Student leads the way for young ethical hackers

A female student is set to play a key role in Scotland's growing battle against cyber crime '“ and hopes to see a transformation in the gender balance of computing and technological industries.

Lisa Fiander, 20, is an ethical hacker at SBRC. Picture: Contributed

In a partnership with the Scottish Business Resilience Centre (SBRC), 20-year-old, Lisa Fiander, will join fellow computer experts providing security services to protect companies - particularly vulnerable small firms - from e-criminals and scammers.

A Perth native and former pupil of Perth Academy, Lisa will become the first female to join the growing team of Ethical Hackers at the SBRC, in what is traditionally a male-dominated discipline.

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Each academic year, an enrolment of students from the University of Abertay’s Ethical Hacking course join the SBRC, to gain practical paid experience in a business environment.

Lisa, a Perth native, will become the first female to join the gorwing team. Picture: Contributed

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Lisa, who is currently in her third year of studies, said: “I am hugely excited to become part of the SBRC’s Ethical Hacking programme.

“Although my course has been practical, to be put in the situation of advising businesses will offer invaluable experience, as it is so important to be at ease communicating computing matters to non-IT people.

“I am also especially proud to be the first female hacker to join the SBRC. With just three fellow female students on my course, I’ve always had that extra motivation to succeed – there truly is no reason for the huge under-representation of women in this industry and it is something I’m certain can and will change.”

Lisa, a Perth native, will become the first female to join the gorwing team. Picture: Contributed

Lisa has drawn comparisons to Lisbeth Salander, of Stieg Larsson’s ‘The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’, both in name and technical ability; however is yet to read the bestselling book or watch the film adaptations.

Lisa, added: “As for the comparisons to Lisbeth Salander, it is purely by chance, although perhaps it is now time to see what all the fuss is about!”

The SBRC is the Scottish Government and Police Scotland’s business resilience delivery arm, and is tasked with delivering the cyber resilience strategy to help equip SMEs with the tools and knowledge to combat e-crime.

Director, Mandy Haeburn-Little, said: “Lisa is a star, personable and clearly intelligent – and I’m certain she will be a real asset in the fight against cyber crime, bringing new skills and talents to a wide team of graduated experts.

“It is so important that we have diversity and individuals from a variety of backgrounds in computing industries. This is especially the case in Ethical hacking, where a range of creative thinking is often required to counteract devious criminals.

Cyber crime can take many forms include theft, fraud, selling sensitive company data and sabotaging equipment.

In the past year, notable cyber attacks have included the TalkTalk scandal and the crashing of the BBC website, however smaller firms are at an increased risk due to limited resources and a potential lack of security.