To close Cyber Month here at TechSPARK, we wanted to highlight what a career in cyber security might look like, so we caught up with Marie Caruso, Cluster Board Member for Bristol & Bath Cyber and Head of Sales and Marketing for Arcanum Cyber, an NCSC Certified Consultancy providing risk assessment, Penetration Testing and Digital Forensics.

We spoke about how she got into the field, discussed why it’s such an engaging sector to be working in, and touched on current trends in cyber. If you’re intrigued about cyber, make sure to check out the interview and our other resources, including a brief background on cyber security, education through gamification and meet Clue: the world leading investigation software providers.

Could you introduce yourself and tell us a bit about what you do?

I’m Marie Caruso, a Cluster Board Member for Bristol & Bath Cyber. I’m also Head of Sales and Marketing for Arcanum Cyber, an NCSC Certified Consultancy providing risk assessment, Penetration Testing and Digital Forensics. My team is dedicated to ensuring our clients receive the best possible service to a wide range of government, CNI, defence and industry stakeholders.  I have been working in IT for over 30 years for a wide range of companies. One common theme is that I have always focussed on developing and delivering bespoke security services for clients.

What’s the most exciting thing about what you’re doing? 

No two days are the same and it is very interesting work. My job is all about solving client problems and helping ensure they are protected from cyber threats. I talk to clients in sectors ranging from space, energy, fintech, manufacturers and defence. Every client is different, and no two projects are the same.

“Not everyone who works in cyber needs to be deeply technical. I am always keen to convey that there are numerous roles that vary in their requirements for qualifications and experience.”

What attracted you to a career in cyber security?

I am of an age where I was working in cyber many years before it was ‘a thing’. I started my career working for a company that installed network hardware and cabling in the early 90s (a very long time ago!). Over the years I have seen continuous change, brought about by new technology and new threats – there’s always something to learn. One day I could be talking to a client about protecting equipment running their manufacturing facility and another helping a fintech company secure its data.

Are there any myths you’d like to bust about the cyber industry?

Not everyone who works in cyber needs to be deeply technical! When I talk to anyone, from school children to adults considering a career change I am always keen to convey that there are numerous roles that vary in their requirements for qualifications and experience.

What trends are you seeing in cyber at the moment?

There is a growing focus on the security of Operational Technology (OT). OT tends to include older systems that weren’t designed to withstand cyber attacks and are vulnerable without additional measures to protect them. I run a Cyber Cluster in Wales which is purely focused on the sharing of best practices in securing OT to help improve the situation.

“The South West has a real entrepreneurial spirit and strong networks, enabling innovation, collaboration and opportunities for investment that helps start ups to thrive.”

Who should be engaging in the developments in the cyber community?

Everyone; companies of every size and sector need to be aware of existing and emerging threats. Sadly, I have supported small charities as well as big corporate names who have been victims of malicious cyber attacks. The good news is that support is out there in the form of low-cost schemes such as Cyber Essentials which Arcanum along with others offers. There is also lots of great advice and guidance freely available on NCSC’s website.

Why did you volunteer for Bristol & Bath Cyber? Why is it important for groups like this to exist?

I got involved with Bristol & Bath Cyber as I was living in Bristol and came along to some of the meetings to network and find out what was happening in the region.  I volunteered to help run an event and over 5 years later I am on the Board and excited to see it going from strength to strength. 

The group exists to bring people together to share intelligence and explore ideas.  All the more important when home working means actually interacting with a real person may not happen in your working day! You can find out more about the group here.

What’s your favourite thing about the South West Cyber Community?

The South West has a real entrepreneurial spirit and strong networks, enabling innovation, collaboration and opportunities for investment that helps startups to thrive. 

Thanks to Marie for taking the time to talk to us today. If you’re feeling inspired, make sure to check out the cyber vacancies on our jobs board.

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Shona Wright

Shona covers all things editorial at TechSPARK. She publishes news articles, interviews and features about our fantastic tech and digital ecosystem, working with startups and scaleups to spread the word about the cool things they're up to. She also oversees TechSPARK's social media, sharing the latest updates on everything from investment news to green tech meetups and inspirational stories.