What's your name and job title?
Evan Vougdis – senior analyst.
What did you study? When did you graduate?
I am currently completing a Bachelor of Cyber Security from Deakin University, due to graduate mid-2019.
Where did you grow up? Tell us about your education and any previous employment.
I grew up in Sydney and attended Trinity Grammar School, where I focused on both my studies and playing rugby. Upon graduating high school, I took a gap year to travel and decide what direction I wanted to take my career in.
I worked in an IT role in the airline industry for a few years before deciding to commence my degree and focus on a career in forensic and cybersecurity.
How did you get to your current job position? For how long have you had it?
I saw an advertisement posted by McGrathNicol on LinkedIn and it sounded like an exciting opportunity, so I applied straight away. I joined in late 2017.
How did you choose your specialisation? Were you weighing up any other alternatives before choosing this specialisation?
I have always had a strong interest in technology, specifically forensic and cybersecurity. When I commenced my degree, I learned there was a high demand for this skillset and great opportunities in the industry.
What was your interview process like? What kind of questions were you asked?
The recruitment process had several stages: a telephone interview with Human Resources, cognitive testing and face to face interviews with partners and directors.
Questions covered at the interview included those about my work history and personal interests, and technical questions designed to gauge my capability and knowledge of key concepts.
The recruitment process was quick, relaxed and I was kept up to date throughout.
What does your employer do?
McGrathNicol is an Australian based Advisory and Restructuring firm. I work within the Technology team – we specialise in complex forensic investigations, time-critical cybersecurity incident response activities and helping our clients to design strategies and implement frameworks to mitigate digital and information risk.
What are your areas of responsibility?
In my role, I focus on cyber and information risk, digital forensics and e-discovery. I essentially navigate technical landscapes in the context of often complex risk issues (like data breaches or cybercrime) and I help to find critical information that identifies root causes, timelines of events or attack sequences, and potential sources of evidence that can be used by my team as part of formal or informal reporting. This means I need to keep my technical knowledge up and I need to have high attention to detail because computer forensics is a specialist skillset that requires me to have deep technical knowledge.
Can you describe a typical workday? What was the last thing you worked on?
I start most days by catching up on the latest cybersecurity news or breaches around the world. From there, it is difficult to describe a typical day as each project is different! Most recently, I worked on a highly confidential forensic investigation. I was tasked with forensically imaging computer systems and mobile phone devices that were seized as part of the investigation, reviewing the data stored and recovered from those devices, and documenting my findings in detail, before reporting back to our client directly on our findings.
What are the career prospects with your job? Where could you or others in your position go from here?
At McGrathNicol, the next step for me will be a promotion to assistant manager, which will allow me to take on more responsibility on projects, including coaching, mentoring and developing more junior team members.
The cybersecurity industry is booming, which presents exciting opportunities for technology students. The transferable skills I have developed both whilst studying and working at McGrathNicol mean I could explore opportunities locally or internationally.
What would your career be if you weren’t doing what you’re doing now?
I have always had a passion for both technology and aviation. If I wasn’t an analyst, I think I would have pursued a career as an air traffic controller.
What do you love the most about your job? Which kind of tasks do you enjoy?
The technology industry rapidly changes, which means I am constantly learning and adapting. Whether it be a newly introduced regulatory requirement or a new piece of software, there is always an area I can upskill myself in.
I really enjoy consulting and working on incident response and cyber breaches. These types of projects allow me to interact with clients, put my technical skills to use and resolve complex issues.
What’s the biggest limitation of your job? Do you bear a lot of responsibility? Do you have to work on weekends? Are stress levels high?
We work predominantly with law firms and our work is often used in court as evidence in litigation proceedings. Due to this, attention to detail is critical because there is a huge responsibility on us to ensure the information provided is accurate.
There are occasions where we have to work to tight deadlines, which can involve some late nights and weekend work. We make an effort to celebrate as a team at the end of challenging projects and enjoy the downtime during quieter periods.
There is so much to learn in this industry and you will always feel like you need to learn new things. Embrace this feeling. It is ok to not know everything and to not be able to answer all the questions. For us, we rely on a great team where we can throw ideas around and help each other out. We share the load and make sure that we are all learning and being challenged day today.
Which three pieces of advice would you give to a current university student?