Meet the Team

James Ranklin, Head of Operational Resilience

James has more than 20 years’ experience working in the banking and finance sector, building a reputation as a trusted Risk Management SME with deep knowledge of the processes, systems and evidence requirements to support a robust RMF. Having worked in both the 1st and 2nd line of defence, James has led several transformation activities, provided independent assurance over strategically important change programmes, designed and embedded new risk and control frameworks, and led numerous colleagues training activities.

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Specialising in Operational Resilience and Operational Risk, James brings his detailed understanding of the requirements needed to demonstrate policy and regulatory compliance, both internally to the accountable SMF, and to the regulator. James has also led teams accountable for Information and Cyber Security, GDPR, SMCR and confidential conduct investigations.

James is a qualified mentor where he has supported the School for Social Entrepreneurs (Scotland) and various third sector enterprises, including as Chairman of the Board. James continues to mentor entities through the Scottish Chamber of Commerce.

Key Facts

  • Specialising in Operational Resilience and Operational Risk

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Ed Felix , Principal Consultant

Ed is a technical cybersecurity expert boasting 20 years of industry experience, with 14 of those years devoted to serving the UK government in various roles related to international cyber affairs. His forte lies in leveraging both offensive and defensive technical capabilities to safeguard and enhance the UK’s cyber infrastructure on a global scale. 

Prior to joining Beyond Blue, Ed made significant contributions in guiding clients through their digital transformation journeys. He played a pivotal role in helping clients comprehend the intricate dynamics of technology and market trends, thereby facilitating the creation of value. Working closely with numerous senior leadership teams, he provided critical insights and modelled robust strategies to navigate their digital transformations successfully. Prior to this, Ed’s deep-seated cybersecurity knowledge was tapped into by governments, assisting them to shape their cyber roadmaps.  

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Ed brings a wealth of experience from a variety of sectors including technology, media, and acoustics, however, it’s his extensive involvement across various geographical regions for the UK government that truly stands out. Ed has made a significant impact through advising on essential cyber and data-driven technologies, all with the focused objective of protecting and fulfilling UK requirements on a global scale. His remit has encompassed large international areas, including East Asia and the Levant, where he has applied strategic thought and leadership to counter digital threats in some of the most physically and technologically challenging environments. 

His advanced skill set covers a broad range of technologies from secure networking and technical security to data management, edge technology, and cloud services, illustrating his multifaceted technical proficiency. 

Before stepping into the consulting world, Ed immersed himself in the realm of emerging technologies, earning recognition through numerous innovation awards. And beyond his professional life, he’s chosen to volunteer his time as a head advisor in the fight against cybercrime – a testament to his genuine commitment to the cybersecurity field. 

Key Facts

  • Over 20 years’ experience in Cyber Security.
  • Lead of digital transformation and cyber security initiatives. 

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Jodie Nevin, Senior Consultant

Jodie is a driven cyber security professional with extensive experience in the public and private sector, passionate about making a difference.

Before joining Beyond Blue, her previous posts included Information Security Training Consultant with BUPA where she delivered the training programmes to influence positive secure behaviour in employees; Cyber Protect Officer in the Cyber Crime Unit at Derbyshire Constabulary working proactively with organisations and the public to be more cyber resilient; and HOLMES Supervisor in the Major Crime Unit at Nottinghamshire Police investigating homicides where she received a Chief Constable’s Commendation for her personal responsibility in a major incident.

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Jodie has extensive knowledge around cyber protection.  She created and delivered the Information Security training strategy for BGUK to develop employees’ skills and confidence in dealing with the key threats. She provided support to victims of Cyber Dependent crimes offering solutions such as security assessments and proposed guidance to mitigate and increase cyber security.  She was a key player in the start-up of the East Midlands Cyber Resilience Centre; a not-for-profit organisation with Policing, Academia, the private sector and SME’s and was vital in stakeholder engagement and management.

Jodie possesses knowledge of the cyber security and fraud landscape, emerging techniques and the threat Cyber Crime poses, with certifications in CISMP, Neurodiversity, Level 3 Teacher Training (PTTLS) and Springboard (Women’s Business & Persona Development).

