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Lisa Leads the Way for Young Ethical Hackers

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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.

In an innovative tie-up with the Scottish Business Resilience Centre (SBRC), 20-year-old, Lisa Fiander, will join fellow computer experts providing crucial, affordable 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. 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.

SBRC 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.”

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 which is clearly growing in importance and influence year on year.

“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.”

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. 

The assessment can vary from a cyber footprint review which assesses what information is available online about a business or an individual and how that can be better managed, to a full online security test which looks to identify the risk of unauthorised intrusion from an external or internal source.

Other cyber assessments can be done to test the robustness of a business’s supply chain, assessing how secure suppliers and sub-contractors are from e-crime.

For more information on the cyber assessment services, visit

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