What's My Story?
Discover why I do what I do and what lead me to it
What's My Story?
Discover why I do what I do and what lead me to it
Firstly, welcome entrepreneur! My name is Jane Frankland and I’m the Founder of KnewStart. If you’re a cyber security entrepreneur who’s looking to grow a profitable, scalable and enjoyable business, or a cyber security professional who wants to reach your career potential, then you’ve come to the right place. Through KnewStart I make this simple and effective. By using my frameworks, I help you understand what you have to do and in what order. I guarantee you more career fulfillment, and if you’re a business owner more sales, profits and a business that you’ll love working in. So who am I and what’s the story?
The corporate version…
Jane Frankland is an award-winning entrepreneur, speaker, author, and consultant in cybersecurity and entrepreneurism. Founder and Managing Director of KnewStart, a consultancy that offers niche consulting, coaching and training services, she works with a wide range of clients from CISOs at listed multinationals to cybersecurity entrepreneurs of ambitious, fast-growth startups.
Jane has almost 20-years worth of experience in information security and is one of the top, verified influencers in the UK market. She has built and sold her own multi million dollar global penetration testing firm, Corsaire, held senior executive positions at several large PLCs, including the NCC Group and been an SC Awards Judge for Europe and the USA. Over the years Jane has been actively involved in OWASP, CREST, and the Cyber Essentials Scheme, and has served as a Board Advisor for a large European CISO forum. She has authored many articles, been featured in leading publications and been invited to appear on iconic British media programmes. She has a BA (Hons) in Woven Textile Design and is a Fellow of the Institute of Sales and Marketing Managers (ISMM).
Jane is driven by her three children, an obsession to deliver outstanding quality and to make a positive difference in the world. Believing passionately in entrepreneurship, freedom and empowerment her vision is to strengthen cyber space with an optimised, gender diverse cybersecurity workforce. It’s why she authored IN Security and created IN Crowdd, a global community that stands behind a mission to connect, inspire and empower cybersecurity professionals.
The question you’ll hear her ask the most in business is ‘what’s your objective.’ The reason why is obvious. Unless you know why you’re doing something why do it at all. Time is precious!
My greatest achievements are my three children. I’m a mum to two boys and a girl and this is my most favourite job. It makes me proud every single day. After this comes my career. By the time I was 29-years old (as a single parent) I’d built a 7-figure business from the ground up, organically. Whilst many may think this a huge achievement it’s not actually the hardest thing in business to do. The hardest thing is turning around a company that’s failing. Ask anyone who’s done it.
So let me start at the beginning and tell you more…
I’m an ambitious, driven and passionate individual – a ‘high achiever’ who makes winning a habit. I’m sure you know the sort. I’ve a diverse background, from being nominated as a Young British Designer after graduating, to building a leading global cyber security firm (that specialized in penetration testing) and working with some of the world’s biggest brands. It’s a strange combination but you’ll understand why in a moment.
My life changed direction when I fell pregnant straight after graduating.
As a child I wanted to be a vet but as I was creative I pursued art until my mid twenties. Highlights included being nominated as a Young British Designer; selling work in New York, London, Paris and Tokyo – to art galleries (including Christies) and fashion houses. Whilst it may sound glamorous, my life at that point was not. In reality I was broke and as a single parent could barely support my family.
So, a change had to be made. I was advised to leave my art behind and get ‘a proper job.’
I retrained and entered sales, working my socks off for Hays Plc, a listed corporate that specialised in recruitment. I rose through the ranks quickly, and could do the job with ease. Seeking a new challenge, and when an opportunity presented itself, I decided to set up a technology consultancy, that lead with security with a partner – as you do! The company had enormous successes winning clients such as Microsoft, Barclays, Marks & Spencer, John Lewis, William Hill, Betfair, Bet365, Allianz, Legal & General, RSA, Axa to name but a few. It also had spectacular failures which took every bit of effort – hard sweat and capital – to turn around.
