Your Next is Our Now

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Lawrence O'Connor
Lawrence O’Connor, CEO

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NetCentrics – Top 10 Cybersecurity Solution Providers in 2021 – MyTechMag

  • MYTECHMAG: Do you think there is a correlation between business growth and employee happiness?

Lawrence O’Connor, President of NetCentrics: Yes, we do believe there is a strong correlation between a healthy culture and business growth. We recently won an award, “Best Place to Work in Washington, D.C.” by Comparably, a service we use to gather employee sentiment. It was refreshing to discover that our employees scores our company culture so highly compared to peers. That definitely impacts growth.

  • MYTECHMAG: What are the big areas driving business growth at NetCentrics right now?

Lawrence O’Connor: Cybersecurity. We’ve focused on cybersecurity since the company’s founding in 1995. Today there are enormous, new trends with uncharted security implications. One example is the rise of IoT [Internet of Things] meeting OT [Operational Technology]. Operational technology refers to the systems and machinery found in physical infrastructure. As more utility systems and other industries integrate smart sensors society benefits in a lot of ways. The drawback is that we are dramatically expanding the possible attack surface.

Just this year we’ve seen attacks target hospitals, utilities, and even our food supply, via meat processing plants this year. There is an urgent need for increased cybersecurity defense. The need only  grows as more systems come online.

Lawrence O’Connor: Yes; we are expanding our cybersecurity business in two ways. First, we’re increasingly serving private companies. We built our reputation working with the U.S. government, military, and federal agencies. The scale of these projects, and the specialized expertise required, are really valuable when applied to the private sector.

Second, we’re moving into new industries, such as healthcare. Cybersecurity is a huge concern for healthcare organizations of all sizes. Ransomware in particular is a growing threat. It literally has the ability to shut down critical systems. This risk even eclipses the damage that comes from personal data exposure because ransomware can inflict immediate harm.

  • MYTECHMAG: Tell us more about NetCentrics’ cybersecurity expertise.

Lawrence O’Connor: We offer a comprehensive range of cybersecurity services. At the 1,000 foot view our focus is on privacy, data security, and threat detection/response. But within each of these categories are sub-specialties, each growing alongside emerging technologies. Together, our cybersecurity services physical security, digital security, national security.

NetCentrics started as a government contractor. In fact, we were instrumental in restoring Pentagon operations after the 9/11 attack. We’ve built and defended extremely important physical and digital infrastructure. We currently maintain 24/7/365 centers for the military and government clients. Knowing this background, a lot of companies in the private sector come to us. We know how it’s done right, and what’s at stake.

  • MYTECHMAG: How do you stay on the top of emerging trends?

Lawrence O’Connor: NetCentrics fosters a culture of continuous learning. We have to have this stance because what works today might not work tomorrow. The nature of our work requires that we be prepared for the unexpected.

We employ a lot of smart people with very specialized skills and training. But we also encourage our people to pursue outside interests, read widely, and consume a diversity of media. You never know what combination of awareness and creative thought will reveal what’s next. Our motto, by the way, is “Your Next is Our Now”.

  • MYTECHMAG: Speaking of what’s next, what do you see for company in the next 4-5 years?

Lawrence O’Connor: I definitely see more work with government clients, but also a lot of growth in new industries. Cybersecurity isn’t a one-and-done box to check. It’s an ongoing evaluation of how systems can be strengthened. Ultimately, it’s about protecting people.

I think more laypeople are starting to appreciate that cyberattacks on digital systems can spill over into our physical world, too. There can be serious consequences. More people in the C-suite are waking up to the fact that cybersecurity is a necessary investment. NetCentrics will continue to be at the forefront delivering the latest capabilities and protecting the most important systems.