Digital innovations headed by cybersecurity leaders have transformed how organizations approach their work, cater to different requirements, and deploy mission-critical solutions. On the flip side, cyber threats and vulnerabilities loom to devastate applications, corrupt crucial data, and disable even the most secure digital networks.
At the vanguard of the digital realm are cybersecurity visionaries. These visionaries apply their comprehensive knowledge and expertise to strengthen digital barricades and combat all sorts of risks and dangers. Below are the cybersecurity leaders playing seminal roles in both the private and the government contracting realms.
7 Major Cybersecurity Leaders
Note: The following list of cybersecurity leaders is ranked in no particular order. The selection criteria are based on a variety of factors, including experience, accomplishments, and overall industry impact. That said, while they are highly regarded in the industry, plenty of other cybersecurity executives are exceptional and influential.
Jennifer Walsmith, Corporate Vice President of Cyber and Information Solutions at Northrop Grumman
Jennifer Walsmith has held the position of Corporate Vice President at Northrop Grumman since 2016. She has taken charge of different business segments, most notably Space ISR, Cyber & Intelligence Missions, and Cyber & Information Solutions. Among her most significant feats is handling portfolio programs. These programs are responsible for bringing billions of dollars worth of revenue to the company.
In her current role as the Corporate VP of Cyber and Information Solutions, she focuses on autonomy, digital speed, cyber solutions, cyber survivability, and crucial infrastructure across the $600 million dollar division. As part of one of the leading defense companies in the world, Walsmith actively contributes to bolstering the security needs of cyber realm warfighters.
Among her seminal contributions to Northrop Grumman was the successful demonstration of the capabilities of new converged sensors at the PAX River Military Installation in Maryland. Commencing on December 6, 2022, these sensors integrate sensing automation with arbiter hardware and software, open-infrastructure, and platform-agnostic systems. Thereby providing “speed of fight” in warfare transmission of communication, intelligence, and operational data.
Gregg Garrett, Vice President of Cybersecurity at Peraton Corporation
Gregory “Gregg” Garrett is an industry veteran with over 30 years of experience in IT and cybersecurity solutions. He held different executive leadership positions at the ESI Group, Lucent Technologies, Navigant, Blue the Canopy Group, and the Bowhead Family of Companies, He acquired relevant competencies in systems engineering, profits and loss (P&L), risk management, supply chain management, and strategic business planning.
Assuming the role of Vice President of Cybersecurity at Peraton in January 2020, Garrett worked to oversee the company’s $3 billion dollar portfolio in cybersecurity capabilities, solutions, and products. He has more than 3,000 cybersecurity professionals under his leadership.
These experts are actively involved in the company’s Cybersecurity Community of Practice division, Cyber Independent Research and Development (IRAD) projects, and cyber technology collaborations with other leading IT companies.
For his dedication and passion for protecting the cyber domain, Garrett bagged the 2023 Cyber Defenders Awards by MeriTalk. Tom Afferton, President of Peraton’s Cyber Missions sector, highlighted that Garrett has been pivotal to the sector’s efforts in implementing class-leading cyber missions across various defense, intelligence, and civilian initiatives.
Steve Jacyna, Director of Sales at Carahsoft Technology
Steve Jacyna has been a vital member of Carahsoft Technology since July 2007. Throughout his long tenure, he has taken charge of the company’s revenue generation efforts, pipeline management, lead generation activities, marketing campaigns, procurement processes, and more.
As the current Director of Sales at Carahsoft, Jacyna is in charge of go-to-market growth, inside sales, and training new employees regarding government procurement practices. In addition, he spearheads the development and facilitation of hardware and software solutions for Carahsoft’s cybersecurity, visual analytics, text extraction, and virtualization divisions.
In a June 2023 interview with ExecutiveBiz, Jacyna talked about the emerging cybersecurity capabilities that would enable government agencies to reduce unique cyber threats in the future. He and his team are actively working with other resellers, such as Okta, Zscaler, and CrowdStrike. They aim to develop a zero-trust cybersecurity structure that allows customers to use Carahsoft’s ecosystem services with the partner resellers’ complementary cyber solutions.
