Fatema Hashmi Accenture Graduate

Fatema Hashmi

University of Melbourne
Security Consulting Analyst
Fatema studied Masters in Information Systems (MIS) at University of Melbourne

What's your job about?

I Work as a Security Consulting Analyst with different clients.

Currently working with a health and public service client, aiding in process improvement for security operations. Areas of responsibility includes observing processes, analysing gaps and suggest changes which would address the same. A typical day would include daily monitoring tasks, getting/providing status updates on assigned tasks, reviewing current process and making amends to bring it to current form, understanding the cyber-security space and being constantly aware of vulnerabilities etc.

Understanding possible threats to the clients’ information and gauging the acceptance of the risks involved. Becoming a process-champion stemmed from the IRAP assessment which I facilitated for six months and helped create documents for audit work.

For a teenager this is similar to the evacuation drill which takes place at schools to understand how long it will take to bring everyone to safety in times of an emergency and if any alterations are required to make it safer.

What's your background?

Born in central India, I come from a very tight-knit-middle-class nuclear family where education and quality of life was paramount for us (me and my sister). Completed high-school in India and then migrated to Melbourne in 2009. Leaving home for higher studies was a huge leap both financially (for my father) and culturally (for me). I completed my Bachelors in Information Technology from Federation University in 2011. Since then I have worked for a few companies including Skilled, TOLL Group and Mercedes-Benz as a System Administrator.

I have always loved studying and the process of learning and interacting with people; and to contribute to society. My experience at the aforesaid organisations made me think and encompass how upper level management decisions impact employees and their daily tasks. As a private person, privacy has always been a concern in this ever-growing digital world. It was then that I realised that pursuing Security as part of Information Systems would kill two birds with one stone. I started Masters as a part-timer (working full-time) and applied for Accenture upon its completion. I have been with the organisation for almost a year now.

A life-changing story which I would like to share is how I migrated. I always wanted to pursue chemical engineering and wanted to study inter-state in India. My father being the sole bread-winner of the family was willing to provide for my education at that time. However, amid working out the finances and which college to attend in India, my father’s old friend suggested him to send me overseas (AU in this instance) with the same capital investment. My father casually asked if I would be interested and without much thought, I said ‘Sure, why not!!’. And the rest is history. Key thing here is that never say no to any opportunity, it might be not what you want but it will be worth exploring.

Could someone with a different background do your job?

Facilitating IRAP assessment is a very niche area of security belonging to Governance, Risk and Compliance stream.

One needs to have a basic understanding of what an assessment and audit work is like. It is imperative to have an IT background to be able to understand the ISM controls (against which the assessment is conducted) and the aptitude to quickly grasp and seek or infer evidence (from the process/system/project which is being assessed) to support findings; 

Job is very document-heavy and the processes need to be clearly and precisely articulated to meet compliance.

I do not think someone from a Non-IT background can do the job.

What's the coolest thing about your job?

To be able to impact change in the field of cyber security is the coolest thing about my current job.

Personally, I am very much change-driven and tangible-goal-oriented. Being able to contribute toward service-delivery and process-improvement at any scale makes me want to come to work. Through auditing I get to analyse the overall process which makes learning very interesting and assessments followed by recommendation ensures that work never becomes mundane.

Travel opportunity and flexibility to work from any location allows me to continue teaching children as well.

What are the limitations of your job?

Mainly there are two specific limitations which one needs to conquer at both personal and professional level.

  • Setting the expectation right at the very beginning. It doesn’t sound like much of a limitation but at work when tasks are being assigned daily understanding clearly what is expected out of a task is imperative. It also aids in analysing the effort required and the capability to deliver.
  • Communicate adequately. Assessment and audit work requires constant and clear communication between involved parties. One should be able to assert and articulate their own opinion very clearly.

3 pieces of advice for yourself when you were a student...

  • Time is NOT money!! Because lost time cannot be earned back. Make the most of every second you get.
  • Be productive even when procrastinating. For Instance, if you had to procrastinate between laundry, groceries and assignment review; and prefer watching Netflix- then watch something which is positive and useful. Or do laundry and groceries instead. It is still productive.
  • Grow each day, be a better version of yourself than you were yesterday. Every act counts.