The Silicon Review
Cybersecurity is a matter of national security and economic stability. Cyber attacks can be ruinous to any citizen, no matter who they are or their personal habits online. A check of the daily news reveals cyber attacks -- some persistent and ongoing -- targeting individuals, universities, hospitals, and organizations of all sizes. Everyone has a role to play to bolster their cyber resiliency. Businesses in particular must examine their physical infrastructure, digital infrastructure, software supply chains, and operational practices. A strategic, holistic approach to security is necessary for effective cybersecurity. Nowhere is this more urgent and complicated than in the U.S.’s largest private companies and federal government.
Globally, there are many firms delivering siloed cybersecurity services. However, NetCentrics stands out as a market leader because their comprehensive cybersecurity services are delivered at scale. NetCentrics leverages an innovative, agile, ‘what’s-next’ approach to its customers’ IT and cyber challenges, exceeding expectations through forward-thinking, subject matter expertise. The company provides services in three areas: cybersecurity, enterprise IT, and telecommunications. NetCentrics’ fluency in each domain comes from its specialized workforce. The company employs engineers, computer scientists, security specialists, and leading-edge technologists who hold necessary clearances. NetCentrics is based outside Washington, D.C. in Herndon, Virginia.
A conversation with Lawrence O’Connor, President of NetCentrics
Q. What was your motivation behind joining the company?
I joined NetCentrics in 2020 because I saw a great opportunity to expand the company’s services to the private sector, especially in healthcare. NetCentrics was founded in 1995 and has always been a leader in information technology. We’ve predominantly served the government, but today our services are increasingly crucial for the success of the private industry.
Q. What makes NetCentrics unique?
We value continuous learning. This is one of the things our employees say they like best about working at NetCentrics: intellectual stimulation. In fact, this was one area employees voted in that resulted in a 2021 Best Places to Work Washington, D.C. award. We have a strong company culture that values learning.
Q. Government departments come to you for security solutions. What makes your security offerings so reliable?
We are well-known in Washington for good reason. First, we have a lengthy, proven track record. Second, we are comfortable working on high-level security projects. This is why our move to the private sector is welcomed. Customers know they can trust us to perform at the highest levels because we’ve honed skills in environments that have the potential for extraordinary geopolitical outcomes.
Q. How are you revolutionizing the telecom industry?
I think the telecom industry is going through a revolution with or without us. By that, I mean telecom is entering new territory as the Internet of Things (IoT) meets legacy equipment meets operational technology – all connecting online as never before. This dramatically expands the threat surface. Customers that work with NetCentrics on telecom projects have the added benefit of our cybersecurity expertise; companies really need expertise in both domains to successfully navigate what’s next.
Q. How do you keep pace with the ever-changing world of technology?
It’s no longer sufficient to earn a credential and then stop learning. To stay on top of technology, you have to remain curious. You have to explore. Some of the most innovative ideas come from combining unexpected things. That’s only possible if you remain open to new experiences and intentionally expand your input. To borrow a computer science phrase, you want to avoid “garbage in, garbage out.” You need to expose yourself to a variety of viewpoints and perspectives.
Q. What does the company’s work culture entail?
We attract people who enjoy learning. But I think the real success is retaining people and keeping them engaged. Our culture fosters that through mentorship and by giving people opportunities to expand their skills.
Q. NetCentrics was founded in 1995. What are the company’s vision and ambition for the road ahead?
Yes, and think how much technology has changed since then! I think the next 30 years will be equally dramatic. We see a lot of artificial intelligence and machine learning maturing and expanding utility across our domains in the near term. But, we’ll still rely on people and their creativity. We expect our services will continue to be a necessary part of the government, armed forces, and private industry.
Q. How was it working through the pandemic? How challenging was it for you?
The pandemic has been challenging for everyone. I think, though, that NetCentrics had some built-in advantages as the nature of work shifted. The first is that our company is filled with tech-savvy people, so a switch to remote work was easy. Not all our work can be done remotely. We were able to make those environments as safe as possible because we have longstanding relationships that could be counted on to make safety adjustments for those working in-person. This was another advantage. We trusted everything that could be done to keep our on-site people as safe as possible.
Meet the leader behind the success of NetCentrics
Lawrence O’Connor, the President of NetCentrics, is an experienced tech entrepreneur. In his short time at NetCentrics, he’s overseen the rapid expansion of the workforce. O’Connor continues to grow the company’s customer base to serve private companies, especially those with exceptional data security demands such as healthcare. Connect with him at LinkedIn.