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Home / Explore our latest insights / Quorum Cyber Appoint Cyber Security Expert, Robert Hayes, as Non-Executive Board Member

Published: 30th September 2020 | In: News

Edinburgh-based cyber security firm, Quorum Cyber, have announced the appointment of former Head of the UK National Technical Assistance Centre, Robert Hayes, as a Non-Executive Director on the Board of Directors.

Robert is the perfect addition to the growing team at Quorum Cyber and brings extensive experience to the role as a true expert in the field of risk & cyber security. From a career spanning several decades, Robert has an impressive profile, from his early days in the UK Police Service, working his way through the ranks to the position of Assistant Chief Constable, to serving as Assistant Director at GCHQ, and finally, a high-profile position with Microsoft.

The transition from the police force into cyber security came almost “by complete accident” in Robert’s own words, arising from a particularly sensitive operation in which Robert (by this point trained as a hostage negotiator, kidnap and siege commander) led a complex and protracted policing operation against animal rights related terrorism. “My work on this very sensitive case led to an exciting opportunity as the first Head of the UK National Specialist Law Enforcement Centre, a multi-agency organisation developing specialist covert and computer based investigative techniques and training programmes for UK law enforcement agencies. It was here where I led the development and implementation of the UK National Hi-Tech Crime Training Centre, which was really the start of my cyber journey.”

In 2007 Robert joined Microsoft as a Senior Fellow of the Microsoft Institute for Advanced Technology in Governments: A small elite group established by Bill Gates to bring the fruits of Microsoft’s world-leading advanced research and development activities to solve intractable problems for the global public sector.

“When I first joined Microsoft, cyber security wasn’t a discipline, as such. We were helping people to innovate by optimising the intersection between technology, policy and security, and over time cyber security really grew in emphasis and so my career moved in that direction. Looking back, many organisations closed their eyes to the threats posed by cyber security because they really didn’t know where to start. Now, as the scale and scope of attacks have become far greater and far more complex, there is a growing realisation that the consequences faced by falling prey to an attack is also, far greater. This has, consequently, led to a rise in attention at Board level, of the very real threats faced by organisations operating in a modern, digital world. A cyber-attack on your business will impact upon your reputation, market share, and stock price, as well as potentially leaving your organisation open to regulatory penalty.”

Indeed, Quorum Cyber know better than most the dangers posed by today’s (many) threat actors. It is no longer as clear as it once was exactly who and what these threat actors look like, and therefore, exactly what they are capable of.

Robert added:

It used to be very clear who businesses were being attacked by, attacks varied in complexity depending on the type of attacker, the type of complex attack that is now commonplace was extremely rare, and almost exclusively conducted by nation state attackers. However, the digital landscape has changed so dramatically in recent years that we now see sophisticated cyber-attacks from a range of threat actors at a scale hitherto unknown, and this is precisely why cyber security has taken on such increased emphasis for organisations across the globe. Many are still relatively unprotected, and in today’s climate, this is nothing more than an invitation to disaster.

Robert’s appointment comes alongside a number of other high-profile appointment’s in recent weeks as Quorum Cyber look to greatly expand their global footprint as they move towards an important phase in their own internationalisation strategy.

For his own part, Robert is extremely excited to have the opportunity to work with an organisation that display the same values, ethos and, most importantly, desire to protect organisations against the rising threat of cyber-attacks within the digital landscape; an environment which is seeing hugely increasing significance across all sectors as the world moves towards a much more blended model of office-based and home-based working in the face of the recent global pandemic.

“I am at the stage now in my own career where I am fortunate enough to decide who I work alongside, and I am delighted to have the opportunity to work with Quorum Cyber. I like the culture and values of the organisation and am impressed by the rich and diverse pool of talent working at the company. I am excited to join the company, and hope that my experience & skill set will add value & complement the existing team. Quorum Cyber are heading in a very positive direction and I am happy to be involved at such an important stage.”

Speaking about Robert’s appointment, Quorum Cyber Managing Director, Federico Charosky, added:

I’m incredibly proud that Robert has agreed to join our Board. His history, background and experience are second-to-none and to know that we will have Robert on-hand for advice and guidance in our exciting journey ahead is a massive boost to the team.

— Federico Charosky, Managing Director, Quorum Cyber