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Hot on the heels of an acquisition, expanding security and managed services specialist Advantage has added a key hire with Melvin Pather coming on board as an ICT Security and Cloud Specialist based in Auckland. Advantage recently announced the purchase of Wellington’s Nspire as it builds a nationwide presence adding to its Palmerston North headquarters and established Auckland offices, and now brings senior talent on board in its core information security competency.

Advantage MD Brad Pearpoint welcomes Pather to the company. “Talent is one of the biggest challenges facing multiple industries across New Zealand, and the problem is acute in information security,” he says. “Melvin is a high calibre hire and we expect our clients will benefit from his proven capabilities, broad knowledge, and practical approach to the ongoing challenge of cybersecurity.”

Highly qualified, Pather has a Bachelor of Commerce in accounting, and another in business management, combining with 14 years’ practical experience in industries including the medical, banking and audit verticals. As an ISACA (Information Systems Audit and Control Association) member, Pather holds a Control Objectives for Information and Related Technologies (COBIT) certification and has the distinction of being the first individual to roll out a cyber resilience programme improving the security posture of organisations he previously worked with.

Pather started his career as an external auditor, became an accountant and then financial manager, before transitioning into IT operations. This experience provides him with invaluable insights into business operations; with effective cybersecurity solutions encompassing people, process and technology, he offers a knowledgeable perspective for developing integrated approaches to information security management. He also has extensive knowledge and understanding of various frameworks and standards and how best to put them in place and roll them out in organisations. With a comprehensive approach to cybersecurity, Pather believes continuous learning is essential and is currently pursuing Certified Information Security Manager (CISM) certification.

Hailing from South Africa , he has relocated to New Zealand to take up the role with Advantage. “I’ve come to New Zealand in pursuit of a higher quality of life for my family and have quickly found that the people, values, and culture here are extraordinary,” says Pather. “As a father it is an honour to now call New Zealand home; joining Advantage is fortunate as it is a growing company offering an expanding range of solutions which support clients in accomplishing their strategic goals. That aligns well with the value and experience I offer, so I am looking forward to engaging with clients and working to improve cyber resilience.”

Pather says he seeks to bridge the gap between senior management strategic objectives and security objectives. “This is achieved through robust engagement and clear communications with key stakeholders, with information security risk a component in the overall risk management framework.”

He confesses to a passion for cybersecurity. “I’ve always loved technology and people; those are two of the three essential factors in good information security. The final one is process, and in that regard, I work to help take care of management objectives with cyber security integral to the conversation rather than perceived as a barrier.”

The key differentiator for Advantage is its people, says Pearpoint. “Yes, we offer great technology. But it only becomes a solution when the right expertise is applied. Melvin has that rare combination of technical and business perspectives of general IT as well as specific cybersecurity environments. And that’s talent New Zealand needs right now.”

Pather’s appointment is effective immediately.