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Interim Director of IT Security

Department: IT Leadership

Location: Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, United Kingdom

About the role:

Abcam has ambitious plans to grow both organically and by selected acquisitions and partnerships, with a view to doubling our scale by 2023. Information technology security is key to us achieving our growth plans and consequently we have begun to create a data organisation that will serve our long-term mission. Our ability to scale the organisation and deliver against our mission to serve our customers and double the scale of the business is dependent on the ability to provide high quality and excellent services to our colleagues across the world. The role of Interim Director of IT Security is vital to helping us to deliver this critical capability.

Reporting to our Senior Vice President for Information Technology, the successful applicant will be responsible for working with the Executive Leadership Team, other members of the information technology team and key stakeholders to support the infrastructure, networks (voice and data) and offices around the world. The successful applicant will have overall accountability for Cyber Security at Abcam, including defining the strategy and building an effective roadmap and programme based on the strategy.

This is a fantastic opportunity for an ambitious IT Security professional to gain broad experience in a rapidly growing international life science business.  The ideal candidate will have high intellectual ability and a successful track record of building and implementing an effective Cyber security strategy in collaboration with the wider IT roadmap.

This role is available on either a permanent or interim basis. 

Role and Responsibilities

  • Define and update Abcam security policy and standards working with the Architecture teams to build a secure by design culture
  • Define secure coding standards and employ a governance leadership to ensure that code threat assessments are performed and managed
  • Define and update Abcam Cyber Security Strategy and develop roadmap of improvements to deliver to this strategy
  • Own the overall Cyber Security programme of work and deliver it through both the Cyber Security team and through others; specifically, business systems, architecture and software engineering
  • Run effective IT security operations through proactive testing and incident management
  • Establish and maintain an appropriate security stance through policy, architecture and training processes
  • Develop and implement a risk framework methodology to assess and communicate risk and build appropriate action plans
  • Communicate and report the effectiveness of IT Security at Abcam through performance metrics and status reports
  • Ensure sensitive data stored at rest or in transit is appropriately secured and audited
  • Enhance the security culture within Abcam by providing guidance, awareness and advocacy of Information Security
  • Advise and guide the engineering team to drive “security first” engineering practises, standards and controls
  • Advise on security concerns and solutions specifically for our new Oracle SaaS solution
  • Supervise the design and execution of proactive vulnerability assessments, penetration tests and security audits
  • Ensure IT security incidents are handled and resolved in a timely manner and within agreed SLAs. 
  • Maintain up-to-date knowledge of the IT security industry including awareness of new or revised security solutions, improved security processes and the development of new attacks and threat vectors.
  • Manage a budget and manage costs associated with security products and services
About you:

You will have previous experience managing IT security operations in a collaborative, diverse and fast paced environment.  Excellent communication and influencing skills to engage and educate senior stakeholders and peers in the importance of delivering Cyber Security are critical in this role.  In addition, you will also have Strong programme delivery skills to deliver a large, complex programme of work on time and budget.


You will have extensive knowledge of IT security intelligence threats and threat actors along with demonstrated ability to make IT security risk determinations based on threat intelligence analysis.  You will have Experience of Software as a Service solutions (ideally Oracle) and their associated security risks.  Experience with industry best-practice in the governance, operation and management of IT systems (e.g. ISO 27001, ITIL, PCI Compliance, COBIT, ISO 31000) is essential.


 Technical Requirements:

  • Good working knowledge of Firewall & IPS systems, Qualys, Nessus
  • Experience with TCPDump, WireShark, Snort and similar tools. 
  • Solid network experience, especially with TCP/IP, DNS, HTTP/S 
  • Knowledge of Active Directory and SSO systems. 

 Qualifications & Certifications: 

  • Degree in IT security, computer science or related discipline. Post-graduate IT or Management qualifications. 
  • Relevant security certifications including one or more of CISSP, SSCP, CEH, Security, GCIH, GCIA certification in Network Intrusion, Incident Handling or Forensic Analysis 

If this sounds like you and you’d like to be a part of a fast paced, growing business with the vision to become the most influential company and best-loved brand in life sciences please apply now!

About Us

Ever since 1998, when our founder, Jonathan Milner, started selling antibodies from the back of his bike, Abcam has aimed to help scientific researchers make breakthroughs faster. We now have offices and labs in the UK, the US, China and Japan, and as we continue to grow, we remain ambitious, driven by our customers’ success and their research needs. It’s our goal to provide a world-standard in protein research tools, technical support and delivery. 

When you join Abcam, you’ll join a global business with the passion and the vision to become the most influential company, and, best-loved brand in life sciences.Our culture is our key differentiator. We believe in empowering individuals, with responsibility given at an early stage. The working environment is fun and fast-paced, collaborative and outcome focused, with a strong customer focus. In addition to competitive salaries, we can offer an attractive flexible benefits package which includes share options, a culture focussed on wellbeing and opportunities for growth and development.