Kate studied BSc Forensic Computing at the De Montfort University in Leicester. She joined EY in January 2015 as an Executive within Financial Services, Consulting, IT Risk & Assurance in Cyber Security.
I graduated in July 2013 with a 1st Class Honours, my dissertation thesis was published internationally and I had secured a job as a Cyber Intelligence Analyst in the Aerospace sector.
Since joining EY, in early 2015, I have been absolutely delighted with the support that they provide to all their employees, which I have benefited from both professionally and personally. The culture and team approach to all projects has enabled my confidence to grow exponentially and reassured me that I have support in all aspects of my career at EY.
Outside of client work, I am able to make a difference by getting involved in the following EY initiatives:
- I am the face of the newly launched Mental Health campaign and completing a set of public disclosure speeches to help raise awareness surrounding disabilities in the workplace, abolish stigma surrounding mental health conditions and highlight the support mechanisms EY have to offer.
- I participate in numerous activities to raise the profile of the Mental Health network and have completed a certification funded by EY to be a Mental Health First Aider.
- I am on the leadership team for the Women in Technology network, who are undertaking multiple initiatives to promote and increase women working in the technology arena.
An exciting project I have delivered was a server virtualization assessment for a client that provides asset management services to their clients and has over 90% of their environment virtualized. The purpose of the engagement was to undertake a security assessment of the controls surrounding their virtualized environment, identify any gaps or areas for improvement and discuss remediation suggestions. This information was identified through documentation review, interviews with key stakeholders, workshops and technical testing of the virtualized infrastructure. This review was conducted with a short deadline of two weeks and by a team of one (me) due to the scope and niche technical skills required to conduct the assessment. This was the first engagement EY has conducted of this kind and due to its success it is now being replicated for other clients.
My role encompassed all elements of the project from scoping to completion. I faced numerous difficulties with this project; however the biggest hurdle I overcame was managing a complicated client relationship. By having regular touch point meetings and presenting factually verified findings in an effective way throughout the project, I was able to ensure that the relationship was managed positively.
Working on this project enabled me to demonstrate my ability to adapt to a difficult situation, conduct a complex assessment and produce a positive outcome in a short amount of time. I was able to see the project through from start to finish, conducting all elements individually in challenging circumstances. Following the completion of this project, I received an Impact Award from the IT Risk & Assurance Partner involved for a great turnaround for our client. This has both personally and professionally given me confidence in my abilities and belief in myself. I now feel able to conduct deeply technical work, interact with senior stakeholders and take on challenging situations as an individual. I have an upcoming server virtualization assessment in the pipeline where I will be managing a team and I look forward to this next challenge.
This project helped identify gaps and improve security surrounding a 90% virtualized environment that encompasses thousands of organisations assets. Therefore, this improved not just the security of EY’s client but all of the companies that entrust their assets with them too. For EY, this project was the first of its kind, resulting in a huge knowledge gain and project success that can now be transferred to gain further work.
Never underestimate your ability to adapt and the power of team work. Whether you have a specific skillset or you don’t, be creative and proactive in the way that you approach tasks by researching and asking the right questions to ensure the client’s requirements are met or exceeded.
EY is a huge organisation encompassing vast amounts of employees from diverse backgrounds with varied experiences and skills. As a consultant you can’t know everything but your approach can enable you to learn and adapt to anything, so when in doubt – consult, consult and consult some more!