In a measure of the hotness of people working in cybersecurity in investment banks, several of Morgan Stanley's senior cybersecurity professionals seem to have discovered that they can move into jobs elsewhere.
Morgan Stanley isn't commenting on the exits from its cyber team, but insiders say there have been several globally in the past year. Instead of going to other banks, people who leave are typically choosing to work for technology firms.
One of the most recent defectors is Arun Kumar, a senior member of Morgan Stanley's threat hunt analytics and engineering team in Glasgow. Kumar, who resigned a few weeks ago, has joined Fastly, a cloud computing provider. He'd been at Morgan Stanley for over 15 years.
Other recent exits are more junior. Aviva Cohen, a scenario development program lead at Morgan Stanley in Baltimore, left in June to join TikTok as a team lead in threat defense.
A similar smattering of exits took place in 2021. Most notably, Karl Anderson, an executive director and distinguished engineer at Morgan Stanley in Baltimore, quit to become a principal security engineer at AWS. Christina Parry, a former security and data engineer at Morgan Stanley in New York, left after around four years in October 2021 to join Twitter's detection and response team according to her LinkedIn profile.
The exits come as banks are battling for cybersecurity talent, both with technology firms and with the crypto sector. "It’s extremely difficult to hire world-class people in the cybersecurity space," says Dean Looney, a headhunter at Rupert Dean Associates. "The problem is that the very best people don't want to work for banks," says another technology recruiter. "They don't necessarily even want to work for the big tech firms - the very best people want to work for themselves."
Morgan Stanley is currently hiring cyber-professionals for its offices in Glasgow, Baltimore, London, and Singapore. Glassdoor indicates that the bank's Glasgow cybersecurity specialists earn salaries of £40k-80k, while their London peers earn salaries of up to £125k.
Banks aren't just hiring traditional cyber talent. JPMorgan recently recruited Charles Lim, a quantum encryption expert, to help prepare for the day when quantum computers render existing methods of encryption obsolete.
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