Wednesday 3, August 2016

Abu Dhabi – MENA Herald: PA Consulting Group Middle East and North Africa has appointed one of the region’s most influential cyber security experts to join its growing team working to help clients mitigate the human risk in information security.

Lydia Kostopoulos PhD is a global expert in human behaviour security who was recently featured in the Middle East Security Awards’ top 100 list of cyber security professionals, and joins PA’s cyber security team with a wealth of unrivalled international experience.

A former assistant professor in intelligence, national security and cyber security at the Institute for International and Civil Security at Khalifa University in Abu Dhabi, Kostopoulos has forged an inspiring reputation within the regional and global information security sector.

In December 2015, she was invited to speak on a cyber security panel at the British Parliament’s House of Commons where she raised the importance of creating a robust security culture and not underestimating the human risk in cyber security.

Based in PA’s Abu Dhabi office, Kostopoulos is working with clients across the Middle East region in a range of sectors to deliver services such as intellectual property protection, proactive counter espionage, and awareness in the areas of security culture, insider threats and social engineering.

Jason Harborow, Head of PA Consulting Group Middle East and North Africa, said: “Lydia is a significant appointment for the region. There has never been so much emphasis for organisations to implement robust cyber security strategies than now and we believe her skills will deliver outstanding levels of expertise to our clients.”

Kostopoulos regularly engages with the international cyber community, most notably contributing her expertise in the human side of cyber security to NATO’s Science for Peace (SPS) initiatives; and participating in the Multinational Capability Development Campaign (MCDC) serving as a political advisor in a military experiment testing proposed cyber operations doctrines for multi-national operations.

In 2014 she was awarded the U.S. Presidential Volunteer Service Award for her public service to the cyber community with special service commitment to education.

During her tenure as an irregular warfare analyst at the Center for Advanced Study in the Social Sciences, in Madrid, Spain, she built a database of 156 insurgent groups from 60 countries detailing territorial control, financial operations, support structures, population control, services provided and recruitment methodologies.

Kostopoulos holds a Certificate in Cybersecurity: The Intersection of Policy and Technology from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government in the USA; a PhD in Political Science and Security Studies from the University of Siena, Italy; an MA in Security, Peace, Development and International Conflict from the University of Innsbruck, Austria; and a BA in International Relations from the University of Sharjah, UAE. She is proficient in English and Spanish, and has an intermediate level of Russian, Italian and Greek.

Harborow added: “The first half of 2016 has seen us bring 30 new members of staff into the regional team which has been vital in delivering the work we are producing for our clients across a variety of industries. The government services, healthcare, and transport, travel and logistics sectors continue to be major areas of expansion for PA within our region. We are bringing together the best minds in the business to ensure the offering to our current and future clients is unbeatable.”