Tech Trailblazers

Tech Trailblazers: Victoria Logan

  • Name: Victoria Logan

    Role: Cybersecurity Communications Specialist, Allstate NI

    What does your typical day look like?

    5:00 a.m / 6:00 a.m.: On a productive morning, I wake up and head to the gym. On a lazier morning, I get dressed whilst watching Good Morning Britain and grab some breakfast.

    7:00 a.m.: I get my coffee, jump in the car and head to Belfast. Radio 1’s breakfast show keeps me company on the way there. Sometimes I’ll opt for a podcast - Darknet Diaries would have to be one of my favourites.

    8:00 a.m.: My working day starts with more coffee and emails. I spend some time catching up on what my team in the U.S. worked on after I left the office. They are 6 hours behind so there’s always some news - or gossip - to catch up on. I check my calendar to see what I have coming up and get prepared for the day ahead. 

    9:00 a.m.: Some mornings, I work with our teams in India and spend time on video conference calls to catch-up on various projects. Other mornings, I will give communication updates to leadership.

    10:00 a.m.: Whilst the U.S. is sleeping, this is my time to get things done. I’ll use this time to work on cybersecurity awareness campaigns and project work.

    11:30 a.m.: Time permitting, I’ll spend time on PluralSight (an online education company that offers a variety of video training courses) to brush up on my cybersecurity knowledge and learning all about script kiddies, bluejacking and ethical hacking.

    Noon: Lunch with my friend and co-worker.

    1:00 p.m.: Meetings with project teams. One thing I love about my job is the diversity of the projects I get to work on. I’m part of the Allstate Information Security team, and we have 400 employees across the globe who work on projects dealing with every part of security, from threat hunting to building firewalls to creating the standards and policies that protect our information. It’s my job to work with them and communicate to the rest of the company the important information about their projects. I’m constantly learning new about cybersecurity. 

    2:00 p.m.: Brainstorming with some of my colleagues. What is the theme for this year’s global cybersecurity event? How can we put a new spin on our upcoming phishing awareness campaign? What’s the best hashtag to get employees to notice our posts?

    3:00 p.m.: Time for our team meeting. Working at part of a global team, this is our golden hour to get things done and approved by our manager. We are small but busy team and this time is essential to keep things moving.

    4:00 p.m.: Time to start wrapping up. I go through my checklist to make sure I’ve done everything I needed to do today. Submitted theme ideas for our next month’s cybersecurity awareness topic? Check. Submitted the communication plan for the latest cybersecurity project? Done.

    4:50 p.m.: It’s time to hand the baton to my colleagues in the U.S. Our team is highly collaborative. Whatever they work on for the next six hours, I can pick up where they left off in the morning.

    6:30 p.m.: Finally, back at home and it’s time for dinner.

    9:00 p.m.: With everything done it’s time for a wee bit of relaxing and watching Netflix, The Witcher is my new fav!

    What are you currently working on?

    Right now, we are creating new marketing and communication campaigns for our monthly cybersecurity awareness topics to reinforce secure habits in employees’ behavior. Outside of my day job, I work on the global Allstate Cyber Safety for Kids program. The program involves cybersecurity professionals delivering an interactive session on how to stay safe online to children ages 5-9 across the world.

    I’m also working on organizing the CyberFirst Girls Competition, an annual UK-wide competition to introduce young female-identifying students to the world of cybersecurity - and the skills that could start an incredible career. The event will take place at Allstate’s office in Belfast and there’s lots to do in preparation.

    What inspired you to join this company in particular?

    What I love about Allstate is the work life balance, and their focus on employee’s wellbeing, as well as the great opportunities get involved in different part of the company and community projects. The company places a strong emphasis on professional development and career planning. Its culture of embracing opportunities and exploration makes it easy for employees to try new things and find out where they want to take their career. Allstate has some of the most advanced technology in the business world.

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

    No, I started out as a graphic designer. I joined Allstate on a four-month placement on a small team of two. As the company expanded, my role grew into a combined graphic design and communications role. In this role, I worked with many departments within the technology organization to develop marketing materials and plans for their projects, programs and events which subsequently led to working on cybersecurity projects.

    In 2017, an opportunity came up to ‘officially’ join the team and I haven’t looked back since.  In a company as vast as Allstate, there’s so many opportunities and directions you can go in. The learning and development here is second to none allowing an environment where you can reskill and move into new areas.

    What’s your favourite part about your work?

    The people I get to work with are amazing and come from all variety of backgrounds and cultures. I love working as part of a global team. No two days are the same and the work is fascinating. Cybersecurity is so interesting and I’m always keen to learn more. I feel that that my work touches people all around the world and is helping to make them and our company more secure. Can’t beat burrito Friday’s either!

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

    It’s a no brainer. Technology is here to stay for sure. It’s such a fast-moving, innovative industry to work in. And you don’t necessarily need to be a developer or coder to work in the industry – just take me for example. There’s plenty of diversity and a wide variety of roles.

    Whatever your skillset and strengths, there will be a job to match it. With the current shortage of skills, it’s almost guaranteed you’ll get a job when you graduate, and it pays well. So those holidays, the nice car and house are all within reach. 

    How do you see technology impacting on our lives?

    In this fast-paced, digital age, nearly everything we do is connected to a computer and the internet, including our communications, our entertainment, transportation, shopping, banking, and even our medical histories and prescriptions. Through technological advances, we are able to send and receive more information than ever before -sometimes in mere seconds.

    The amount of information about us that is available online grows each day as our families, friends, employers, banks, doctors, schools and other contacts depend on electronic data. Access to this abundance of information requires great responsibility on our part as consumers and has focused new importance on the field of cybersecurity. 

    Who inspired you to work in this field?

    This is a tough one; I never anticipated that I’d be working within the cybersecurity industry. While I can’t contribute my inspiration to one particular person, I will say that I have been lucky to have some great people support me in this journey and inspired me to keep growing and learning. My first manager was fantastic - I often say she taught me everything I know, and those skills have certainly benefitted me all these years later.

    My current manager inspires me every day to be the best I can be and one of the kindest people I have ever met. And finally, our Deputy Chief Information Security Officer, who I have worked closely with for the past 2 years now, has always encouraged me to push myself and to be ambitious. He’s a great leader and his ability to encourage his teams and foster engagement is something I aspire to be able to do one day.

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

    The advancements in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning Applications are outstanding - whether it is modeling data, analyzing speech or driving a car, we are starting to see real-world uses of these technologies.

    What tech gadget could you not live without?

    My Apple Watch closely followed by my Google Home Hub - having a fully smart home has become my new obsession.

    About the author

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