Meet Our Advisory Group

The NEBRC has a fantastic Advisory Group, currently made up of the below organisations. These Members have a real interest in supporting the Centre.

Advisory Group Members meet quarterly and with being well connected in the community, are able to steer and influence the direction of the NEBRC.

Find out more about our Advisory Group Members below.

Biju Issac

Northumbria University

Dr Biju Issac is the Programme Leader of ‘Computer Network & Cybersecurity’ and ‘Computer & Digital Forensics’ courses at Northumbria University with around 300 students. He has done PhD in Networking and Mobile Communications, Master of Computer Applications (MCA) and Bachelor of Engineering (BE) in Electronics and Communication Engineering. He is a Chartered Engineer (CEng), Senior IEEE member and Fellow of HEA. Northumbria University is recognized as an Academic Centre of Excellence in Cyber Security Research (ACE-CSR) by NCSC and EPSRC. He founded 'Northumbria Cyber Clinic' in 2018, where the Cybersecurity and Digital Forensics students are trained in ethical hacking and pen-testing using Kali Linux tools every week to prepare them for the industry.


His research interests are in computer networks, cybersecurity, AI/machine learning applications (in security, text mining, image processing etc.) and technology in education. He is currently involved in cybersecurity and AI/machine learning projects with PhD students under him and his personal research website is

Christopher Tait


Dr Christopher Tait has over 15 years in the IT Security industry and since opening Layer 7 IT Security in 2010, has focused on delivering specialist security services to Public Sector and their supply chain in the areas of Security Architecture, Information Assurance and penetration testing.


In recent years Chris has focused upon defensive AWS security architectures and Continuous Security Integration pipelines.  

Craig Wilson

Atom Bank

Craig Wilson is the Head of Operational Risk at Atom bank, the UK’s first app-only bank which is based in Durham.


Craig has worked in a variety of financial services roles for over 15 years, focussing primarily on operational risk and compliance.  He is currently responsible for leading Atom’s Operational Risk function as well as overseeing the bank’s Enterprise Risk Management Framework and governance activities.  Craig is also responsible for Business Continuity Planning and is heavily involved in the Operational Resilience Programme that has been established in line with regulatory developments aimed at increasing resilience with regard to technology, cyber and physical threats.

Helen Hassen

Atom Bank

Helen Hassen is the Head of Financial Crime and Money Laundering Reporting Officer at Atom Bank, the UK’s first app-only bank which is based in Durham. 


With over 25 years’ experience in financial services, Helen's role covers anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing, bribery and corruption, fraud prevention and whistleblowing risk and compliance.  Helen is a member of the UK Finance Money Laundering Advisory Panel and their MLRO Network Group and is also on the NCA’s Challenger Bank Working Group. 

Melanie Oldham

Bobs Business

Melanie Oldham is the founder and driving force behind Bob’s Business, an award winning and leading cyber security awareness training and phishing simulations provider. Melanie has racked up over 10 years experience in the cyber security sector and has become a reputable and well-respected force within the industry.  

Bob’s Business has delivered awareness campaigns to organisations of all shapes and sizes, from 10 users through to 70,000 users. Last year, they educated 210,000 users. 

Melanie is also the founder of the Yorkshire Cyber Security Cluster, a collaborative group that works together to reduce cyber security within the region. The cluster brings together local businesses, academics, the police and experts to discuss, collaborate and educate on the key issues facing the region. 

Mike Hudson 


Mike Hudson has over 22 years’ experience in the information technology field, he now spends his time protecting Arco’s (a UK based health and safety supplies and services retailer) network from internal and external adversaries, whilst delivering cyber security awareness to its 1600 members of staff. He is a qualified lead auditor for ISO 27001, and is the technical lead of the implementation of ISO 27001 for Arco, and is currently studying for his CISSP. Mike is actively involved with Humberside’s Cyber Prevent teams on awareness events in the region.

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Shahrzad Zargari

Sheffield Hallam University

Shahrzad is a passionate and active advocate of Digital Forensics & Cyber Security. Having built a

large and effective network of contacts, she has enriched the teaching of Digital Forensics at Sheffield Hallam University ensuring that what is taught delivers to our students excellent experiences and life opportunities. The collaborations she has built up have facilitated the universities work with Regional Police Forces, Industry, Academia, Government and Professional Bodies.  

Shahrzad's background in Data Mining & Applied Statistics served as the building block for her expansion into the Cyber Security subject domain. Her academic and industry qualifications include: 15 years of work experience in the IT sector, a PhD in Applied Statistics, Industry certification with mainstream forensics tools (including Cellebrite mobile phone forensics), an MSc in Forensic Computing & Security, a BSc(Hons) in Statistics, a PgCert in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education and attendance of recognised SANS training courses.


Shahrzad also has extensive professional skills including statistical analysis, mathematical modelling, data mining, enterprise management, digital forensics, intrusion detection & incident response, ethical hacking and expert witness testimony.​

Stewart Hogg


Stewart joined Waterstons following the completion of a physics degree at Durham University. He has a keen interest in technology and utilises the problem-solving skills gained through his degree to provide innovative solutions to complex problems. Stewart has a strong interest in Information Security, Business Continuity and IT Service Management and through several years of experience as an IT Manager has developed these areas as a specialism.


Stewart now focuses on working with clients to help them align with security and continuity frameworks such as ISO 27001 and ISO 22301 by optimising the areas of people, processes and technologies to reduce risk and deliver business value.   

Phil Anderson

Northumbria University 

Philip Anderson has over 18 years teaching experience in Higher Education with over 13 years subject expertise in developing and delivering taught digital and computer forensic modules and most recently the lead for Digital Policing elements in the new Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship Programme.  He is currently undertaking a PhD in automatic online grooming detection through artificial intelligence. He is a Senior Fellow of the HEA. Philip is on the register of experts for the European Network and Information Security Agency (ENISA) in 2010, 2014 and 2017 for identifying emerging and future ICT risks in the area of Information Security Risk Assessment and Management and has been the project lead and co- author for four ENISA reports on improving the cooperation between law enforcement, CSIRTs and the Judiciary.   

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The Business Resilience Centre for the North East (NEBRC) is a non-profit organisation which exists to support and help protect North East England businesses from cyber crimes.

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