Our People: Mathew
Senior Manager, FS Cyber
Mathew studied Computer Science at Warwick University and, after working in lighting in the music industry, he decided he was ready for a change of direction. He completed a Master’s in Information Security at UCL, after which he was approached by a KPMG manager looking to attract tech specialists to the Cyber team.
“The main attraction of KPMG for me was the fact I’d be getting exposure to really big clients with really interesting problems to solve. As a penetration tester – or ‘hacker’ – the bigger the client, the more challenging it is to get in to their systems, so that side of the work really appealed to me.
“The global scope was another big plus for me. I’ve had lots of opportunities to travel to places I never imagined I’d visit – places like Colombia, Hong Kong and Israel.
“Another thing I liked from the start was the people. It’s not corporate here at all. Everyone is just passionate about the job and very technically sharp.
“KPMG is also really flexible. As long as I meet my commitments, it’s down to me when I start and leave. And it’s not always about starting or finishing early. If we’re doing really well on an engagement, I can stay later to see it through rather than having to leave at a set time. I can work from home as well, which is great.
“With penetration testing – which is essentially ethical hacking – there are new tools and techniques being released all the time. We need to keep up with them and we also do our own research and development. We go to conferences and present our research and findings as well as sharing any innovative techniques we’ve developed.
“The ethos here is that if someone’s got a cool idea, we’ll try to find time so that they can explore it and see where it goes.”
“I’ve had the chance to work on some really exciting projects. I’ve tested the systems of ships and satellites. I’ve been around the world testing the systems for a massive FMCG company, and I’ve worked on trying to trick ATMs to give out more money. One day you could be working for a financial services organisation, the next on a defence project, before moving on to a large corporation in a field like telecoms or retail.
“We’re not hemmed in terms of the work we do, the clients we do it for or the tools we use. We have some proprietary tools and we use a lot of open source software. We also work closely with Amazon Web Services on some of our work.
“Having joined as an Analyst five years ago, getting to this point is way more than I thought I would have achieved by now. And any training I’ve ever wanted, I’ve always had the go-ahead. The projects, the support, the variety, the flexibility and simply the fact that I really like all the people I work with. All of it has been brilliant and I’m excited about what’s next.”