About Mike Aspinall
Michael manages the Information & Cyber Security desk at Rutherford, a London and US-based recruitment firm which specialises in information & cyber security, compliance, financial crime and legal searches within financial services. After completing a degree in Business and Financial Services at the University of Sheffield, Michael quickly moved into the recruitment industry, focusing from the beginning in finding top information and cyber security talent within the financial services sector.
His professional journey started at a renowned global recruitment organisation, where he quickly established himself as an expert in his market by placing candidates at all levels for some of the UK's biggest banks and insurance companies. He then moved on to another small hiring firm to build their Information and Cyber Security practice from the ground up. He now joins Rutherford as Head of Information Security, Cyber & Technology to grow the business' Cyber Security market across the UK and the United States.
What does success look like to you?
In recruitment, success comes in different forms. Naturally, there is the commercial aspect, which provides a huge sense of accomplishment at the end of the day. Knowing that you are hitting your targets on a monthly, quarterly or yearly basis makes you proud and motivates you for the next step in your career.
But success in recruitment goes beyond the pure commercial side of things: it is also about feeling like you are helping people. I always get a rush whenever I have supported a client in sourcing its next team member or when I help someone find their dream position.
How did you improve your knowledge on the sector you work in?
When I started my career in information and cyber security recruitment, I had no idea what penetration testing or incident response was. I realised I had to gain knowledge in the sector if I wanted to build strong relationships with some of the best professionals in that market. I therefore decided to fully immerse myself in the industry by meeting specialists in the space and talking to them about what they do. I also attended numerous industry events, met infosec and cyber security professionals on a one-to-one basis and read several books on the different niches across the sector.
People love to talk about they do, especially if it is a passion of theirs. I feel like I have learned not to be afraid to ask questions or to make mistakes.
What changes do you anticipate in the future within the security space?
Information & cyber security is an ever-changing landscape with new threats on the horizon at any given time. Based on this, I think we will see in the future a considerable shift towards artificial intelligence. AI and Machine Learning are growing in sophistication and capability, with the former being used to build automated security systems making it easier to analyse much larger data sets at a faster rate.
Criminal networks are increasingly taking advantage of AI to automate their attacks and they now have more sophisticated ways to breach defences. I think firms will start to implement more AI-powered security solutions to streamline threat detection efforts and potentially save millions in the event of a data breach.
What do you enjoy the most about your job?
There are numerous things I thoroughly enjoy about the recruitment industry. First, I really like it's fast-paced environment, where no two days are the same. I also feel like the sector allows you to truly have control over your own destiny as you get out of it what you put in - the smarter and harder you work, the more you can reap the benefits.