Key Facts

  • Experienced in cyber protection

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Wasim Akhtar, Senior Technical Consultant

Wasim is a focussed IT professional with a distinguished career profile.

With over 20 years of technical experience, Wasim has proven ability in defining strategies for technical challenges and delivering solutions in a secure, on budget and timely fashion. He has a natural aptitude for optimisation activities and risk reduction analysis. Experienced in extracting service metrics to feed continuous improvement and innovation operations.

Wasim is confident executing projects & championing security in challenging business environments that demand high standards of compliance, quality and precision.

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Wasim has extensive technical experience leading teams and delivering resilient, secure IT architectures across diverse landscapes and business sectors.

Whilst working for Paradigm Precision he spearheaded the direct operational delivery and vision of IT architecture across the International Sites located in the UK, Poland and Tunisia.  He also provided executive system design leadership to a new expansion aerospace facility build. Developed strategic and operational vision and orchestrated the project on time and under budget satisfying stakeholders across the world and ensuring the site was primed for growth. ​Wasim virtualised the entire environment including the critical legacy infrastructure, applications & services. Deploying HP/Microsoft/VMware & cloud services/products to achieve goals of improving uptime, redundancy, stability and security.​  He has led on projects involving DoD & MoD data, adhering to security frameworks such as NIST & CAF in secure environments such as AWS GovCloud.

Key Facts

  • Over 20 years of technical experience in defining strategies and delivering secure solutions.
  • Specialises in Virtualisation, Networking and Cloud technologies

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Sam Hewson, Senior Consultant

Sam is an ambitious and proactive Cyber Security professional with experience in the financial sector. Prior to joining Beyond Blue Sam held the position of Security Product and Delivery Manager for one of the UK’s leading retail banks where he led on several key programs and deliveries in the Chief Security Office.  He successfully delivered against key milestones to enable the utilisation of cloud security products with Microsoft Azure and other offerings.

In addition to Sam’s previous experience in the financial sector, Sam has worked with numerous financial institutions on the implementation of Operational Resilience Regulatory Requirements and supported the facilitation of several crisis management exercises with international insurance providers and financial institutions. 

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  • Delivery of a Cyber Recovery Vault to meet a key US Federal Government mandate milestone of giving an enterprise level Organisation a completely isolated secure recovery solution in the event of a critical outbreak of malware.
  • Successful delivery of Microsoft Defender For Endpoint in an enterprise level organisation. 
  • Delivery of numerous cyber crisis management exercises with clients in the insurance and financial sectors across Europe, Southeast Asia and Australasia. 
  • Coordination of disaster recovery scenarios and scenario tests for multiple different environments and business units across enterprise level organisations, identifying and supporting improvements in recovery capabilities and processes. 
  • Delivery of key milestones and currently leading on key workstreams to implement Operational Resilience Regulatory Requirements for multiple UK leading retail banks. 
  • Maintained the security control posture for one of the UK’s largest retail banks and their global operations through consultancy in key programs and deliverables across multiple different business units. 
  • Supporting key high-profile clients across the Middle East in building and enhancing frameworks to support the security posture of their critical national infrastructure. 

Key Facts:

  • Experience in financial services

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Nicholas Currie, Senior Consultant

Nicholas is talented, hard-working, self-motivated, and skilled in high-level, abstract reasoning.

He recently completed his PhD in Philosophy at UCL. His thesis “A New Interpretation of Kant’s Formal Logic” focused on the relation between thought and algorithmic rule-following in the work of Immanuel Kant. He has presented his research findings at numerous prestigious national and international conferences.

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Nicholas led the development of a new initiative connecting Kant scholars across various London universities and the universities of Oxford and Cambridge through conferences and workshops.

Nicholas excelled as a Graduate Teaching Assistant for the philosophy departments at UCL and Kings College London over a 4-year period and was awarded the KCL Graduate Teaching award in 2020.

