BT are the protectors locally and globally

Each day, millions of people around the world rely on BT’s expertise in cyber security to ensure they can go about their lives and run their businesses safely. With security operations in over 180 countries supporting some of the world’s largest companies, nation states and critical national infrastructures, BT has a unique perspective in this area.

BT are the protectors - locally and globally

Rachel Heron
Rachel Heron, Senior Manager, Growth and Performance at BT Security

Each day, millions of people around the world rely on BT’s expertise in cyber security to ensure they can go about their lives and run their businesses safely. With security operations in over 180 countries supporting some of the world’s largest companies, nation states and critical national infrastructures, BT has a unique perspective in this area.

We have a global network of security operations and more than 3,000 cyber security professionals, who use their expertise to watch, learn, predict and respond to the latest threats, and tackle more than 6,500 global cyber-attacks against BT every day.

Expanding our cyber security network

Our capacity and capability are soon to be strengthened as we expand our cybersecurity network with a new centre of excellence in Belfast that will support growth in our local and UK customer base.

The new centre is being developed in BT’s flagship Riverside Tower building which is undergoing a multi-million-pound refurbishment programme as part of BT’s Better Workplace programme. The cybersecurity operation will be one of the first areas of the building to be completed in June of this year.

To build our security teams and maintain this centre of excellence will take an eclectic mix of talent. So, we need a diverse range of skills. Some will have leading edge technical skills; some won’t be from a technical background at all; some want to break things, others want to fix them; some service clients, while others try to hack into their new systems.

Attracting cyber professionals

BT has a strong track record in recruitment and the know how to build the right skillsets. We use a variety of channels to attract, develop and retain cyber professionals in what is a highly competitive market and our success to date has enabled BT to grow its Cybersecurity division aggressively - ensuring we have the right people, in the right place, at the right time.

First among these is our world class graduate programme which is focused on building our culture of security and protection. It has achieved industry recognition winning six industry awards including Best Onboarding Experience and it helps us to secure talent from the pool of well-educated graduates including Queens and Ulster University each year.

Our apprenticeship scheme is also very important in attracting those with the right aptitude for security and once immersed in BT, we provide a very clear career pathway for progression and unrivalled opportunities for those who have the drive and curiosity to seize them.

We are also re-skilling people from elsewhere in BT into security roles. Following rigorous pre-learning and assessment, successful candidates join a recently piloted 16-week programme that is delivering tangible results. In the longer term, BT was recently granted partnership status in the National Cyber Security Centre ensuring we can create a strong pipeline of future talent and the next generation of cyber security specialists via their CyberFirst programme.

Strategic investments and research

Talent alone, while important is not enough. Our strategic investments and research in cyber security each year are vital parts of our security offer. Last July we announced a multi-million-pound investment in Safe Security, an industry-leading cyber risk management firm. Headquartered in Silicon Valley, the SAFE, ‘Security Assessment Framework for Enterprises’ platform allows organisations to check their existing defences and understand the likelihood of suffering a major cyber-attack.

Then in October we launched our most sophisticated cyber defence platform yet. Eagle-I combines BT’s industry-leading network insight with advances in AI and automation to predict, detect and neutralise security threats before they get a chance to inflict damage.

So, as we expand our security operations with the opening of our Belfast centre of excellence, we will leverage our experience to deliver locally. We have the structures and the know-how to develop the best cyber security talent in the world and we are excited about the opportunities here in Northern Ireland as we continue to meet the challenge of the ever-evolving security threat.