We sat down with Narinder Singh to understand more about his progression in cybersecurity, over his 15 year career with us.
What is your role at BT and how long have you been working here?
My job title is Security Contract Delivery Specialist. To sum it up, I ensure that BT are adhering to and delivering their security obligations on UK Government service contracts. I have been working with BT for 15 years; I started as a contractor back in 2005 as a Gateway Engineer, before being offered a security role within a team of security specialists in 2012.
What attracted you to apply to join BT?
BT have an extensive security portfolio and bid for all types of security contracts regarding different technology services and are very competitive in this market.
I initially worked for BT in one of the contact centres as an agency employed staff member on the broadband support desk. Working for BT has always created a sense of a community in my life in the north east, some of my best friends work for BT or have done in the past; BT promotes a great working culture in and out of the office.
How have you been supported to develop your skills and progress your career?
The opportunities are vast and extend to all facets of the business. In addition to this there is budget and funding within the security space for BT staff to help achieve well known security certifications. I hope to move into a Senior Specialist role along with gaining CISSP (Certified Information Systems Security Professional) certification in the future.
I am now an ISO27001 Lead Auditor. ISO2700 is an International Standard for Information Security Management.
What kind of resources/learning/professional qualification are you supported with to be able to do your job?
The BT Academy, an internal education and career advice platform, has helped to promote the development of my skills and given me clear direction of what is required to help develop my career and in the direction I want to go.
Do you work in a team and if so, how do you support each other?
BT promotes home working, because of this we have all the tools we need to help support each other in our teams and the wider security community to help achieve the ‘Protect BT’ moto. My team consists of 6 people working across public sector security and are based all over the country. Advice and consultancy regarding work in the security space is often shared through regular virtual team meetings and forums. There are forums in the wider security space (Security Breakfast Briefings) to help promote knowledge sharing of specific security products or security topics. There’s always someone to help support you, so you’re never on your own.
Are you able to balance work with your professional life?
BT are very good at promoting a work life balance, which makes people want to stay. Being a new dad of the cutest 9-month-old daughter (not biased at all), BT have been very supportive in every step of the way and continue to put my needs first, this is very important to me. Regular anonymous care surveys are carried out, to understand how business areas are coping and are mindful to support staff, whatever curve-balls life throws at you.
How would you describe the culture at BT?
Working from home does mean we have to communicate to each other virtually, face to face meetings are difficult to achieve in the current climate due to putting your staff up in hotel’s and travel expenses. When we do meet up in BT, they are happy to spoil their staff with nice food and drinks, with some entertaining team building exercises. I can now tie various knots in case I need to climb up a mountain side.
Why is the work you do important?
Working in security on public sector contracts ultimately tends to have a massive impact to critical national infrastructure and detrimental risk implications to the economy we live in should operations be compromised, which could affect the day to day lives of public citizens. Therefore, good security is a crucial part of preventing an economic meltdown.
What’s the one thing people wouldn’t know about working at BT until they join the company?
The location of BT’s ‘list X’ security assured sites, which means they can hold information up to Secret and Top Secret.