Interview: LRQA Nettitude, Security Excellence Awards finalist

'We are the only cybersecurity team in the world with a full suite of CREST accreditations'

clock • 4 min read
Lisa Washer, Global Head of Defensive Services, LRQA Nettitude
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Lisa Washer, Global Head of Defensive Services, LRQA Nettitude

Cybersecurity is essential to maintain business continuity and mitigate risks that could damage reputation, financial stability and customer trust.

Computing's Security Excellence Awards celebrate the achievements of the IT industry's leading security companies, solutions, products and personalities – the ones who are keeping every other part of the industry operating.

This year's winners will be announced at a live awards ceremony on Thursday, 2nd May in London.

LRQA Nettitude, one of the finalists, has reached the shortlist for three categories: Cloud Security Award, Enterprise Threat Detection Award, and Managed Security Award.

We talked to Lisa Washer, Global Head of Defensive Services at LRQA Nettitude, to find out what makes her company different from other technology companies.

Lisa Washer has been the Global Head of Defensive Services at LRQA Nettitude since 2022. With over 19 years of experience spanning multiple cybersecurity domains, Lisa is a seasoned expert in developing and implementing robust defensive services and solutions to protect organisations from cyber threats. Her leadership, experience and innovative approach have been instrumental in supporting clients worldwide with securing their IT systems and reducing the risk that is presented to their businesses.

Computing: Please provide some background on your company for our readers. What makes you different from other companies?

Lisa Washer: LRQA is the leading global assurance partner, bringing together decades of unrivalled expertise in assessment, advisory, inspection and cybersecurity services. Our award-winning cybersecurity specialists deliver innovative solutions and continuous assurance to navigate the complex and ever-evolving threat landscape – from certifying systems and identifying vulnerabilities to helping prevent attacks and incidents that could impact brand integrity, finances, and operations.

We are the only cybersecurity team in the world with a full suite of CREST accreditations, and our consultants are accredited for penetration testing, red teaming, incident response services and threat intelligence. We were also the first organisation globally to be accredited by CREST for Security Operation Centre (SOC) services.

What one company achievement in the last 12 months are you most proud of?

LW: LRQA has discovered over 15,000 vulnerabilities in the last year for global clients, a figure that represents our relentless focus on clients' cybersecurity needs, a commitment to keeping their data, assets and people secure from threats, as well as strengthening their cybersecurity maturity.

We are also extremely proud to be the only organisation in the world with a full suite of CREST accreditations keeping up with their additional accreditations released this year. We have also been recognised as an assured service provider for the NCSC Cyber Incident Exercising Scheme and achieved our Microsoft security designation.

Why are events like the Security Excellence Awards important to the IT industry?

LW: Events such as the Security Excellence Awards play a crucial role in recognising and celebrating innovation and excellence in cybersecurity, as well as encouraging organisations to strive for the same in their solutions and services. The awards facilitate the sharing of best practices and emerging trends within the cybersecurity community, fostering a collaborative environment where knowledge and experiences are exchanged. This could not be more important, given the fact that as cybersecurity best practice evolves, so does the technology and sophistication of attacks.

The awards also raise awareness about the importance of cybersecurity, highlighting the critical role it plays, not just in protecting businesses, but also society. Such events underscore the achievements of leaders in the field, inspiring others to contribute positively to the industry.

What have been the biggest challenges of 2024 so far and how have you overcome them?

LW: The biggest challenge we have faced in 2024 is the increasing sophistication of cyber threats, coupled with the ongoing digital transformation in many sectors, which has necessitated a continuous evolution of our cybersecurity strategies and solutions. To overcome these challenges, we have focused on enhancing our research and development capabilities, investing in advanced technologies, and fostering a culture of continuous learning within our team.

Additionally, we have strengthened our collaboration with industry partners to stay ahead of emerging threats and ensure we provide our clients with the most effective and innovative cybersecurity solutions.

What do you see as the main opportunities for the IT industry in the coming year? How do you plan to capitalise on those opportunities?

LW: Looking ahead, we see significant opportunities in the convergence of cybersecurity with emerging technologies such as AI, blockchain, and the Internet of Things (IoT). These technologies not only present new avenues for innovation but also introduce unique cybersecurity challenges that must be addressed.

The human factor, however, remains crucial. Our colleagues will continue to innovate and deliver our human-centric expertise alongside key technology for the benefit of our clients. Key legislation like DORA and NIS2 will also present opportunities as industries continue to acknowledge the importance of cybersecurity in this new era of risk management, which we call the era of Assurance 4.0.

Security Excellence Awards will take place on Thursday, 2nd May in London. Click here to view the shortlist and here to book your table.

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