Key Facts

  • PhD in Philosophy

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Leah Hale, Consultant

Successfully trained on Information Security Management Systems Auditor/Lead Auditor Training Course by BSI and during this process gained many skills that aid in achieving her career goals. An understanding of ISO 27001, ISO 27002 and ISO 19011 has been beneficial in gaining valuable knowledge in all aspects of a company’s security, how to audit a company, what is required during an audit and how to communicate correctly and effectively with all parties. Recently achieved the CEH v12 certification where Leah is using these ethical hacking skills to create a penetration testing virtual machine to simulate cyber-attacks. 

Leah’s hard work ethic was recognised at university when she was awarded the British Computer Society Professional Membership Prize for Progress.

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  • In addition, Leah underwent training by BSI on Information Security Management Systems Auditor/Lead Auditor, gaining an understanding of ISO 27001, ISO 27002 and ISO 19011. Working closely with an organisation to provide an ISM through auditing and analysing pre-existing documentation through consultation.
  • Developed and configured a Linux environment, wrote python scripts that allowed users to send 80+ injects during a scenario exercising project. The scripts allowed the exercise to run smoothly while also maintaining full control over the injects. 
  • Produced an in-depth Threat Intelligence Report that accurately detailed the attack paths, software, techniques and tactics that the selected threat actors would take. 
  • A detailed attack path, which was aligned with the MITRE ATT&CK TTP’s. While also including specific software’s that had been known to be used for a specific TTP’s that had been listed, providing a more accurate and detailed picture for the red team to execute.

Key Facts

  • MSc in Cyber Security
  • CEH V12 (Certified Ethical Hacker)

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Nicola Seagrave, Consultant

Nicola is a self-motivated and focussed professional with excellent communication skills.

Formerly a senior psychiatric nurse, Nicola transitioned over to cyber to follow her passion. Nicola brings a wealth of transferable skills such as risk management, decision making, and interpersonal skills.

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Nicola has achieved industry-recognised certifications: Global Information Assurance Certification – Foundational Cyber Security Technologies (GFACT) and Security Essentials (GSEC) and two SANS training courses, as well as participation in skills development centralised around cyber security.

Key Facts

  • Global Information Assurance Certifications

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Rayhaan Jeewa, Consultant

Rayhaan is a tenacious and diligent Cybersecurity graduate with previous experience in Operational Assurance and Security Operations.

Rayhaan recently graduated at the top of his cohort with a 1:1 in Cybersecurity, an achievement marked by two awards for excellent performance on the Cybersecurity programme and the esteemed British Computer Society Professional Membership Prize for outstanding final year results.

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Prior to joining Beyond Blue, Rayhaan excelled in a dual role during his one-year industrial placement at BAE Systems. Serving as an Operational Assurance Analyst and Security Operations Centre Analyst, Rayhaan honed his skills in protective monitoring and contributed to meaningful projects such as company-wide cybersecurity compliance assessments.

Key Facts

  • BSc in Cybersecurity
  • Experience in Security Governance, Risk & Compliance and Security Operations

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Jennifer Newton, Consultant

Jennifer has extensive experience specialising in business continuity in both the freight, shipping and logistics sector and the financial sector. 

Jennifer also worked as the Resilience Knowledge Coordinator for the Cabinet Office Emergency Planning College. Her comprehensive experience has allowed her to gain a depth of knowledge for crisis management exercising.

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Jennifer’s commitment to the role was recognised with 2nd place in the Bill Blake Memorial Award, with her paper regarding ‘lessons being identified, not learnt’ being published in the Alert journal. Jennifer was also shortlisted for CIR Newcomer of the Year and has recently had an article published in the Bridge magazine regarding the importance of risk management for ports. Furthermore, Jennifer has also held a volunteer role for the Institute of Civil Protection and Emergency Management as their General Secretary.

Key Facts

  • MBA in Risk and Resilience
  • BSc in Disaster Management and Emergency Planning
  • Certified from the Business Continuity Institute

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Janette Farquhar, Operations Manager

Janette previously spent 17 years in local government, undertaking roles from event organising to performance management and quality assurance.

Her most recent role was the strategic lead for the effective management of complaints across the local authority as well as the Health & Social Care Partnership. She also has prior experience as an office manager for a graphic design company as well as running her own outside catering business.

Key Facts

  • Strategic lead and managerial experience in local authority

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