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Speed Data: Bringing Resiliency and Passion to Cybersecurity with Kieron Newsham

2 min read
Published August 15, 2023
Megan Garza and Kieron Newsham

Welcome to our video interview series, Speed Data: Quick Conversations With Cybersecurity Leaders. Like speed dating, our goal is to capture the hearts of CISOs with intriguing, unique insight in a rapid format for security leaders pressed for time.

Our guest for this episode is Kieron Newsham, Chief Technologist of Cybersecurity for Softcat. By far our most “007” interviewee to date, Kieron’s security background includes a role in tactical communications for the U.K. Ministry of Defence during his time in the Royal Air Force. It’s safe to say Kieron has learned a lot about staying cool under pressure and uses those skills in his day-to-day security role.

From military to mainframes

A disarming video-game enthusiast with a passion for all things outdoors might not be who you picture when you hear about Kieron Newsham’s cybersecurity and military background. His resume reads like a James Bond CV, with time spent working for the Ministry of Defence, and multiple tours of Afghanistan while in the Royal Air Force.

“There’s a tenacity and a resilience about working in the military,” Kieron said, “that I think sets you up really well for what is a fast-paced vocation in cybersecurity.”

Early on in life, the Bournemouth, U.K. resident channeled his love of IT and gaming into a successful career.

“I really liked computers; I did various different qualifications in school in information technology,” he said. “I played loads of video games, so I thought, ‘Why don’t I do that?’”

Lending a helping hand

Although Kieron’s passion for cybersecurity comes naturally to him, he admits one of the most challenging aspects of his role is getting others to feel as strongly about security as he does.

“As cybersecurity professionals and leaders, we’re super passionate about it; we know how important it is, but there’s a whole other facet of, ‘How do I make other people care about cybersecurity as much as I do?’” he said. “How do you convince a manufacturing business, how do you convince a hospital, how do you convince a financial institution that cybersecurity is super important, and we really do need to care about it?”

As far as Kieron’s favorite thing about his role? That’s an easy one. “Helping people,” he said. “I get the opportunity to not only speak to all of our 15,000-plus customers on a regular basis, but I also get the opportunity to work with a lot of our internal teams and help them.

“So if I’m not helping someone with their career in cybersecurity, if I’m not helping someone understand a particular area of cybersecurity, or if I’m not helping a customer with an outcome, then I don’t know what I’m doing,” he said.

Kieron’s passion for helping doesn’t stop at just technology, though. If supporting and guiding his colleagues and customers wasn’t enough, Kieron also has a passion for nourishing Mother Nature.

“I’ve always fancied tree surgery,” he said. “I like being outdoors. It would be quite cool to look after trees and the environment and help that sort of way.”

It’s that inner drive to better the world and those around him that, in part, makes Kieron so successful in his role. Whether it be in the military, in the workplace, or in the middle of a forest, doing something meaningful is why Kieron gets up in the morning.

“I like the satisfaction of feeling like I have made some sort of difference to someone in some guise,” he said.

Watch the full episode with Kieron above or on our YouTube channel.

What you should do now

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