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Kevin joined Calian in 2017 through the acquisition of Secure Technologies Inc. He has over 15 years of experience in the cyber industry, assisting numerous Canadian Federal Government Departments and Private Sector clients to create, edit and build their IT security policy, including the implementation of hardware to enforce the policy. His proficiency of IT/IS Security is based on his technical knowledge of local, wide area, VPN, and Internet network architecture and administration, with years of experience designing, implementing and maintaining enterprise level data networks. He specializes in McAfee (formerly Secure Computing) network security hardware. His experience includes various networking Operating Systems including Unix, MAC OSX, Linux and Windows, firewalls, network security, WLAN and virtual private networking (VPN). He is also a Certified MFE Firewall Instructor. Learn more about Kevin de Snayer in this Q&A session.

Q: Can you tell me a bit about your background and your role at Calian?

KDS: I have spent the last 20 years working with cybersecurity technologies, vendors, and a customer base that spans from SMB to the public sector and from large commercial corporations to defence contractors. I have spent time as a solutions integrator, instructor, support tech, strategist and advisor.

Now, as the Director of Cyber Solutions at Calian I am engaging within our company, and externally with industry, academia and government to provide thought leadership, advisory services and strategies around risk, compliance and their security posture based on the many industry security frameworks.

I also get to lead a group of rock star Cyber Technologists and Account Executives as we work with our clients to provide solutions to the technology requirements. To evangelize my passion for cybersecurity and Compliance, I sit on several industry advisory boards. I have also published numerous blog posts, spoke at security conferences and been interviewed as part of security awareness initiatives within the industry.

Q: How is your role linked with Canadian national defence?

KDS: The Canadian defence industry has been a long-time customer, partner and a major focus of our solutions offerings. We are working directly with the Armed Forces and partner with other defence contractors to supply systems engineering support, RF emissions testing and products, counter UAV technology, and solutions to DNDs’ cybersecurity needs, which includes both products and professional service staffing.

Q: How does your role support the security of Canada and the rest of the world?

KDS: Although the use cases and the technologies may differ, there is great value in what we learn in our defence business that we can bring to other industries, and the cyber knowledge gained in other vertices provide us insight into solutions we can bring to the defence sector.

Q: How does it make you feel to know that you are contributing to our national defence?

KDS: At Calian, we get to work with an extremely diverse client base. Farmers, public and commercial business, scientists, medical personal and the defence industry. There certainly is a feeling of pride that comes when you get to tell the story that is Calian. In cybersecurity, the focus can often be about the 0s and 1s, the data and the information being protected. For me, especially around our national defense business, I find myself getting more time with the people and not just the packets, and it certainly is a strong reminder of the human aspect of what we do.

Q: What is your favourite part of your job?

KDS: Researching and evaluating new and disruptive technologies. We are in a fast-paced industry, so if you get complacent, you can quickly find yourself falling behind. There will always be a balance between the need to work faster, more efficient and with increased automation and an understanding of the risks and vulnerabilities that that creates. I am geeked to be able to work with technology companies, academia and our customers to discover new and effective ways to mitigate the risks associated with business functions.

Q: How does what you do at Calian fit in with your view of your place in the world?

KDS: Our mission statement at Calian is who I strive to be in my personal life. We help the world communicate, innovate, learn and lead safe and healthy lives—today and tomorrow. I can often be heard evangelizing the good, the bad and the risks of our ever increasingly digitally connected world to anyone willing to listen. As a father of 3, I am often contemplating how to make the future a safe place for them to grow up in.

Communication and learning go hand in hand in my mind. As a dad, colleague, manager, husband or friend, I believe that good communication, which includes listening, is the greatest asset we have to learn, solve problems or to simply get something accomplished.

Innovation is an interesting concept for me. It is a result of my most valued message: don’t be afraid to fail. I am not saying try to fail. In fact, I believe you need to overprepare and carry a work ethic to not fail. Success stems from pushing oneself outside of comfort levels and a willingness to prepare yourself to complete something you may not have attempted before. Innovation happens when a risk of failure does not prevent an initiative from being attempted.

Q: What activities do you enjoying doing outside of work?

KDS: I am certainly passionate about technology even when its not as part of my job. I balance that with an active personal life. I believe in a healthy mind through a healthy body. Golf, cycling, hockey and fitness training are where I go to free the mind and maintain health. My happy place is surrounded by my family and friends, grilling up something over the charcoal and letting the conversation and stories flow.

Heading to CANSEC 2022 be sure to drop by our booth, #701, to speak with Kevin de Snayer in person. See you there!