MSSP MKACyber Expands Exec Team, Hopes to Fill 20 More Positions After Raising $4.1M

MKACyber, fresh off a $4.1 million Series A funding round, is rapidly expanding its team in hopes of capitalizing on a growing appetite for managed security services.

The managed security service provider (MSSP) on Tuesday announced former Consumer Financial Protection Bureau leader Cindy Gagliano as its new president along with the addition of four other executives. They are part of at least 10 new hires made by MKACyber in the past two weeks, CEO and founder Mischel Kwon said, increasing the solution provider’s headcount by 71 percent this year.

Kwon expects that number to rise, citing plans to keep the "hiring streak" going by filling 20 more newly-created positions. Many of those roles are aimed at strengthening MKACyber’s SOC analyst and development teams, but the personnel influx will also include project managers charged with overseeing customer accounts.

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"We had an all hands meeting last night. I think half the crowd had never been to an all-hands before," Kwon said. "So it’s quite a quick step. It’s awesome."

In addition to the talent acquisition, fueled partly by the Series A funding and partly by continued growth, MKACyber has sales and channel initiatives in the works aimed at getting its products out to a broader audience more quickly. Kwon expects those plans to solidify over the next few weeks.

The Fairfax, Va.-based company will use its recently secured growth capital to extend its MSSP business and technologies and its customer support function, as well.

Gagliano, who previously worked at Booz Allen Hamilton and as Kwon’s chief of staff at the U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT), spent the past year as the CFPB's director of strategy and risk management. She will manage MKACyber’s day-to-day operations, which Kwon handled before Gagliano’s hire.

Gagliano's technical talent and experience in security operations made her an appealing hire, Kwon said.

"I was really running all of that show myself. You reach a scalability level, and I definitely reached my scalability level," Kwon said. "Cindy brings to the table a very similar set of qualifications that I do, which is why I brought Cindy out."

Chief Marketing Officer Christen Gentile, Director of Security Operations and Services Ron Fleming, Director of Assessments Nazia Khan and Director of Finance Katherine Baylor, round out MKACyber’s executive-level additions.

"Our biggest focus right now is hiring and training and getting everybody on the same page," Kwon said. "Our methodology is a pretty firm type of thing that we all learn here and we all stand by and we all deliver, with one methodology. So as new people come on, indoctrinating them and training them in that methodology is our first priority."

A self-described "high touch" security provider, MKACyber relies upon what it calls a watchtower methodology, providing comprehensive monitoring, consultation and in-depth SOC assessments for its customers. This methodology involves not only analyzing threats but also understanding attack surfaces and use cases.

"I see a lot of businesses moving in this direction for a lot of different reasons," Kwon said of MSSPs. "One, it’s hard to find people. It’s very expensive to do it for one entity. There are cost savings in deploying methodologies and training and technology across multiple entities. It really makes sense that the managed SOC service environment is growing rapidly."

"I think with our methodology we are moving in that direction," she said. "We move to a place where security isn’t out-costing the IT system itself. Where we’re taking advantage of scale in order to provide better services at a lower cost."

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