Shaking off old public sector security perceptions at L&Q Group

CISO Goher Mohammad discusses how the public sector's approach to security is changing and what the private sector can learn from it.

Goher Mohammad, CISO / head of infosec at charitable housing association L&Q Group.
L&Q Group

The public sector is traditionally known for being slow, bureaucratic, often underfunded, and full of legacy technology. But public sector organisations are evolving how they approach and deliver security to become more agile, keep costs down and reduce risks without increasing burdens on often under-resourced security teams.

CSO spoke with Goher Mohammad, head of infosec at charitable housing association L&Q Group, about how the public sector is catching up with the private sector around security. Mohammad has worked in both the public and private sectors. Prior to joining L&Q in 2018, he had a number of roles at organisations including PhotoBox Group, Merill Corporation and GMR Marketing.

CSO: What are some of the common perceptions around public sector?

Mohammad: When I joined L&Q, the perception for me for the housing association was they build homes; they're a construction company. Actually, there's a huge technology team behind that workforce to make these things happen. It's definitely not what I expected; it's a lot better.

It's that old perception that it's old fashioned, that housing associations and these kind of sectors are often seen as quite backward and slow. We’re not in line with the tech startups and we're not cool and functioning within the latest cutting-edge stuff.

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