Stephanie Haynes, Automotive Cybersecurity Apprentice, successfully graduates with a distinction

Stephanie Haynes, joined HORIBA MIRA in April 2017 as a Cybersecurity Apprentice and successfully graduated with a distinction in 2019.

Why did you choose to do an apprenticeship, and what have you enjoyed most about it?

I chose to do the cybersecurity apprenticeship because it not only offers a comprehensive mix of theoretical and practical knowledge and training, but the opportunity to work within the industry and gain experience by applying those new skills in a real-world security environment. Earning while you learn is bonus too!

Highlights for me include employment within the fascinating world of automotive cybersecurity, the broad scope of subjects covered by the apprenticeship, and the wonderful people I have met along the way.

What are 2-3 main things you have learned/worked on in your time at HORIBA MIRA?

During my time at HORIBA MIRA, I have learned a great deal about cybersecurity particularly in the automotive domain. The scope of this knowledge ranges from technical know-how such as building and programming tools, to covering issues such as data privacy, as well as becoming familiar with automotive cybersecurity standards. I have been able to use the knowledge learned during my classroom training, such as networking and cryptography, to further my understanding of how these concepts are used within vehicles. The broad variety of topics covered in the apprenticeship have really set me up to engage with the wide array of challenges that securing the modern vehicle presents.

What are your career plans for the future?

From here, I plan to begin either a BSc or an MSc in cybersecurity to further bolster my career as a cybersecurity analyst here at HORIBA MIRA. I would also like to complete some professional certification courses such as EC-Council’s CEH, and CompTIA’s CySa+.

Any advice for young people who might be considering an apprenticeship?

To anybody considering an apprenticeship, I would strongly encourage you to go for it. You’ll gain the relevant knowledge via both your classroom sessions and your workplace. You’ll get a chance to develop your soft skills throughout the course of the apprenticeship. Equally important, you’ll also build up valuable experience from day one. This combination of technical competence, soft skills and experience will make you a valuable and well-rounded asset to your workplace, not to mention it will look great on your CV!

Paul Wooderson, Stephanie’s mentor and Cybersecurity Principal Engineer said: “Through her apprenticeship Stephanie has become a highly valued member of our team, and her contribution continues to directly benefit the ongoing delivery and further development of our automotive cybersecurity services. Stephanie has also successfully risen to the unique challenge of adapting and applying the information security principles she has learned on the apprenticeship to the vehicle product cybersecurity scenario.

“Cybersecurity is an area that is experiencing a global shortage of skills and it is critical that we embrace new ways of filling those skills gaps in order to meet the demands of industry going forwards. The apprenticeship scheme has provided a new and innovative route for young people to enter the profession and has proven to be an effective additional means for us to develop the diverse teams of competent professionals that we will need to address the challenges of the future.”

Dr Anthony Martin Head of Vehicle Resilience at HORIBA MIRA, said: “We are incredibly proud to have so much creative talent in our team. Stephanie has worked incredibly hard and has achieved a great result. Stephanie and all of our talented team have the run of the world’s first Vehicle Resilience Technology Centre at our HORIBA MIRA headquarters in the UK. This facility brings with it a rigorous approach to automotive cybersecurity; combining our creative and talented team of cybersecurity engineers, analysts and specialists with state-of-the-art equipment and the flexibility of a cutting-edge cluster of facilities to create the heady mix of innovation required to deliver our world-class automotive cybersecurity services and solutions.

With over 14 facilities our cluster is a unique offering that is delivering globally significant R&D and commercial automotive cybersecurity programmes for worldwide clients. Ranging from workshops and screened labs for static and dynamic vehicle testing, attack labs and system level labs through to our city circuit allowing the safe assessment of vulnerabilities in a controlled real-world environment, this cluster underpins the delivery of globally significant automotive cybersecurity excellence.

Stephanie is our first female cybersecurity apprentice and only the second ever to achieve a distinction on the scheme further emphasising her rightful place in our innovative, dynamic and exciting team. She is part of a diverse, creative and talented group of over 70 resilience engineers with a vision for safe, secure and functional road transport solutions.

Stephanie has a bright future at the cutting-edge.”

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