Who we are

David Ferbrache, Managing Director

David is an award-winning UK national cyber security expert and the Managing Director of Beyond Blue with over 25 years of cyber and information security expertise.

David is the chair of the Scottish National Cyber Resilience Board overseeing and challenging the implementation of the Scottish National Cyber Resilience strategy. For his services to national security post 9-11, David was awarded an OBE and in 2018 was awarded personality of the year in the cyber security awards.

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Prior to founding Beyond Blue, David spent 6 years at KPMG working with global clients in the financial sector, government, pharmaceuticals, telecoms, oil and natural gas to advise on high end cyber threats and the cyber threat landscape, running cyber exercises and advising on the optimal mix of security controls. David supports KPMG as their Global Head of Cyber Futures where he leads the global innovation agenda on cyber, as well as working with KPMG’s largest global clients.

Throughout his career, David has advised CISO teams on the development of cyber security strategies and transformation programmes and has overseen high end red teaming and attack simulations to validate security across a broad range of sectors. He continues to work closely with a range of financial sector clients to develop their approach to operational resilience, to review the integrity of their critical business processes, and to assess potential attack scenarios against those processes including criminal exploitation, IT disruption and insider threats.

David started his career in the public sector and before moving into consulting, was the Head of Cyber and Space for the Ministry of Defence in the UK. During his career he has worked with key international allies, created and delivered the Defence Cyber Security Programme, set up MOD’s first penetration testing team, ran the first ever UK-US cyber wargame, and carried out the first national infrastructure cyber security review.

Key Facts

  • Over 25 years of experience in cyber security
  • Awarded an OBE for his services to national security post 9-11
  • David has both breadth and depth of knowledge in all areas of cyber security and resilience

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Paul Taylor, Chair

Paul has over 30 years of experience leading the delivery of some of the most demanding national security programmes in the UK, operating at the very highest levels of government.

As a result, he is uniquely qualified to understand the evolving threat environment, as well as having an exceptional track record of driving and delivering change in complex organisations. Paul’s contribution to the world of science and technology was recognised by his election as a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering in 2013, where he now sits on the UK’s Engineering Policy Committee. Paul also chairs the Advisory Board of the Imperial College Institute of Security Science and Technology.

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In 2020 Paul was appointed as a Technology focused Non-Executive Director for a global investment bank and sits on a several Board Risk Committee Advisory Panels for national and international financial institutions.

Prior to joining Beyond Blue, Paul was the Cyber Head of Financial Services for KPMG where he advised and exercised national and global retail and investment banks, investment managers and global technology companies, at board and senior management level, helping to address their cyber and information protection challenges.

Before consulting, Paul spent over 25 years in the public sector working for AWE plc, the UK Ministry of Defence, and the UK Government on matters of defence, nuclear deterrence, technology and information security.

Key Facts

  • Over 30 years of experience in national security
  • Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering and sits on the UK’s Engineering Policy Committee
  • Specialises in engaging with the Board and Executive Committee

Alicia Waite, Associate Director

Alicia is a skilled and accomplished cyber resilience professional who specialises in advising on operational resilience and preparing and assisting clients in their response to and recovery from Cyber crises.

Prior to joining Beyond Blue, her most recent role has seen her assist Executive Committees of global organisations respond to and recover from significant cyber crises including ransomware and data breaches. She has helped senior leadership understand the unique attributes of a cyber crisis and advising on their internal and external communication strategies and approach to operational recovery.

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Alicia has experience in a variety of industries including technology, manufacturing, energy, and retail, but most of her experience and interest is in financial services. Alicia has helped deliver cyber, privacy and operational resilience programmes for global banks, insurers and investment managers and advised and exercised Boards and senior management on cyber and technology crisis response and recovery.

Alicia has been seconded to clients to help deliver a regulatory cyber transformation programme, focusing on target operating model and employee training and awareness and a GDPR implementation programme focusing on data mapping and identifying critical data points. In response to the increasing threat against critical national infrastructure and industrial control systems, Alicia assisted a global oil and gas company in an innovative 4 year programme to identify and protect their critical assets whilst maturing their response and recovery capability in the event of a catastrophic cyber event.

Key Facts

  • Experienced in helping global organisations respond to and recover from significant cyber crises including ransomware and data breaches
  • Varied industry coverage such as financial services, energy, retail and manufacturing

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Chris Baars, Principal Consultant

Chris is a passionate Cyber Security, Incident Management and Exercising professional, with extensive experience leading teams in public and private sectors including large enterprise corporations, advising on and managing incidents.

Prior to joining Beyond Blue, he created and headed up A.P Moller Maersk’s Cyber Security Operational Readiness and Exercising Department, primarily focussing on the improvement and efficiency of Cyber Incident Response and Management. Chris created this department as part of Maersk’s cyber security programme after the 2017 NotPetya attack.

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Chris has experience in the design and delivery of scenario based exercises focussing on business impact delivered to SVPs and board members.  Chris has directed and scoped Red teaming engagements including both Pen tests and Attack simulations.

While at Maersk, Chris graduated from “Leading Maersk” – Maersk’s future executive leaders’ programme and was a regular recipient of “Maersk Star Awards” for outstanding achievement.

Chris has a long background in emergency management from his days working for both Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service and Kenyon International Emergency Services.  He continues to support Kenyon International as an Incident Manager responding to disasters around globe.

Key Facts

  • Experienced in critical incident and crisis management
  • Multi-faceted exercise building and facilitation

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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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Leah Hale, Consultant

Leah is highly motivated with a passion for success.

She recently finished her MSc in Cyber Security at Sheffield Hallam University with her dissertation “An investigation into the rise in ransomware cyber-attacks, with the aims of identifying the cyber security vulnerabilities within UK organisations”.  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.

Whilst at university Leah worked for Alloga UK where she worked within the IT team helping both the development and service desk teams in their duties.

Key Facts

  • MSc in Cyber Security

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Nicholas Currie, 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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John Hermans, Senior Advisor

John has worked on over 150 national and international cyber security projects in the last xx years across a variety of industry sectors, such as financial services, energy, telecommunications, retail and government, and is considered as one of the leaders in his field of expertise.

John has helped clients develop, define, and implement cyber security strategies, building the required business cases for Executive and Supervisory Boards. He has led projects in governance, risk and compliance and risk management and quantification.

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In addition to cyber security, John has delivered and advised on a range of cloud computing initiatives in both the private and public sector with a focus on advising and supporting clients in developing, defining and implementing their cloud computing strategy as well as advising on cloud security and assurance.

Prior to joining Beyond Blue as a senior advisor, John was a senior partner in KPMG Netherlands and a member of their global cyber security leadership team.

Key Facts

  • Experience in delivering cloud computing and cyber security programmes with over 150 cyber security projects under his belt
  • Worked for clients across Europe and one of the leaders in his field

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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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