TV – a gateway to cybersecurity

Lucy Dalley of C3IA Solutions, a rising cyber star

An up-and-coming cyber security expert has told how she was inspired to enter the sector after watching The Real Hustle and Catfish on TV.

Lucy Dalley, who works for C3IA Solutions in Poole, Dorset, recently spoke at a Secure South West event at Plymouth University.

She addressed those attending in person and online with a talk focusing on how she transitioned from education to industry and the challenges faced as a woman in cyber.

She spoke alongside Laura Wellstead who heads Women in Cybersecurity, which exists to get more women involved in what is a very male-dominated area.

Lucy, from Southampton, said: “I became interested in cyber security by watching TV shows such as The Real Hustle and Catfish.

“Not only is the sector short of qualified personnel, but it is really interesting and there is much more to it than coding and high-tech computing.

“For example, I am active in security training and awareness, supply chain management, Technical Surveillance Counter Measures (TCSM) – or bug-sweeping – plus cloud security and cyber security standards.

“Other interests I have are in social engineering, which is understanding the psychology behind cyber criminals who trick others into making mistakes.

“It is a wide and varied industry that is constantly changing.

“After starting a degree at Bournemouth University in 2016, I went on to do a placement year with C3IA Solutions.

“This is a leading company that was one of the first six to be accredited by the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC).

“My placement year enabled me to learn about many aspects of the cyber industry and put the theory of the university course into practice.

“I’m now a permanent member of staff and I’m keen to promote diversity and the employment of more women into the cyber sector.

“Women can bring a different perspective into the workspace which helps to generate new ideas and different ways to deal with problems or complex issues.

“It is also so important to hire young people so that the industry can evolve and grow.

“The will is there from within the cyber sector, and we need to promote it within schools and help encourage children in this area – they will be the cyber security experts of the future.

“Speaking at the Secure South West event has given me confidence that more people are thinking about the industry.

“But its image should reflect the broad range of skills needed so that people don’t assume it is just about technology and too hard for them.

“Although I have a good understanding of technology, I am not a programmer or coder but I have found in cyber many areas where my other skills have really come to the fore.”

The Real Hustle was a TV programme in which a team of scammers showed how they could manipulate people into parting with money.

Catfish was a reality-based documentary television series airing on MTV about the truths and lies of online dating.

Both highlight ‘social engineering’, proponents of which used to be known as ‘confidence tricksters’, and many of whom have now moved online.