Computing graduate Duncan Proffitt tells us about his student experience and career in cyber security
BSc (Hons) Computing, 2013
Duncan graduated in 2013 with a first-class degree in Computing (with networking and forensic computing) and was immediately successful in securing a place on the IBM graduate programme.
During that time, his research skills, which were gained at UCLan, assisted in a very successful career in consulting. The forensic computing studies aspect of his course helped him land a plum role as a Level Three Technical Analyst on one of IBM's largest financial packages. In recent years, he returned to consulting, this time in the Cyber Security Arena. Duncan has consulted for major banks, both UK and international, global European car manufacturers and, most recently, for a large government department.
Duncan’s work, on behalf of IBM in the Civil Service, enticed Duncan to leave the private sector and pursue a career in Central Government where he currently works as Head of Security Operations for the Ministry of Justice. His experience at IBM in implementing cyber security monitoring strategies and leading multi-disciplinary international teams of security analysts, as they monitor and investigate to seek out and negate cyber security threats, was instrumental in securing his current role. This role is critical to the protection of the Ministry of Justice’s technology systems and services, and the vital information they contain and process.
Duncan’s team provide operational security support to all of the technology across the Ministry of Justice. The aim of the team is to provide constant vigilance against attacks, respond when they do occur, and continuously seek out ways to improve the security of our systems. He is happy to admit that attending UCLan was the most satisfying experiences of his life and he would wholeheartedly recommend UCLan to everyone considering studying, either straight from full-time education or as a mature student. Duncan cites that UCLan’s high level of pastoral support for him, as a mature student with long-term severe mental health issues, was without doubt, the defining moment of his life so far.
Duncan is unequivocal in his statement. He said: “With the care and consideration of the faculty and support staff, UCLan literally changed my life. They made it possible to recover and learn and without UCLan, I would not be where I am now."