, assessing the security posture of their global suppliers and dealers, ensuring they securely handle their high net worth clients’ personal information. That was an area I had zero knowledge in. At that point, the team were super busy, and the senior manager gave me the opportunity to manage this with the help of a few consultants who I could turn to with any questions and who could offer support if I needed it. I worked with them on the on-site assessment for one day and watched and learnt how they get to the information they needed. That was it, and the following day I was on my own. It forced me to learn and I was so much more comfortable with my security skills than before - that has been the steepest learning curve in my whole career so far. Following the project and a certification in ISO27001 lead auditor, I am now known as the Third Party Risk Management Subject Matter Expert (SME) and that’s such a leap - coming from knowing nothing about security.

I have a trajectory to become a manager hopefully at the end of this year and if not, mid-year next year. You have to have career aspirations and I am keen to advance further in the security industry pretty quickly. In the long term I want to start my own business. Everyone respects my decision that I want to start my own business in the future, yet it has never stopped anyone from supporting me to grow my expertise in cybersecurity until then. This comes to show that in the Security practice you’re not treated as a number but rather as a true friend and someone with a bright future, true to Accenture’s belief in its Truly Human campaign.

Working with family, smiles and a market leader

What I most love about working here is my team. I’ve been working with the same team for a year and I’ve been working with my senior manager (who is also my good friend and has been my career counsellor) for the past year and it always feels like a happy family. I was on holiday and I felt like I missed my family, I missed my team and was looking forward to coming back to work! Even at work, we don’t call ourselves a team, we call ourselves family. And our clients love us, because along with our expertise, we also provide big smiles and positive energy. It’s a great atmosphere and working environment and for me that is more important than anything else - the people you’re working with rather than what you’re working on.

I also enjoy that I’m working for a market leader across many security sectors. We’re one of the most elite and respected cybersecurity consulting firms out there and I believe you cannot work anywhere better than here. As I said, we have a great team which is growing really fast - our headcount has increased by more than 100% over the last year. Also, while many other companies may only do advisory or implementation, we provide end-to-end solutions, from strategy to implementation to outsourcing – we do it all. For anyone thinking of joining us, that provides an endless wealth of opportunities.

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