A brief history of your career since leaving the University of Birmingham

I joined atsec as a consultant after returning to my home country. I have now been here for almost 8 years. In my role I certify IT products against the Common Criteria Security Standard upheld in the US and several European countries.

Skills and knowledge from your postgraduate degree have you used in your career so far

Research skills and cryptography courses I have undertaken have provided an excellent foundation for the work I do now.

Main work activities in your current role

I analyse and assess the characteristics and implementation of security functionality for a wide variety of IT products.

A typical day in your job

I talk to customers, read product documentation and sometimes source code, create and run test cases, and write a lot of evaluation reports.

Main challenges in your role

Government standards on IT security regulations and products changes regularly. This means I have to continuously educate myself about best practice and implementation.

Why did this type of work appeal to you?

If I’m honest, this role didn’t appeal to me at first; it was something I grew into. I originally wanted to be an implementer but my current work lets me positively influence a far wider variety of people and products than I could by working on one specific project.

Advice for students looking to enter this area of work?

We have all seen how important computer security has become. The truth is it always was important, but less people were trying to manipulate it, so we didn't know. Future generations of programmers must appreciate the importance of security from the start, and design behaviour which is secure from the beginning. Retrofitting security into a product after it is implemented just doesn't work. Security must become as important as functionality.