Conrad Simpson

In a career of over 40 years in IT, I have seen huge changes in the technology and the growing need to secure data. I have never stopped learning and every day brings something new and varied.

My career has taken me to places from the USA to Qatar, I have met and made many friends through my work and it has even brought an invitation to Downing Street to meet the Prime Minister.

I have co-founded two cyber security companies in the UK and am the Director at Cyphra. I have worked in both IS technical and advisory roles and I am a NCSC Lead CCP for information security risk.

I am a supporter of the professionalisation of the cyber industry and am active in promoting the career opportunities in cyber to NI schools and was heavily involved in bringing the Cyber First program to NI.

I am a double Olympian in sailing and still enjoy racing regularly.

Director - Cyphra

As an experienced cyber practitioner I understand not only the important role cyber security plays in society today but also the need to build a pipeline of cyber aware and skilled individuals in this industry to support the growth in technical innovation and technology adoption.

My work with my own children’s school showed me that there was a gap in knowledge about the fantastic career opportunities in cyber and so I worked to see how I could play a role in helping to address this.

I have a passion to see young people take up the fantastic career opportunities that cybersecurity presents and believe that industry needs to play an active part in encouraging and steering young people into these career choices.

I was involved in first bringing cyber competitions and CyberFirst to NI schools and have now taken on this Ambassador role to enable me to take this province wide.

Simon Whittaker

The majority of my work involves helping companies by performing penetration and security testing, improving secure coding practices and providing expert guidance.

In my spare time I have mentored several start-ups at different stages over the last 5 years with LORCA and CSIT Labs and also run a CodeClub in Holywood, Co Down teaching young people how to code and engage with computers and tech.

CEO - Vertical Structure

I am the CEO of Vertical Structure.

I love helping young people understand more about the new digital world that we live in and help prepare them for the world or work.

Victoria Logan

My name is Victoria - I work for Allstate, one of the largest insurance companies in the US. My career with Allstate began in 2009, I was hired as a graphic designer as part of my college placement. As the company expanded, my role grew into a combined graphic design and marketing communications role.

In 2017, I joined Allstate’s global cybersecurity team in Northern Ireland. My role as Cybersecurity Awareness and Communication Specialist is to raise awareness and inspire change in employees across Allstate’s global organisation.

I focus on the human element of cybersecurity; creating materials to reinforce secure habits in employees’ personal and professional lives.

My favourite part of my job is the people I get to work with are amazing and come from all variety of backgrounds and cultures. I love working as part of a global team. No two days are the same and the work is fascinating. Cybersecurity is so interesting and I’m always keen to learn more. I feel that that my work touches people all around the world and is helping to make them and our company more secure.

Cybersecurity Specialist

My passion for cybersecurity led to my involvement in the award-winning Allstate Cyber Safety program. The program involves cybersecurity professionals delivering interactive training sessions on how to stay safe online to children and older adults around the world.

I’ve had the pleasure of being a CyberFirst Ambassador in Northern Ireland since it was launched in 2020. I support CyberFirst campaigns such as the annual CyberFirst Girls Competition, CyberFirst summer courses for students age 11-17, events such as EmPower Week and providing educational resources to CyberFirst Schools and Colleges.

I am proud to be part of this initiative to encourage and inspire talented young people from all backgrounds to consider a career in cyber security.

Joe Dolan

My career has taken me through a fantastic journey of technology discovery and roles from managing change and modernisation projects at an NICS level with telephone operators using plug boards in Parliament Buildings to implementing state of the art security architecture in Business Development Services, part of the founding member of IT Assist and embracing the challenges of converging departmental networking through organisational change. Setting up new IT support teams in DOE.

I have been involved in security roles as DAERA Accreditor and recently as Head of NI Cyber Security Centre. Never a dull moment.

In my spare time I like walking, listening to audio books and red wine and enjoying every day as much as possible.

Head of Enterprise Digital Development

As head of EDD I manage teams in the IT support and security of business systems and applications for government departments of Finance, Education, Health, Economy and The Executive Office.

My teams also develop and test new applications and enhancements to meet evolving business requirements building in excellence of design, user experience and security principles. This includes supporting on premise and cloud platforms which provide NI Direct and NICS websites.

I want to share my journey and experiences of a varied and diverse IT Career with young people to highlight the great opportunities that the ever evolving and exciting IT and Cyber job opportunities offer and as such am glad as an IT Professional to be a CyberFirst Ambassador.