Me and my job

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Me and my job

Gary Cooper, Senior technical consultant, Whale Communications

Q: How did you get into security?

I had a fairly varied IT background. While working for Powergen, I got involved in handling the policy level for security when we were installing Whale's e-Gap remote access solutions.

That increased my interest in information security. Then I decided to join Whale at the end of last year, and now work as a sales engineer, working with customers to assess their requirements.

Q: What do you like most about your job?

Security has a very high profile, and we play a very important role in protecting vital data.

It is a really hot topic at the moment, and businesses realise the importance of security.

Q: What annoys you in your working life?

It can be frustrating when some companies think that security is all or nothing.

They think you've got to lock everything away to be secure, whereas they need to realise you can take a much more granular approach to the subject. You don't have to lock everything down.

Q: Who has influenced you?

Maureen Vevers, my old IT director over at Powergen. She was my first female boss, and she was very empathic. She saw the qualities I needed to develop, and gave me a lot of sound advice.

I was once far too quick to leap to conclusions and, as a business analyst, I didn't ask enough questions.

She helped me, and taught me the value of looking at yourself before you look at other people.

Q: How do you describe your job to strangers?

When I got the job, I went home to see my pensioner parents. I explained the job to my Dad in the context of a cowboy movie.

I said I'm the one helping the town marshal, supplying the keys and weapons to deter the bad guys.

Then he understood what it was about. He got it in a flash.

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