Independent tech consultancy Opencast has appointed a new head of security services, to help the organisation and its clients comply with regulation, develop best practice in data security – and build in further protection from potential future online attacks.
Senior cyber professional Ros Grindrod has joined the company from global cyber security service provider LRQA Nettitude, where she was virtual chief information security officer (VCISO).
“I’m delighted to have joined Opencast,” says Ros. “I’d been talking to the company about a job around digital transformation, but they created this new role for me. The role is evidence of how seriously the company takes the issue – both internally and on behalf of our clients.”
Originally from Gloucestershire, Ros has always had an interest in technology – she built her own HTML website using an old iMac aged 10. But she couldn’t see a career pathway into the tech sector, so after completing a chemistry degree at the University of Bristol, she joined global professional services company Deloitte, initially as an auditor.
She moved into Deloitte’s cyber security team, working on then leading multi-million pound projects, with work on ethical hacking, threat modelling and testing organisations’ online security systems. After more than three years at Deloitte, Ros joined managed services consultancy ZDL, then moved on to LRQA Nettitude, initially as an information security consultant, before being promoted into the VCISO position.
Ros joined Opencast this autumn, after relocating to the south east in a move that would further boost the development and capacity of the company’s presence in London.
“I was impressed by Opencast’s mission and vision statements and their determination to follow a social impact agenda – their work towards B Corp status was proof that they were practising what they preached,” she says.
“I’ve been working with Stef Monaco, our head of social impact, on our B Corp application, as internal security is an area included in the application. Stef helped to identify opportunities for me to spread the word about cyber security.”
Since joining Opencast, Ros has co-ordinated Opencast’s involvement in delivering a workshop in online security to teenagers at an EmPower Cyber event, which was organised by the government’s National Cyber Security Centre. She also spoke at a recent cyber conference on AI in security in Bristol.
She said: “I’ve been very impressed by the team’s commitment to security, it’s something that is taken seriously internally and on behalf of our clients. I’ll be working on strengthening our own defences against any potential future cyber-attacks, and advise and help clients with their own security.”
She explains: “An online breach can literally change the course of a business, while non-compliance in terms of GDPR can lead to hefty fines and loss of reputation. So my role is to alleviate risks to ourselves and our clients by identifying then elevating issues – it’s important that everyone fully understands the issues.
“The way forward has to be ‘secure by design’ – when systems and processes are constructed with security at their core, rather than being an addition. It’s important that everyone on our team understands the concepts, dangers and challenges.”
Welcoming Ros’s arrival to the team, Opencast chief technology officer Lee Foster says: “We’re delighted to have someone of Ros’s talent, experience and knowledge join our team. We deal with confidential data for many of our clients and they need the assurance that their data is safe with us.
“Constant vigilance is needed, as is a pro-active, risk-based approach. With Ros on board and leading our approach to security, we have the assurance we and our clients need.”
Opencast is an independent and privately owned full-service UK technology consultancy specialising in designing, building and running user-centred digital and technology solutions.
Bringing together expertise in digital human experience, technology optimised operations, innovation and emerging technology and data driven insights, Opencast works with UK public sector bodies, healthcare organisations and businesses to develop services that include support for critical national infrastructure and help for millions of citizens.
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