After 13 years, my business partner and life partner called time on our relationship. I was forced to leave our company, with him in control. I ended up joining a £120 million revenue generating corporate – the largest cyber security company in Europe. There, I was an Associate Director of Operations for the SE of England, USA and Australian divisions; a Business Process Owner for SAP (a £6.5m project), lead a pre ISO9001 audit, and played an instrumental role in re-branding the Group’s latest acquisitions. After heading up business development for a South African company entering Europe and having to compete against my own company, I realised that I owed something to myself. It was time to be honest, stop the pain, feed my soul and get back to my creative roots as an entrepreneur. It was time to step up once again, take a leap of faith and show some courage.
For me that meant resigning from that job and starting this business. You see, I felt compelled to champion entrepreneurship and to use all my business development skills to satisfy my own burning desire for helping other entrepreneurs achieve success. And, that was what I thought I’d be doing from then on, but life has a funny way of steering you onto the right path, just when you think you’ve got it all worked out.
In November 2015, something happened. I read a report by (ISC)2 on the low numbers of women in cyber security, which shocked me to my core. Feeling compelled to write about it, I published my view on LinkedIn. The feedback I received was overwhelming, positive, and I knew more had to be done. Since then, I’ve spent the last 18-months reviewing the situation, performing research, interviewing women and men from all over the world, and gathering stories. I’ve assessed the problem, and looked for solutions, which I’ve provided in my book, ‘IN Security: How a failure to attract and retain women in cyber security is making us all less safe and what to do about it.’ I’ve also launched a community, called IN Crowdd, which stands behind a mission to champion excellence and diversity in cyber security. Its membership is all about knowledge share, empowerment, and community. It’s the place where smart women and men go to become more valuable, inspired and connected in cyber security at all stages of their career. It welcomes individuals, corporates and entrepreneurs – those who are just starting in the industry, those who’ve taken a break and are returning to the workplace, and those who are at the top of their game.
By creating initiatives like IN Crowdd, and an IN Security pledge that is coming soon, and contributing to others like GiveADay, The Analogies Project, ClubCISO, Ada, the National College for Digital Skills, BCS, CompTIA, ISSA, the Information Security Forum (ISF), OWASP, (ISC)2, and CREST within cyber security I have the best of both worlds. I work with some of the coolest people I know, helping them to grow their businesses or their careers through modern, effective practices, and I get to give back. I love it!
As Steve Jobs said in his Stanford Commencement Speech, “Stay hungry. Stay foolish. Love what you do. Then you’ll achieve great results!”
Forever in gratitude and excited about serving you,
20 unknown facts about me…
- Horses are in my soul and I started riding when I was 2 (note my parents are not horsey).
- I’m passionate about animal welfare and conservation, and I’ve been a vegetarian since I was 4.
- I love books and could read long before going to school.
- I also love fashion and designed (and produced) my first dress at 4.
- My first stab at being an entrepreneur was at 6 when my brother and I decided to put on a puppet show. My next was at 19 and it paid for a 2-week holiday abroad with “the boyfriend.”
- I taught myself how to play the piano when I was 6, the clarinet a few years ago, and have been applying the same principle to personal development and learning since.
- By the time I was 11 I’d been to 7 schools, lived in Rio de Janiero, Scotland and much of England.
- I represented my riding school for show jumping when I was 13, winning multiple prizes, and had my first horse at 15. I worked every weekend for 5-years to pay for him.
- All of my holidays as a child involved climbing and walking mountains in The Lake District and The Scottish Highlands, or surfing in Cornwall.
- I graduated in woven textile design from Loughborough School of Art (now part of the university), was nominated as a Young British Designer shortly after and sold work in Christies.
- I had my first child a year after graduating; had 2 more children nine and ten years later, and have raised them on my own for much of their lives.
- My brother and I worked together for 7.5 years.
- I’m very sensitive and deeply drawn to the moon.
- I keep chickens, have a black and white moggy (cat) and a Weimaraner (dog).
- I’m an introvert, and although I like the city I prefer to live in the countryside.
- I’m very active and swim, snorkel, surf, ski, snowboard, walk, ride, cycle, dance and do yoga.
- I read every day and only watch films and TV series (currently House of Cards).
- The only thing I say I’m brilliant at is making pancakes; I suck at waiting tables and am pretty sure I wasn’t created for domesticity! 😉
- If I wasn’t doing what I’m doing now I’d be a photographer or an architect.
- If I could be granted one wish it would be to see more love in the world.