When I initially started working in the fraud prevention arena, I was always told “your contacts are gold and that networking is of paramount importance” as you’ll never know when you may need them either for an investigation, case work, employment prospects etc, so I set about networking and meeting like-minded peers and found that they were predominantly men. The few women I did meet, it transpired (back then), didn’t know each other. So in 2004 I set about informally bringing together women who worked in the fraud prevention arena to share best practice, support each other and to network. Subsequently, this informal gathering formalised in 2007 as the Fraud Women’s Network, which is still going strong today with over 140 Members and will be celebrating its 10th Anniversary in 2017.
After many years (far too many to think of) of working in the public and private sector, I decided to embark into (excuse the pun) the world of consultancy and established Into Consultancy which provides expert advice and guidance on fraud prevention, training and awareness and the operational risk elements of a business helping with everything from fraud risk management to strategic and operational management of critical threats and critical security contracts.
However, at the same time as doing this, I felt very strongly and passionately that there would be benefit of and value add to collaborating with people that work in the cyber security and social engineering arenas. Why, aside from supporting and wanting to work with other female peers? Generally speaking, the MO of fraudsters and criminals attacking our systems hasn’t changed but the enablers and vectors to committing these crimes has. With the advancements of technology and the ever increasing usage of social media, fraud, cyber and physical security are all cross cutting themes and are now intrinsically linked.
Therefore, by collaborating with such industry experts, in the fields of cyber security, social engineering and penetration testing provides a full complement of services; a wealth of knowledge and skills; and expertise to our clients from one place, a niche offering. Hence the formation of The Risk Avengers a collaboration with two of my industry peers, the very well respected Dr Jessica Barker and Sharon Conheady, who I truly am honoured and delighted to be working alongside!
We will still be managing and running our own respective consultancy businesses, but by forming the collaboration, The Risk Avengers, we can now offer our clients, a true end-to-end service incorporating fraud prevention and awareness; cyber security; social engineering; penetration testing; incident management and physical security.