Introducing, Paula Sillars – Security Analyst

Welcome to our new ‘Staff Focus’ blog series, where we introduce you to one of our many talented Cyber Audit Team (CAT) members each quarter. It is always lovely to get to know the people behind the email or phone call, so we hope you enjoy our new blog series.  

To start, we’d like to introduce Paula Sillars, Security Analyst at CAT. 

Paula joined our growing team in June 2022 and she is already starting to have a positive impact. Joining us as a Security Analyst with over 20 years of experience in Managed IT Services, she has a wealth of knowledge to bring to our clients.  

Tell us how you started your career, Paula? 

“I started as a technician at the University of Canterbury Library in Christchurch, NZ. I entered Managed IT Services, gaining extensive experience in system migrations and troubleshooting complex technical issues. Having gone through the earthquakes that rocked Christchurch, I gained real-world experience with Disaster Recovery, Business Continuity, and Risk Mitigation which sits nicely alongside Cyber.” 

“I also worked in the Financial Services industry, honing my skills in Power Platform, eDiscovery, data analysis, and reporting.” 

So, why the Cyber industry Paula?

“While my experience has been predominately IT-focused, I’ve always had a keen interest in Cyber. From my real-world experience, I appreciate and understand the enormity and scale of the risks and how important it is for businesses to mitigate them. I’ve also experienced firsthand what happens when customers don’t take their cyber risk seriously.” 

“A key driving force for me entering this space was that there are very few women in tech and even fewer in Cyber. I love the challenge this presented as a woman and individual, which continues to drive me throughout my career and encourage others to. Even if you don’t fit the typical stereotype, it doesn’t mean there isn’t a space for you.”  

Tell us why you chose to work with Cyber Audit Team?

“I had previously worked closely with the team at CAT at both a managed services provider level and subsequently at a customer level.” 

“I liked how the team engaged and worked with me as an IT professional and then as a customer. Their approach was both professional and collaborative, which made both experiences very enjoyable. Having been a client and working as a partner, I recognised that our values aligned, and I liked their culture and vision, and I’m excited to join the team. “ 

What do you love about being an analyst in Cyber Security? 

“I always consider my job to be half about the tech and half about the people; it’s understanding a business, its challenges, and its drivers to find a solution that works. Plus, I get to play with computers all day.” 

Some interesting facts about Paula
  1. She recently became an Australian Citizen in March after living here for the last six years. 
  2. Paula is hearing impaired, so she has been doing a self-paced Auslan course, which she enjoys.  
  3. She loves to travel, but like most people in the last few years, she has been staying home due to Covid. With a nice shiny new Australian passport on the way, she looks forward to seeing where that takes her.
  4. A quote she likes to live by is “All things in moderation … except chocolate.”  
  5. A recently read book she would recommend is Blood, Sweat, and Steel by Curtis McGrath. This book details an Australian Soldier’s journey while serving in the Army and losing his legs in Afghanistan. As part of his recovery, he took up canoeing and kayaking and competed in the Para-Olympics. Paula loved the grit and determination he showed to live his best life, despite the significant challenges he faced. Not only with his injury and disability but also with his mental recovery. Not to mention that he took up not one but two new sports and completely blasted the competition out of the water (so to speak). 

We hope you have enjoyed learning a little more about Paula Sillars and her journey so far, and we look forward to introducing you to another of the Cyber Audit Team next quarter.  

For our next ‘Staff Focus’ article, we will be highlighting Rebekah Lancaster, our Customer Success Manager.

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