Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

From Desk Clerk to Cyber Champ

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

From Desk Clerk to Cyber Champ

Article excerpt

Byline: Sara Nichol Reporter sara.nichol@ncjmedia.co.uk

A PARKING fine clerk has become one of the world's top emerging cyber talents.

Ross Bradley, who worked for Newcastle City Council, has made his mark in London after graduating with the highest score from the SANS Cyber Academy.

The 36-year-old had spent the last 15 years sorting parking fine paperwork at the local authority, but after undergoing eight weeks of rigorous cyber training alongside 30 other students, he achieved one of the highest ever scores in Global Information Assurance Certification (GIAC), the globally-recognised cyber security qualification.

The academy's unique model chose 31 high potential students from more than 25,000 candidates, who each completed an aptitude test.

Ross finished the academy's very first course in October after the information security training group, SANS Institute, had advertised for participants.

Ross said: "I was wary of quitting my job and starting the academy, especially when I saw that people working in forensics and with degrees were going.

"I thought to myself, 'I don't have a degree, I just work for the council', but I'm glad I went. I wasn't expecting to do so well but I knew I had to work extremely hard. I put a lot of work in and I'm glad it paid off."

The UK managing director of SANS, Steve Jones, added: "That someone who has never worked in the profession has such potential is proof that the cyber professionals we need are out there, but the current system is failing to find and nurture them."

Ross and his fellow students GIAC exam results placed them all within the top 10% worldwide.

They are now in discussions with employers looking to recruit the best cyber talent to defend their organisations, and some have already received offers.

The SANS Academy was set up to find people with cyber aptitude, but not necessarily experience, and quickly turn them into cyber professionals. …

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