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DCL Connects with………
Ken Allan, Global Information Security Leader at Ernst & Young

What was your first job in IT?

Programmer – One of the first ever VMS programmers.

Social media/email business – benefit or hindrance?


What technology could you not live without?

I travel a lot so my iPhone and my Bose In-Ear noise cancelling headphones.

What do you see as the key growth areas in the IT Security market over the next 12 months?

Solutions tailored to individual organisations.

How do you see the IT Security sector in 5 years time?

Some consolidation but with today’s innovative start-ups being viewed as mainstream.

What amazing skill do you have that no one else knew until now?

I can stay on a horse most of the time.

What will be the biggest challenges you will face over the next 6 months?

Finding great people to join EY.

Why do you think people like to work for you?

Do they?

What do you think your customers say about you?


What motivates you to get out of bed in the morning?

The people I work with.

How is the skill shortage affecting your industry?

We’re competing with the bad guys – sometimes I think we’re winning and sometimes not.

What makes your company better than your competitors?

EY is the most globally connected professional services firm with a globally connected information security practice.

What is the strangest question a candidate has asked you in an interview?

There are no strange questions. Diversity is a wonderful thing.

Do you think that the current Government helps or hinders the IT Security sector?

The UK government helps, but I worry that organisations see the current campaigns to be all that they need to do and that’s clearly not the case.

Are people leaving education equipped to succeed within this industry? 

Worryingly few.

What technological advancements make your job easier now then it did when you first started?

Maps on my iPhone.

What do you do to switch off from work?

Riding my horse.

Top 3 excuses you have heard from sales people who fail to deliver?

1. The market.
2. The client.
3. Competitors buying the work.

Which part of a CV do you like to look at first?

I read it from the back to the front to create a timeline.


If you were prime minister for a day what law would you pass?

Never likely to be my privilege.

Which 5 people would you invite to your “ultimate dinner party”?

Pink Floyd.

Who would you like to star in the film version of your life?

I don’t think it would attract any funding.

What are you doing differently to ensure you attract the best talent?

Presenting a career proposition rather than a job proposition.

What was the last book you read?

Not the most recent, but I was really moved by Room by Emma Donoghue.

What is your proudest achievement outside of work?

Staying on my horse.