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Cyber Security Challenge CEO Stephanie Daman Remembered

Stephanie Daman, CEO of Cyber Security Challenge UK, has died at the age of 56 following a long battle with cancer.

Reported on the Cyber Security Challenge website, her obituary read: “During nearly five years at the helm of Cyber Security Challenge UK, Stephanie oversaw a step change in the number and variety of activities it undertook; nurturing it on the journey from an ambitious start-up to a well-established and mature not-for-profit company consistently punching above its weight.

“She introduced programmes specifically targeted at universities and schools; expanded the Challenge’s network of sponsors and supporters and even ensured that the UK is a key member of the steering committee for the European Cyber Security Challenge.”

Before joining the board of Cyber Security Challenge UK, Stephanie worked as a Government security official where her postings included the British Embassy in Washington DC and the Cabinet Office. She was later head of group information risk at HSBC, and a founder member and creator of Get Safe Online.

She was also an active member of both the Information Assurance Advisory Council and the Risk and Security Management Forum. Nigel Harrison will assume duty as acting CEO for the time being.

Jay Abbott, ‎executive director of Falanx Cyber Defence, told Infosecurity: “Steph was a fighter, she fought for the challenge from day one. It was a pleasure to work with her. She always had a way of just saying ‘Well tough, let’s just get on with it’ whenever a problem or conflict arose, and it was that attitude that pushed the challenge forward.

“Stephanie’s grit and determination took what was a core set of ideals that I and others shared in the early days of the challenge and made them into an organization that could deliver on them. She really was a remarkable person, and she will be missed.”

Bryony Chinnery, PR and marketing manager of Cyber Security Challenge UK, told Infosecurity that Daman was “an inspirational woman, who supported many throughout her career.

“She had a real passion for her job and for helping people to succeed, no matter their ambition” Chinnery added. “She played a big part in getting me to where I am today and I will always be thankful for that, as I’m sure hundreds of others will. Her legacy will continue in those who she helped and, of course, in her daughter Katrina.”

Consultant Dr Jessica Barker, who worked closely with Stephanie on the development of the Challenge program, told Infosecurity: “Stephanie had an incredibly positive impact on cybersecurity in the UK, she was a driving force for getting people aware of and interested in cybersecurity careers.

“I first spoke to Stephanie about her mission with the Cyber Security Challenge many years ago at an event in Gateshead. She was so passionate about engaging young people of all backgrounds. That passion was infectious and inspiring. She will be sadly missed by anyone who was fortunate enough to have known her. Her legacy is a more secure UK, having empowered so many people in this country to engage in cybersecurity. My thoughts are with her family, friends and colleagues.”

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