Industry experts scout Cyber Security student for grad role

An award-winning cyber security services firm has recruited a De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) graduate to its growing team, after headhunting him at a competition hosted at the campus.

Naim Maoun, who studied Cyber Security at DMU, is currently working as a cyber security analyst and platform engineer for Nettitude, based in Leamington Spa.

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Naim was offered the job after his team won a CTF (Capture the Flag) Challenge – an event which sees teams tackle a variety of cyber-related exercises – during the DMU Cyber Technology Institute (CTI)’s Cyber Week, where representatives from Nettitude saw him in action.

“I actually got the job about two weeks before my graduation,” said Naim (22). “I work with a variety of high-profile clients, monitoring their cyber infrastructure to prevent attacks and identify potential threats.” 

Naim, who originates from Morocco, moved to Leicester in 2015 after securing a place on the Cyber Security course at DMU.

“From a very young age I was interested in computers,” he said. “I loved watching movies about hackers and seeing how they did things. I always thought how interesting it would be to learn about cybercrime.

“I started looking at which universities were best known for their cyber security courses and that’s when I came across DMU. I attended one of the Open Days and got to meet with the course leaders, which was useful.”

DMU is recognised for its world-leading cyber security research. Earlier this year it was named the East Midlands’ first ‘Academic Centre of Excellence in Cyber Security Research’ (ACE-CSR).

The university’s CTI is a research hub which focuses on the development of knowledge and technologies to ensure a smart, safe and secure cyberspace. Members deliver research, training and consultancy services in the fields of cyber security, software engineering and smart systems.

The CTI at DMU is also supported through its highly engaged Industrial Advisory Group (IAG), made up of BT, Deloitte UK, Rolls-Royce and Airbus, which host bi-annual meetings to review, discuss and advise on research, taught provision and to develop joint outreach activity.

“The best thing about studying Cyber Security at DMU is the partnerships with leading professionals in the industry,” continued Naim. “Working and speaking with high-level cyber experts at companies like BT and Airbus was incredibly helpful because it gave me an insight into how the theory is put into practice in the real world.”

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Naim also credits his time on the DMU Hackers Society for equipping him with the skills needed to pursue a career in cyber security.

“Being a member of the society taught me a lot about the practical side of cyber security,” he said. “I got involved in computer hacking competitions and met with other like-minded people working in the industry.”

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The DMU Hackers Society is based in the Cyber Security Centre labs at DMU. They meet once a week and organise visits from industry experts. 

Jamie Roderick, SOC (Security Operations Centre) team leader and IR (Incident Response) consultant at Nettitude, spotted Naim during the CTF event.

He said: “Naim was on the winning team and I asked if he would be interested in a job – I could see he was talented. These competitions and challenges are the best way to recruit new talent because you get to see how they work.”

Professor Eerke Boiten, Director of the CTI at DMU, said: “Naim is a brilliant example of one our students profiting not just from the course but also from the extra opportunities we offer around it, and I’m pleased to see him do so well in industry.”

Nettitude helps organisations realise their threats and secure their technology, people & processes.

Posted on Wednesday 2 October 2019

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