Working at northwave: Meet Anniek!

‘Working at Northwave’ can mean a variety of things. Some people are on the road a lot, to meet clients or to help save a company when they are faced with a cyberattack, others are helping clients from our office. In this blog, we talk to Anniek about her position as Consultant Behaviour and Training.

Curious what she does at Northwave? Then let’s dive in!

ANNIEK, YOU ARE AT A PARTY AND SOMEONE ASKS YOU WHAT YOU DO AS A CONSULTANT BEHAVIOUR AND TRAINING. WHAT DO YOU ANSWER?

“As a security and behaviour Consultant I’m part of the behaviour and training team, where we create and develop different interventions adapted to the organization. The goal of these interventions is to make people more aware of cyber risks and how people’s behavior can contribute to a safer digital journey. An important part of this is that I explain, show and teach this ‘cybersafe behavior’ to employees, and we do so in a fun and interactive way. 

Mainly I work on developing specific interventions applicable for departments within different organizations aligned with their understanding of security. Besides this, I organize webinars and provide (online) trainings, for instance a phishing training or a ‘hackersmind’ training in which participants learn how a hacker thinks. We are not only doing this for organizations throughout The Netherlands, but also in other European countries.

WHAT IS THE MOST EXCITING PART OF YOUR JOB?

“The most exciting part of my job is the variety of clients and organizations I work with. Different types of people and environments keep the work interesting to me. When we work on the projects, the best part for me is the impact we make. It is great to see the clients’ employees become aware and on top of that they show a real change in their behaviour. Lastly, when the client provides us with positive feedback and spreads the word about our program, I feel extremely proud.”

WHAT DOES A DAILY WORKING DAY LOOK LIKE?

“Cliché, but no two days are the same. Partly because I am working for multiple clients at the same time. But to give an idea, a day could look like this for instance: I start the day by working together with my colleagues from our technical unit (Red Team) to develop a new training. Then I have a meeting with a client to discuss our behaviour program and at the end of the day I have a meeting with my colleagues to discuss ideas for new training programs.”

CAN YOU TELL US SOMETHING ABOUT A RECENT PROJECT YOU WORKED ON?

“Yes, sure! I have two nice examples. First, we developed a multi-year program in which we developed a cycle that is most effective to create a real change in behaviour. Every month, the organization scheduled a moment to acquire new knowledge. For example, for a client we made a kick-off video in which their CEO participated, we developed workshops for the managers about the impact of exemplary behavior as a manager, crisis management, phishing tests and we publish cool video’s with real cyber attacks stories with in the end behaviour tips on how to mitigate these cyberattacks. These videos can be watched on a learning platform for the company. But I think the best part was our ‘ACT! Cyber Safe escape room-challenge’ inside a book. The book functioned as a safe and participants in the challenge had to use their cyber knowledge to find the solution to the puzzles in order to open the safe.  

Another cool project was a collaboration with one of our technical teams, the Red Team. We often work together with our technical- and business team. For this specific project I worked together with Luc who is a very skilled ethical hacker! We created a phishing test for which we developed a phishing mail. I managed the intake, was the main point of contact for the client and provided the behavioural training after the phishing test was conducted. Though I am familiar with the psychological side to phishing emails, it was interesting for me when Luc taught me about the technical part of the test and how to set up a phishing mail.”

WHAT IS THE BEHAVIOUR AND TRAINING TEAM LIKE?

“The best team within Northwave! We have as many men as women and are still growing fast. Every Friday we have a meeting together, which is kind of a ‘check-in’. These meetings are so much fun and consist of a lot of laughter and jokes. We all have very different backgrounds and knowledge, which helps us to gain new perspectives. Besides this meeting we also do fun stuff together with the team. For example, we are going to Giethoorn soon for two teambuilding days.”

WOULD YOU RECOMMEND OTHERS TO WORK AT NORTHWAVE, AND WHY?

“Yes! I can’t think of a reason why anyone would not want to work for Northwave. As you can tell from my previous answers, I do a lot of cool stuff and the culture is amazing!”