Speed Data: Why Your Team is Your Greatest Cybersecurity Tool With Terry Inns

The Group Director of Operations Support for Jacobs shares his insights based on years of experience in the field.
Megan Garza
3 min read
Last updated June 12, 2024
Megan Garza and Terry Inns

Welcome to Speed Data: Quick Conversations With Cybersecurity Leaders. Like speed dating, our goal is to capture the hearts of CISOs with intriguing, unique insight in a rapid format for security professionals pressed for time.

From teabags to technology and fighting fires to firewalls, Terry Inns has had many interests in his life. But the Group Director of Operations Support for Jacobs U.K. found himself exactly where he should be in his role of protecting his clients and their customers from ransomware, threat actors, and data exfiltration. Terry shares the knowledge he amassed over the years working in information security, engineering, nuclear energy, and cybersecurity in this week’s episode of Speed Data.

The immense opportunity of AI

Although many organizations have already begun to harness the power of artificial intelligence from a business perspective, Terry Inns, Group Director of Operations Support at Jacobs, thinks AI offers a tremendous advantage for society as a whole.

“It’s a massive opportunity for us as a human race, let alone as organizations and equally as individuals,” he said. However, it’s an opportunity we shouldn’t take lightly, he pointed out.

“I’m often reminded of the quote from one of my favorite movies, ‘Spider-Man,’ which was, ‘With great power comes great responsibility,’ and I think the important thing for us is to understand not only the benefits we might extract from AI, but also how we protect ourselves, our people, and our data.”

One of the benefits Terry references is the ability to weed through massive amounts of data in nanoseconds, taking minutes to achieve a task that once took days or even weeks.

When we’re looking for that needle in a haystack in data, I think about artificial intelligence as being the ability to take away the haystack.

Terry Inns, Jacobs Group Director of Operations Support

 

Employees are your greatest asset.

As the head of data security for a multibillion-dollar company, Terry is tasked with protecting Jacob’s U.K. division from data exfiltration and encryption. His secret weapon? His colleagues and teammates.

“It has to start with the people,” he said. “When you think about security in any form, it comes down to our people understanding what it is they’re dealing with, what risks they would be undertaking, and how we educate our people in helping us close down the perimeter.”

Our people are potentially our greatest asset in terms of protecting our information.

Terry Inns, Jacobs Group Director of Operations Support

 

Having the right technology matters.

In addition to relying on those Terry works with in the trenches daily, technology also plays a huge part in reducing risk, he said.

“I’m reminded of a couple of years back when Log4j was first announced nearing Christmas,” he said. “At that point, we realized that we didn’t have the ability to remediate all the potential risk that Log4j posed, particularly with one of our most sensitive areas where we use Varonis.”

Terry worked with the Varonis team to monitor for rapid changes in file states, helping protect Jacobs against threats.

“That helped me sleep at night over the Christmas period,” he said. “That gave me the confidence that in the event we did have a potential intrusion, the systems would automatically detect that and kick that account off the system.”

Helping me sleep at night was the knowledge that we had the right technology giving us visibility and additional protection.

Terry Inns, Jacobs Group Director of Operations Support

 

The scenic route to cybersecurity

Terry says one of his favorite aspects of his role at the professional services company is making a difference in the lives of his clients and their customers.

“The ability to come in and work with a great team of people and keep ours and our client’s information secure and go home knowing you’ve done the best you can in protecting that information makes you feel good,” he said. “People are the thing I enjoy dealing with the most.”

But a career in technology wasn’t always the plan for Terry.

“As somebody who started life out as an upholsterer and then becoming an electrical engineer and then making teabags for a living, finding my way into cybersecurity was quite an interesting path,” he said.

“As a kid, I really wanted to be a fireman. For me, it’s all about helping people, and it’s also about dealing with problems, challenges, and complexities. So I can’t say I would liken cybersecurity to being a firefighter, but it can be at times!”

Are you looking for a trusted partner to help your organization prevent fires? Schedule your 30-minute demo to learn how Varonis can keep your data secure.

What should I do now?

Below are three ways you can continue your journey to reduce data risk at your company:

1

Schedule a demo with us to see Varonis in action. We'll personalize the session to your org's data security needs and answer any questions.

2

See a sample of our Data Risk Assessment and learn the risks that could be lingering in your environment. Varonis' DRA is completely free and offers a clear path to automated remediation.

3

Follow us on LinkedIn, YouTube, and X (Twitter) for bite-sized insights on all things data security, including DSPM, threat detection, AI security, and more.

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