Tech Trailblazers

Tech Trailblazer: Loren Ferguson

  • Name: Loren Ferguson

    Role: Cyber Security Delivery Lead

    Biography: I currently work as a cyber security delivery lead for Aflac’s Penetration Testing Services and Application Security teams. Prior to joining Aflac, I was a senior project manager with HighWire Press and have further experience in financial services and legal services organizations, with 10+ years’ working in IT project governance and management roles.

    What does your typical day look like?

    It always starts with a bucket of tea… then a quick scan of emails that have come in overnight from colleagues in US & Japan to identify if there is anything that requires urgent attention. Being split across two teams my day is quite varied, from stand-ups across different time zones, planning workshops, scoping activities on new potential pen test engagements and anything in between. I aim to ensure my teams are focused on the right things and delivering valuable work, taking away the planning and day-to-day team running activities to allow our incredibly talented technical folks to focus on what they do best.

    What are you currently working on?

    I work as the Delivery Lead across both our Penetration Testing and Application Security teams. My current focus for our Application Security Team is building and delivering a program of work to ensure that security best practices are integrated into the application development lifecycle and working to roll this out across Aflac globally. I also work with our Penetration Testing Services Team to plan, manage and report on their engagements with Aflac and its subsidiaries, from internal penetration tests to offensive red team-type engagements.

    What inspired you to join this company in particular?

    Aflac was recommended to me by a former colleague. They sold me the dream, and if anything, they undersold it! It has by far exceeded my expectations and I am genuinely proud to work for Aflac.

    Did you always want to work in this industry (tech)?

    I initially had my heart set on being a graphic designer, but somehow stumbled into project management and project governance roles after university, swapping Adobe Creative suite for Jira and Lucid Chart!

    What’s your favourite part about your work?

    I enjoy the variation that my role brings, I am lucky to be involved in two important security functions within Aflac, working with some very intelligent people. Also, working with our penetration testing team on a day-to-day basis is genuinely fascinating!

    What would you say to other people considering a job in this industry (tech)?

    Do it, there is so much variation and different types of roles out there, you can take your career in so many different directions.

    Who inspired you to work in this field?

    There was no one person, I was set on this path early in my career by Mark McLoughlin and Lisa Kavanagh at Concentrix and I haven’t looked back really. They trusted me with some big global projects across multiple geographies and I’m grateful they took a chance on me. That early career experience of feeling like you’re completely out of your depth and needing to grow and learn in a role has really given me the strategies to be successful in any role.

    What do you consider to be the most important tech innovation or development in recent years?

    It must be AI; the potential to disrupt all industries is fascinating; there is so much unknown. From a cyber security perspective, with AI technology becoming more accessible, the potential for it to be used to launch more sophisticated attacks is scary. Skynet here we come…

    What tech gadget could you not live without

    A boring one, but my phone! I recently found my old classic iPod in a drawer, if you asked me this question 15 years ago, that would have been the answer!

    About the author

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