Michael Loefflad, Senior Director of Sales at SentinelOne
Michael Loefflad has served as theSenior Director of Sales at SentinelOne since June 2022. He brings to the table a wealth of experience in network and IT security, systems engineering, wireless and mobility solutions, cloud computing, and convergence technologies. Before joining SentinelOne, Loefflad held engineering management roles at Sprint, and Juniper Networks.
Under Loefflad’s purview as the Senior Director of Sales is overseeing cybersecurity, sales engineering, and operations. One of his significant milestones is being a part of MeriTalk’s sit-down discussion about how agencies can overcome the uncertainties of artificial intelligence and machine learning and uncover technologies to protect the government at incredible speeds.
Among his many valuable insights, Loefflad stressed that government agencies could tap into emerging AI and ML technologies and algorithms. This will enable these agencies to perform automated detection and response to assist cybersecurity teams with complex threat research.
Additionally, Loefflad remarked that SentinelOne’s Singularity platform has AI and ML solutions capable of storing, analyzing, and extracting larger volumes of data and detecting anomalies and upcoming trends.
Gina Scinta, Deputy Chief Technology Officer at Thales Trusted Cyber Technologies
Gina Scinta is a seasoned information technology leader with nearly 40 years of experience in developing cybersecurity, data protection, world-class encryption, and cloud computing solutions. She honed her skills during her service at the US Senate, Intelligence Center Pacific, and Computer Corporation of America.
Scinta has been a vital member of Thales Trusted Cyber Technologies since 2010. She held increasing responsibilities in resolving incompatibilities with file encryption, managing high-profile key management efforts, and collaborating with prime cybersecurity agencies. These agencies include the NIST National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence and the American Council for Technology and Industry Advisory Council (ACT-IAC).
In her role as Deputy Chief Technology Officer, Scinta emphasized the gravity of future-proofing cybersecurity by implementing proper access controls to eliminate cyber threat actors from accessing crucial and confidential data.
Among the insights she shared is that government agencies should adopt robust multifactor-authentification and crypto-agile platforms with quantum-resistant cryptographic algorithms to adequately defend all of their data from all fronts and seamlessly migrate them across different platforms.
Tim Sullivan, Executive Chairman at Caveonix
Tim Sullivan co-founded Caveonix in 2017 with CEO and President Kaus Phaltankar. He brings over 20 years of experience in building and leading emerging technologies companies focused on cybersecurity solutions.
Before establishing Caveonix, Sullivan assumed leadership roles at Manugistics, InforMax, Fidelis Security Systems, nPulse Technologies, and FireEye, where he honed his competencies in cloud computing, digital risk management, data analytics, and network security.
Sullivan’s role is crucial for hundreds of Fortune 500 companies and government agencies as they rely on Caveonix’s unified AI platform and cybersecurity suites to achieve cloud governance, monitor private and public sector cloud activities, and implement cutting-edge zero-trust defense measures.
Darron Makrokanis, Chief Revenue Officer at Xage Security
August 2022 was a pivotal moment for Xage Security as it welcomed Darron Makrokanis as its Chief Revenue Officer (CRO). He brings with him nearly 30 years of experience in loss mitigation, project management, homeland security, enterprise software, strategic growth of “programmatic” pipelined projects, and sales and field operations. Early in his career, Makrokanis served as a police officer involved in special operations, Special Weapons & Tactics (SWAT), and disaster risk management.
Makrokanis’ appointment as CRO at Xage Security bolsters the company’s capabilities in cybersecurity, hybrid cloud, and artificial intelligence solutions. Looking ahead into 2023 and beyond, Makrokanis actively plays a crucial role in Xage’s collaboration with Four Inc. to deliver a broad range of zero-trust offerings to the government.
Makrokanis highlighted that Xage’s partnership with Four Inc. catalyzes for the former to find responsive and effective cybersecurity solutions for the public sector. The prime objective of this partnership is to accelerate the deployment of zero-struct architectures for government entities to quickly reduce cyber threats on their crucial networks.