“You can rest easy that your payment card data’s safe in our hands”
Bee Modhwadia – Information Security Governance and Compliance Manager
You can’t see us, but we’re the team in the background making sure that every time you choose to stay at Premier Inn, or eat with us in our restaurants, your data’s protected.
We don’t take this responsibility lightly; as a leader within the hospitality industry and with more than 6 million transactions going through our systems annually, we apply multiple layers of stringent controls to ensure our guests' data is protected.
We have successfully maintained our compliance to the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS) for the last 7 years, I’m proud to say.
Before joining Whitbread, I was an information security consultant, specialising in the ISO27001 framework, travelling the world at the drop of a hat. It was a great job for racking up the air miles but not so good for raising a young family. When Whitbread approached me to join in a consultancy capacity, the opportunity to be a part of a FTSE100 company that was right on my doorstep was a big pull.
At the time I was looking for a work/life balance rather than a step up the career ladder. But the idea of joining as an analyst in the new GRC department excited me. The conversation switched to focus on this area and how I might be a better fit for that role.
I took the plunge and within two years, I was promoted to manager. As the business has expanded and our technology advanced, the team has doubled in size to cope with the additional scope and is expected to increase further as Whitbread grows.
Life moves fast, and at Whitbread we need to keep up with the latest innovations. We welcome the new and emerging Artificial Intelligence technologies and it will be my team responsible for the governance and policies to safeguard the use of such powerful tools.
It’s an exciting time to join us. I remember the opening of our first Premier Inn hotel in Frankfurt and now we’re well on the way to becoming the leading hotel brand in Germany. Whitbread have ambitious plans to keep expanding year on year and it's thrilling to be a part of that.
Plus Whitbread actually cares! I’ve never before had the opportunity to self-develop on company time before. Whitbread has invested in Udemy Pro and set time aside for each of us to develop our knowledge and skillset. It's training to ensure our skillsets remain current.
I started my career in InfoSec late, at the age of 31 and with my children in school. I became an Auditor and took to it really well. So well that within 18 months, I was Global Manager for ISO27001.
At that time, women in tech were a rare occurrence. In meetings, it was made abundantly clear that I was the only female in the room. I’d see eyes rolled when I spoke and one client wouldn’t even speak to me directly, choosing instead to talk to the men I led in the team.
Thankfully times are changing. Whitbread champions equality and inclusivity in the workplace and actively encourages women to apply for tech roles.
Whitbread is by far the best company I have worked for. I feel empowered and supported at every stage of my career. There is a sense of family within InfoSec; I haven’t been pigeon-holed and instead have been encouraged to broaden my horizons within the wider team.