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O2’s cyber security experts: Jay McDonald at InfoSec 2019


Cyber security is vital for every business. O2 attended InfoSec 2019 to find out more about how to protect us and our customers.

Take a look at the team’s highlights across the event:


Did you attend InfoSec 2019? If you did, you may have met Jay McDonald, a key member of O2’s cyber security team.

Carry on reading to find out more about Jay’s background in cyber security and how O2 can help your business.

What do you do at O2?

I’m a Cyber Security Product & Propositions Manager at O2. I help our business customers and partners to understand and mitigate the risks that come from cybercrime and security weaknesses. It’s a role that requires me to consider and interpret industry and technology trends, so InfoSec 2019 is a great opportunity for me to keep on top of the wider security landscape.

How did you end up doing what you do, and why O2?

I guess you could say it was a lucky accident. As a software engineer many moons ago I had the opportunity to work for a sales company that specialised in cyber security. It was back in an era when just having a firewall was the height of security!

Over the years the industry has changed, the threats have evolved, and I moved into a management role that I love – looking after the security business with my team. Moving to O2 was a new chapter and being part of O2’s evolving security business is a great place to be.

How has your role changed since you started? How do you see your role evolving in the future?

I’ve been at O2 for 18 months now, and my key focus is continuing to understand customers’ needs when it comes to security, as well as supporting our security vendor partnerships. With new threats evolving and with the ever-changing security landscape, I feel I have an important role as part of the growing security team here at O2.

Why is security so important? How are we keeping up with advancing tech?

Security has always been important but as the world becomes more digital, and with more devices and new applications being connected, there has never been a greater need for security for both businesses and consumers. With the growth of the digital economy we have seen ransomware, malware, viruses and DDoS attacks targeting banks, big corporations and individuals.

As a Telco with a global presence, we partner up with global security vendors throughout the world to make sure we have a broad portfolio of products and solutions that help keep our customers secure in this evolving digital world.

Looking ahead to the next five years, what’s the biggest threat to a company’s security?

The security sector, as a whole, is getting better at identifying and predicting threats – but it is people who pose the biggest potential threat of all. If we develop solutions that are too complex, or if we become complacent, then businesses could be exposed to ever greater risk. And we need to be absolutely clear that “good enough” is not secure.

However well prepared our customers are, challenges such as staff turnover, new technology, new threats, changing business models and continual digital transformation are routine. However it’s vital that the learning, preparation and safeguarding continues.

What are you looking forward to at InfoSec?

I’m looking forward to learning about what the leaders in the cyber security industry are doing to tackle the ongoing cyber warfare. But I’m also looking forward to meeting up with customers and discussing the challenges they face and how we can continue to help to address them.

Where can people find you at InfoSec?

I’ll be dividing my time between the exhibitor stands and the keynote sessions, but I love discussing cyber security, so get in touch and let’s meet at one of the many vendor bars to “chew the fat”. You can connect with me via LinkedIn.


How O2 can help

As part of the Telefónica Group, O2 is at the forefront in cyber security research and development and we are supported by a global security network. We help our customers to protect traditional networks, as well as today’s cloud, mobile and BYOD environments.

The first step towards closing the security gaps in your enterprise is to discover where they are. We can help, with a comprehensive portfolio of solutions that range from an upfront assessment to ongoing threat detection and prevention across your whole IT estate.

Read more about closing the security gaps in your organisation.

Want to see what O2 got up to at InfoSec 2019? Follow us on Twitter at @o2businessuk.

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