Projects and Assignments

SANS Institute

Completing a Series of Red-Team CTF challenges

Each year the SANS Institute - the internationally renowned cyber-security training and knowledge-sharing organisation - organises a capture-the-flag (CTF) competition in which security experts are invited to complete a series of red-team (i.e. simulated computer hacking) challenges, to develop and demonstrate their understanding of cyber-security risks.

The 2018 challenge dubbed KringleCon included a virtual conference with content from SANS team members and collaborators, along with 12 CTF challenges of varying difficulties. Mike joined KringleCon for some post-Christmas entertainment and to update his practical knowledge of cyber threats, completing ten and a half out of the twelve challenges unaided and within the competition time limits. He completed the final challenges with a bit of help from other participants after the deadline. You can read about the challenges (which are still open for you to try if you're interested) here and Mike's notes on completing the challenges here.


International Fortune 500 Utilities and Energy Business

Preparing Board-level briefing on proposed cyber-security governance

Cogitant worked with the VP for Information Technology to prepare a short Board update covering proposals to update cyber-security organisation and processes.

Ivy-League University

Developing an Information Security Lecture for Presentation to MBA Students

Cogitant was commissioned to develop a one-hour lecture for delivery to MBA students as part of the Risk Management curriculum at one of the USA's top universities. The content included a broad introduction to the topic along with a series of case-study examples and best practices for managing cyber-security risks.

International Fortune 500 Utilities and Energy Business

Preparing IT Strategy Presentation for Exec and Senior Management Annual Conference

Cogitant worked with the VP for Information Technology and team to produce a keynote presentation on IT strategy for a corporate senior management conference. Mike prepared a coherent and visually appealing set of slides summarising work previously undertaken with the client, and showcasing two success stories associated with global sharing of knowledge and capabilities in a largely federal organisation.

Major International Energy Company

Adapting and Applying Due Diligence approach for a new type of business

Cogitant was engaged from the earliest stages of evaluating this electric vehicle charging technology and services business. Mike studied the target business and developed a due diligence approach reflecting the business model and activities, many of which were new to the client organisation. As management of an extensive charging point network and relationships with EV owners formed an important part of the value in the deal, Information Technology matters had high focus and visibility throughout the pre-sale and pre-completion phases. Scope of work included IT standards, policies and procedures as well as technologies deployed, with particular emphasis on digital security. As the client's first acquisition post GDPR implementation deadline there was also addition focus on approach to personal data privacy. The deal completed slightly ahead of plan in July 2018.

High-growth Service Provider to the Pharmaceutical Industry

Choosing a New Infrastructure Service Provider

Cogitant provided process, commercial and subject matter expertise to support an infrastructure services RFP and selection process for this client. Mike helped develop a robust RFP document and contributed to the list of suppliers to be approached. He worked with the client IT team to review and rate prospective suppliers and proposals through the shortlisting and formal evaluation stages, and sat as part of the final selection panel. He supported the CIO and team in contract review and commercial negotiation stages, helping secure a sound agreement on reasonable terms. The contract was awarded in February 2018.

International Fortune 500 Utilities and Energy Business

Briefing Corporate Execs on technology developments and new strategy

Cogitant worked with the VP for Information Technology to refine thinking around a new cloud-first infrastructure strategy, and prepare materials for the Board-level audience. Mike then developed pre-read and presentation materials for the meeting explaining the proposed technology and organisational approach to move towards infrastructure harmonisation and better sharing of scarce resources across the group. The presentation was well received and proposed approaches endorsed.

Major International Energy Company

Pre-sale information publication and project initiation with buyer

Cogitant collated information from multiple sources and prepared IT documentation to support the sale process for this offshore asset sale. Mike met with the prospective buyer before and after signing to discuss IT applications, infrastructure and communication system associated with the asset, and to review transition options and plans.