It’s been an exciting few weeks over here at Cygilant with our recent expansion into the European Market and now we are excited to announce that we have added a new member to our senior leadership team – Kevin Gannon! Kevin joins Cygilant from PwC, where he served as a Solutions Architect and was a founding member of the PwC Blockchain practice. He’s based in our new Belfast office (remotely for now of course). View the formal announcement on Kevin’s appointment.
I recently sat down with Kevin to discuss his new role and his decision to join the Cygilant team. Check it out here:
SH: Welcome to the team Kevin! Why did you decide to join Cygilant?
KG: At this point in my career I was looking to grow, evolve my leadership style and also maintain my ties in technical leadership and mentorship. The opportunity at Cygilant popped up and it just seemed like the perfect fit. I’ve always loved being surrounded by smart people to collaborate with and have really enjoyed being in a people leadership role throughout my career which were two main things I found prominent at Cygilant.
Cygilant also has a unique offering in the market with the combination of technology (our platform) and the human element (our super smart SOC) that was really appealing to me. I’m excited to be joining the Cygilant team and look forward to growing here and providing growth opportunities for my team.
SH: Tell us a little about your background and what you were doing before this.
KG: Right before this I was working at PwC as a Solutions Architect and I had a really unique opportunity to help build their blockchain practice. Prior to that I worked at a bitcoin startup and have also held engineering roles at places like Visa. I find myself shifting my skillsets to match the emerging technology trends I’m currently working on from credit card processing to bitcoin to blockchain, I’ve been involved in a lot! As well as the tech side of things, I’ve always loved growing teams, shaping culture and building rapport – the team element is very important to me.
SH: I know your background isn’t exactly in Cybersecurity is there something that excites you about the industry that reeled you in?
KG: While cyber security hasn’t been a direct focus until now, it has underpinned a lot of my work over the years from areas of tokenization in protecting credit card data through to cryptography in the blockchain and digital identity space. As one would assume, there are a lot of security issues that come into play when dealing with bitcoin and other forms of digital assets. Belfast has also quickly become a hub for cybersecurity companies, so it seemed like a really exciting time to get involved.
SH: Given what’s currently going on in the world with the pandemic, you started here 100% remote do you have any tips for working from home or managing a team remotely?
KG: As a leader you need to decide how you want to lead and how you want to establish ways of working. Definitely find a way to build trust with your team and how best to collaborate, but be flexible since it’s not a one size fits all solution. Overcommunicate – regular touchpoints are important both to talk about work and to just socialize. Try things out as a team, fail fast if need be and move on.
SH: Since you started, you’ve been rapidly hiring to grow your team in Belfast. Is there anything specific you look for in a potential candidate?
KG: It’s been really unique to grow the team here remotely. Not being able to meet people in person has been a challenge, but luckily modern technology like video conferencing has made it a little bit easier. I don’t have a set check list, but I do look at a few things:
- Do you have the skillset to do the job
- Do you have the softer skills required to collaborate, know when you need a hand and willing to lend a hand in the team
- Do you work to upskill yourself and are you passionate about the space.
Those types of things are really important to me when I look to hire and think that together they can make for a great teammate.
SH: Those are all the questions I have for you today! Thanks for taking the time to speak with me, Kevin. On behalf of our team, we’re psyched to have you on board!