A pink flare background with the Virgin Media logo sits in front of a picture of Danielle Kelly sitting down for Cybersecurity WeekA pink flare background with the Virgin Media logo sits in front of a picture of Danielle Kelly sitting down for Cybersecurity Week

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Scaling Modern Security at Virgin Media O2: Part 1

Danielle Kelly

SecOps and Intelligence Engineer

October 25, 2022

We’re changing the way we do Security at Virgin Media O2 – becoming more modern, user-centric, and baking security throughout the entire value chain of our organisation. For the first part of our celebration of Cybersecurity Awareness Month, we spoke to Danielle Kelly, one of our Digital Security experts who is working to scale our Cloud and Intelligence function, enabling us to create trust in our digital transformation.

What do you do at Virgin Media O2?

I’m evolving our Security Intelligence capabilities within Virgin Media O2’s Digital team. I’m also building all the detection algorithms for different platforms, automating them for speedy security event detection, and providing responses in minutes.

What is Security Intelligence?

There are many cyber criminals across the globe looking to attack us, who see Virgin Media O2 as their target. Security Intelligence is using internal and external resources to figure out which attackers we might fall prey to, and their attack methods.

We’re enhancing our approach, and helping our organisation take a proactive and predictive security stance, rather than the standard reactive one.

Security Intelligence enables us to get real-time actionable intelligence before the breach occurs, and configure systems to resist attacks, in seconds. And if the unwanted does happen, it drives our response from hours to minutes.

Tell us about your background, and how you came to Security Intelligence?

I was unsure about my career direction, so I went to college, studied IT, and absolutely loved it! I then went to university and studied Computer Forensics. After university, I worked as a consultant before moving into project management. And later, started my cybersecurity career at Virgin Media UK, working as a Customer Information Security Analyst.

16 months ago, I moved into the Digital Security team and expressed an interest in Security Intelligence as I feel it’s such a big opportunity to make a massive difference at Virgin Media O2.  This role was born – combining defensive, offensive and intelligence skills.

What’s different about the way we do security at Virgin Media O2?

We’re not your typical security team. We’re developers, engineers, systems designers, and product managers. The work we do impacts the entire organisation –thousands of colleagues, millions of our customers, and billions of transactions.

We’re making security more streamlined and user-centric, so it’s less painful for colleagues and we work to empower, rather than block the organisation. We’re embedding security into our processes from the ground up and providing guardrails so that colleagues can deliver their work, knowing they’re in safe hands.

What’s your favourite thing about your job?

I love that in our team, we have complete freedom over the choices we make. We’re guided, but we influence the direction and I really enjoy this because it allows people like me to really shine. It allows for out-of-the-box thinking, and we’re empowered to do the job in our own way. As long as we deliver, it doesn’t matter how we get there.

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