Firebrand Training’s 2021 Tech Pro Role Models: The Quick Starter

Commencing our Tech Pro Role Models campaign with Annabelle Fraone, Cyber Intrusion Apprentice at the National Trust. Check out the following article to see how she's playing a crucial role in cyber security!

Keen to learn as much as possible while being part of a working environment, Annabelle started her apprenticeship with the National Trust fresh after her A Levels. 
A burgeoning interest in cyber security led Annabelle to the Trust’s Cyber Intrusion Apprenticeship - an area which has seen women traditionally underrepresented. 
Annabelle played a crucial role in creating the Phishing Runbook as part of the team’s Cyber Resilience Taskforce and prior to the pandemic, was invited to the Houses of Parliament for National Apprenticeship Week where she met the Minister for Family & Education to discuss women in STEM.
We spoke with her to find out more...

So Annabelle, tell me a bit about yourself

I currently live in Swindon with my parents and sister. My interests include reading, listening to music, spending time with friends and family, and going on walks (especially since being in lockdown).

How did you get into tech?

Before starting my apprenticeship at the National Trust, I completed my A Levels in Biology and Geography. I also achieved an OCR Level 3 Cambridge Technical in IT which involved several theory and coursework units such as Cyber Security, Internet of Everything and IT Fundamentals. 
While studying for the theory at college, I became increasingly interested in cyber security and cyber intrusion. I wanted to do an apprenticeship in tech instead of going to university so that I could gain experience in a working environment which had elements of both working and learning.

What do you do in your current role?

I work in the Security Operations team which means I’m responsible for monitoring the security operations incident queue on ServiceNow, investigating emails that users have reported as phishing emails and providing them with a verdict, as well as monitoring various Cisco and Microsoft security portals for alerts that could indicate suspicious activity and investigating compromised user accounts. 
The best part of my current role is that I get exposure to many different parts of the security environment by completing different tasks each day.

I’m also a member of the Cyber Resilience Task Force at the National Trust which was created as a result of the pandemic’s impact on the organisation. As part of my work for the task force, I created the Phishing Runbook which the Security Operations team follows in the event of a phishing incident.

How has a Firebrand certification helped you in your career progression?

By gaining the Level 4 qualification for the Cyber Intrusion Analyst apprentice pathway, I’ve been able to expand my knowledge and understanding of the different subject areas such as BCS Level 4 Awards in Network, operating systems, cyber security foundations, business processes and law, regulation and ethics. 
Achieving these qualifications has helped grow my confidence within the Security Operations team and motivated me to complete additional security qualifications such as the CompTIA Security+.

What advice would you give to your younger self when you were starting out in tech?

I would say to take every opportunity to gain as much experience as possible across the tech space. Learn as much as you can as technology is a huge subject area and is always expanding.

Firebrand and Cyber Security Apprenticeships 

The UK Government have recently released (technically still in the process of releasing) updates to Cyber Security Apprenticeships - but you can sign up now or take a look at our course pages to start your cyber security career today.