Inspirational cyber security expert achieves award shortlist slot

A cyber security specialist who retrained after retiring from a 37-year career in the civil service has been nominated for a prestigious award.

Marion Chapman planned to quit work and renovate a cottage before being persuaded to join Cyber Security Scotland.

Now just three years after embarking her new career, Marion is on the shortlist for Security Woman of the Year in the UK IT industry’s Oscars and praised as an inspiration for others.

She said:

“It was hard to imagine a new career having spent so long in the civil service, and I didn’t really consider that I had many transferable skills.

“When I took early retirement, working again wasn’t really on the agenda and I was content with the plan to renovate a property.

“To now be nominated for an award just three years after starting out on a new career is a nice surprise.”

Marion is Director of Audit and Assurance at Thurso-based Cyber Security Scotland, a non-profit organisation established to provide independent information security advice.

Led by Dr Keith Nicholson, a former senior Scottish Government advisor, they support public sector organisations such as health boards, and businesses with cyber security advice.

Aberdeenshire based Marion added:

“I knew Keith from projects we’d worked on in the past and he asked me if I’d like to collaborate again. One thing led to another and I’m now enjoying working full time again.

“What I did discover was that I wasn’t as ready for early retirement as I thought.

“There is often an assumption cyber security is all about technical aspects, but there is a lot more to it.

“My job involves assessing compliance with regulatory frameworks, checking disaster recovery plans, and making sure organisations are protected the best they can.

“It’s my first nomination for an award so I have my fingers crossed.”

Marion has been nominated in Computing’sSecurity Excellence Awards’ that celebrate the achievements of the industry over the past year.

They recognise and reward the companies, people, products and projects that provide cyber security at a glittering ceremony in London.

Dr Nicholson said:

“Marion deserves to be nominated for this award in recognition of all the benefits and innovations she has brought both to the business and our clients.

“But more than that, she is a role model for others. Her success demonstrates the opportunities in this sector for everyone.

“Marion’s career path shows it is possible to enter the industry from a different background other than with a computing degree or IT experience. I hope that inspires others.”

The awards take place on Thursday 27 April in London.