Euan Birch, Security Operations Lead at Proact UK

It’s Cyber Scotland Week 2020 and what great timing as we will be hiring three new Graduate SOC Analysts! They’ll start their careers at our Security Operations Centre (SOC) here at the Maxim Eurocentral business park in Scotland, where I began in 2017.

Back then I was one of two new graduates hired into our Scottish SOC – the first two actually! It was a lot of hard work and a steep learning curve, but I learnt so much and it was the best place to begin my career. Our Scottish team has grown rapidly and I’m so grateful our team is in this fantastic position to bring on board three new graduates during Cyber Scotland Week 2020.

As a Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) graduate and former President of the GCU Ethical Hacking Society, it has been rewarding building the relationship with the university. Our innovative partnership with GCU allows us to inspire the next generation of cyber security professionals through the GCU SOC and increase their awareness of the job market – something I don’t feel I had at the time. Our team has taken the time to work with the engineers, lecturers, IT staff and students to build the GCU SOC from the ground up. It has been an amazing experience.

Across the industry, security analyst roles are on the rise and students can expect them to provide a fantastic opportunity to begin building their careers. I would never have considered a SOC job back in 2017 was it not for the work Proact did to increase the awareness of the role within the university.

Our SOC environment exposes graduates first hand to the real-world operations, products and platforms Proact customers use to deliver IT services. As well as the day-to day-challenges they face in keeping their employees and data secure. In some cases, it also helps graduates to define and shape their next steps as they progress into senior roles with more responsibility and leadership.

Working alongside the GCU Ethical Hacking Society has become integral, and I want that to continue. I love guiding students toward their chosen paths and helping them understand what the industry is like and what they can look forward to.

The work with the SOC, the society, staff and courses has given our team a unique opportunity to help provide an insight into the skillset our graduates require before they become employees. This unique relationship is important to us and we will continue to build it and ensure that students and graduates have the skills they need to progress in a highly competitive industry.