Alison McAlroy

I was an area manager in Retail Banking for over 20 years and when the crash happened I lost my job 8 times in 7 years.

I decided a change of career as needed. I applied for a role in a Third Party Assurance Team, which was in an Operational Risk Department. I was lucky to be offered the role, and readily accepted. I didn’t have a clue what InfoSec/cyber was really about. My colleagues were very supportive. The other members of the team were advised that they needed to study the CISM qualification. I was tasked with arranging this and ordering all the material for them. Naturally I assumed I was to be included, and I ordered myself the material. However, I was informed by my line manager that he felt this was going to be to much for me and I was not to do it. I did appeal and he relented. I was determined I would pass. I started searching on line for any support from ISACA and there was a study evening being held in Edinburgh. I was the only one from our team to go and I was so nervous I had to get my husband to drive me and wait on me! I went and that was the start of my amazing journey. I met the President and Vice President who helped me. I sat the exam and passed. When passed the asked me to join the committee which I did. I then volunteered to be part of a working group of 6 to go to ISACA HQ in Chicago to set the pass mark for the CISM exam the next year. I couldn’t believe I was selected from all the applicants throughout he world. So off I went. It was fantastic. I volunteered again and was selected to be part of a Chapter Services Working Group which was to deliver improvements for all the Global Chapters. There were 12 of us selected from the Global applicants. It covered lots initiatives. It was an engagement for 12 months. I then had to take our work and present it at the European Leadership Summit in Munich. I couldn’t believe that from being so nervous before the study evening – I was actually in front of all these people delivering a presentation. I then hosted event for ISACA Scotland and became very involved in the community. I was in October 2018 elected the President of ISACA Scotland, to my great delight.

I moved from my role in Third Party Assurance, as the Vice President was working as a contractor in a bank and he said to me that there was a role available in one of the Technology Teams, and he encouraged me to apply – I did, and that’s when I really got my first big break into a proper techy role. I have been encouraged and supported throughout my journey – and it has been an absolute pleasure. I was involved in the ISACA European Leadership conference this year in Venice, and I am off to Geneva in October, where I will be taking an interactive role again. Thanks for reading my journey – and I hope if anyone is thinking about a career into Tech/Cyber/InfoSec Risk, they are brave and jump – they people who work in this industry are the net – they will catch you – I will catch you!!