Meet our Ethical Hackers

The Cyber Resilience Centre works with a team of innovative ethical hackers from the University of Manchester, the University of Salford and Manchester Metropolitan University. These students are a select group of talented, informative and reliable individuals who work with businesses in the North West by providing advice and support through our cyber resilience services.

If you are curious to find out how we can help your business stay safe from cybercrime, please click here.

Managing the Ethical Hacking team is Senior Ethical Hacker, MJ “It is fantastic to work closely with the wider team to deliver and manage the CRC's services and to manage the brilliant team of Junior Ethical Hackers. As a cyber technical expert at the CRC, I provide guidance and support on all cybersecurity matters whilst working alongside our expert partners network and policing.” 

The team is made up of several Junior Ethical Hackers which includes; Maks, Hristo, Vlad, Ashleigh, Ethan, Waqas and Saira who are currently studying at universities in Manchester and Salford. The Cyber Resilience Centre for Greater Manchester (CRCGM) works in partnership with the University of Salford, the University of Manchester and Manchester Metropolitan University to develop a strong, cyber student community.

“The reason for choosing to study cybersecurity is that this sector touches everyone. In the age of technology where everyone is connected, there are different types of information and data sharing which opens a gate to online threats.” Alexandra


Amirali said his "ambition is to help as many businesses and individuals as possible with cybersecurity as it plays a big role in our society. It includes everything that pertains to protecting our sensitive data from theft and damage by criminals."


Hristo wants to help "small businesses that can’t always afford the right security measures to defend against attacks."


The Cyber Resilience Centre offers affordable membership and services so that businesses across all sectors can defend against cyberthreats. Our Ethical Hackers also support the CRC to help businesses that have been affected by cybercrime and online fraud through our Cybercrime Recovery Service.

Ethan Dennison

About 5 years ago I developed a big interest in computer science when I decided to do it as a GCSE. I was particularly drawn to coding and loved the idea of being able to make my own application or solve a problem with code. I was drawn to cybersecurity during my A levels. I was interested in the idea of being able to apply the computer science skills I was learning to defend computer systems and play a part in making UK systems more secure. During my A levels, I took a cyberAdvanced course in a local engineering place and decided that I really liked forensics and strengthening computer systems through penetration testing. 

The idea of an electronic device having the ability to affect the real world always seemed great to me. Now securing an electronic device from being manipulated by bad intendeds is a completely different story which I am very keen on reading.

I have been interested in computers from a young age, but as I dove further into the aspects of the subject and the routes that can be taken, I took a specific interest in Cybersecurity. Due to the ever-changing requirements, there is a large amount of growth potential, especially regarding learning opportunities. There is always something new to be learnt due to the large skill set required to efficiently understand the security challenges businesses face today. I enjoy solving puzzles and each situation within Cybersecurity is a new opportunity to rise to the challenge to solve the said puzzles.

Although I knew I would enjoy the job myself, a much bigger picture is that the job itself has a real-world impact which is why I chose to pursue a career within the Cybersecurity sector.

Vlad Ciornei

Ashleigh Green

What prompted you to study cybersecurity?

What prompted you to study cybersecurity?

"The idea of an electronic device having the ability to affect the real world always seemed great to me. Now securing an electronic device from being manipulated by bad intendeds is a completely different story which I am very keen on reading."

- Vlad Ciornei

"Initial interest in Cyber Security was from movies and when I progressed to study Computer Science at college, I developed a strong interest towards Cyber Security as I was always curious how systems get hacked/broken into.

- Waqas Ahmed

I chose to study cybersecurity as I have always been interested in how systems work, how to break them and how to fix them. Furthermore, it is a very interesting career path because there is a consistent change in the field and you never stop learning new things.

- Hristo Zhelyazkov

"Cybersecurity is crucial for both businesses and people, so I really feel like I'm learning skills that can make a difference."

- Saira Hassan

What attracted you to working at the Cyber Resilience Centre?

"When I started my forensics degree at Manchester metropolitan I saw a job opportunity to work with the CRC as a “junior ethical hacker”. This looked amazing to me because I had previously struggled to find a work placement that would strengthen the skills I am learning throughout my degree. The CRC had to offer exactly what I wanted in terms of experience and I was attracted by their mission to work with other businesses in Manchester and make their IT networks more secure."

- Ethan Dennison

"I love what I am doing and I also love helping others. Therefore, CRC was a great choice to consider as they are a non-profit organization that helps small-medium businesses grow cybersecurity awareness and strengthen their resilience to online crime. This way, I can apply my personal strengths by helping individuals and companies and working together in a team to achieve a common goal."

- Vlad Ciornei

"I was impressed by the work done by CRC to protect small businesses and support for their junior team members to enhance their skills. CRC goal and core values are something very close to my heart and after the meeting with Neil (Head of Cyber Security and Innovation) and MJ (Senior Cyber Security Consultant), I knew CRC is the right place for me. Thanks to Team CRC for offering me this platform to begin my career in Cyber Security."

- Waqas Ahmed

"The position in CRC was exactly what I wanted since I started studying cybersecurity. The fact that you are getting paid for what you love to do and help companies and institutions to protect online is awesome."

- Hristo Zhelyazkov

"The CRC makes cybersecurity more accessible to small businesses, which is very important as cyber-attacks are on the rise. Working with them to improve cybersecurity for businesses in Manchester is very rewarding!"

- Saira Hassan

"Resilience to online crime is extremely important in today's digital world, I was excited at the prospect of working with a company that had a large influential network, including The North West Regional Organised Crime Unit.

I was looking for opportunities to gain practical real-world experience relevant to my degree, to enhance my skill set for when I graduate. I felt this position would allow me to succeed in developing both my technical and interpersonal skills supporting the theory and skills developed during my degree ready for life outside of University, working with other students to provide up-to-date security services gaining insight into potential future positions outside of CRC."

- Ashleigh Green

How have you found working with the Cyber Resilience Centre so far?

"Working in CRC has been very enjoyable so far. We get to learn and perform new things regularly which is a strong motivation and the whole team is very friendly and supportive with any matter."

- Hristo Zhelyazkov

"From the time when I first considered my options in computer science, cybersecurity stood out to be the most - I've always found the idea of protecting the public from cyber threats to be very morally satisfying. My time at the CRC so far has been fantastic; I've learned many valuable cybersecurity skills and gained an abundance of real-world experience whilst being able to maintain a healthy work-life balance. Delivering SAT Training has helped build my confidence and interpersonal skills, while other responsibilities such as Personal/Corporate Investigations have helped build my technical abilities. Flexible hours have allowed me to keep focused on my studies whilst being able to make the most of my free time and networking opportunities have allowed me to make great connections with people in the local cybersecurity scene. It's an excellent jumpstart to a great career in the cybersecurity industry."

- Maks

Learn more about us 

Our Board

Our Services

Guidance Council


Cyber Expert Group

Skills Development

Founding Partners



Cyber Resilience Centre GM, Manchester Technology Centre, Oxford Rd, Manchester, M1 7ED

0161 706 0940

Registered in England & Wales No.12309263.



  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
Greater Manchester Logo Light.png

© 2021 - The Cyber Resilience Centre for Greater Manchester