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Andrew Wall, Principal consultant, IS, Atkins


Principal consultant, IS

When did you join Atkins?

January 2012.

Why did you join Atkins?

I wanted to work for a company that could take my career to higher levels in a better geographical location for me and my family. I knew that Atkins was developing its cyber and information security capability which I hope will provide great opportunities and interesting work.

What did you do before you joined Atkins?

I worked for Capgemini UK in both security accreditation and security network infrastructure roles on one of their major accounts with a UK government department.    

How would you describe your role and responsibilities?

I am a lead member of a team that provides cyber and information security – working out what good security means for a business, getting them to think in terms of risk and providing them with cost-effective solutions for their problems in a really challenging threat environment. I’m also heavily involved in developing the people side of the security capability for Atkins, through line management, security careers frameworks and training and development to help our staff have fulfilling careers.

How do you describe what you do to friends and family?

That’s a tricky one since most people switch off when you say cyber or information security. I normally just say I work in computer security and have great fun doing it. If I get pushed then I try to put it in their context, saying things like making sure they can use their online bank account without the fear of their money vanishing or being stolen!

Do you have any professional accreditations?

I am a Fellow of the British Computer Society and the Institute of Scientific and Technical Communicators. I have a Masters in IT and I hold several industry standard qualifications like CISSP, CISM and ITPC. I am also a member of the UK CESG Listed Adviser Scheme (CLAS).

What key projects have you worked on?

The environment I’m in means I work on several projects a year, each of them a bit different, so I could be doing risk assessments, working out the threats to a business, reviewing system designs and suggesting improvements to make a deployed system more secure. Part of my time is also working with other consultants and providing oversight on their work.

What are you currently working on?

Remember I work in security so I’m always careful about what I say! I’m currently working with several UK departments to analyse some security issues and help put in place some improvements.

What achievement are you most proud of?

Coming in as the new boy in the team and just six months later being a lead and actually delivering huge amounts of client satisfaction and value for money on a crucial project. Working for Atkins shows anything is possible.

What’s the most technically challenging project you’ve worked on at Atkins?

My current project working with several UK departments. It’s been pretty difficult to assess the issues with so many groups involved using existing methodologies and I’ve had to develop some interesting hybrid solutions that are repeatable.

How has your career developed at Atkins?

In the short time I’ve been here my career has already moved up a level into my current lead role.

How have you been supported during your career development?

One of the best things about Atkins is that they encourage talented people to push on and develop at the pace that suits them. When I joined I was full of ideas and I’ve been supported by senior management in making some of them a reality with great results in both work delivered and client satisfaction. I’ve already been on training, attended several internal events and one conference, and I’ve had lots of on-the-job shadowing to show me how things are done.    

How do security consultants and Atkins make a difference?

We help businesses decide what they should value and what is worth protecting so that they can put the right security controls in the right place and make them work properly. This identifies their risks, brings them down to manageable levels and gets a proper return on their security investment.
How would you describe the culture at Atkins?

It’s very professional, open and honest where anyone can voice an opinion and people will listen. There is also a work-life balance reality with no expectation of long working hours which is different to my last job, so when I leave for home work does not follow me.

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