Spotlight: Darek Hahn, Chief of Staff at Cerberus Security
Darek is a veteran in the management space, having worked for Dynamic Strategies for 4 years before becoming CEO when he and a group of investors acquired it in 2016, then rebranded it as VelocIT in 2018. In August 2021, we proudly welcomed VelocIT to the Cerberus family and Hahn joined us first as Head of Sales and then moved to his current role as Chief of Staff. When he’s not spearheading internal communications and striving to improve the integration of people from all the organizations that have come together under Cerberus, Darek can be found exercising, working on his latest home projects (currently a HE SHED), spending time with his wife and their many rescue animals, and following a lifelong dream of learning to fly.
Darek’s Cerberus Journey
Describe your role at Cerberus in 20 words or less.
Cross functional leader in the C-suite that ensures we are all communicating effectively while taking P2/3 items off David Jemmett’s [Chairman, CEO, and Co-Founder of Cerberus Sentinel] plate.
Most challenging moment at Cerberus so far (and how you overcame it)?
The most challenging moment at Cerberus so far would be dealing with the internal communication, or lack thereof. We solved it by creating a team and focused on internal communications, including updating the existing intranet site.
What are some of the biggest challenges facing organizations when it comes to cybersecurity?
From my perspective, on the technical side it is knowledge and talent. I think organizations want to trust their people, but the truth is there is a lack of talent in the area. When you tie that to employees wanting to be seen as knowledgeable it’s a recipe for disaster, as the executives are not given the full picture as to where they are at as far as protection goes.
On the people side, well it is people! We need to do a better job educating our users who do not understand both the jargon we use and the seriousness of the situation. Better communication with our end users will go a long way in helping stem the tide of cybersecurity incidents.
What’s the trickiest part of dealing with risk on a day-to-day basis?
Emotions: this might be a funny answer, but the truth is people tend to respond to risk with emotions (panic, fear, avoidance, etc.). The most important thing we need to promote, when responding to risk, is understanding. We must help our clients understand the actual risk and then they can respond with knowledge and not fear.
Getting to Know Darek
What do you do when you’re not working?
I love traveling! But also, sports, swimming, running, and biking. I love to work around the house, do gardening and build things.
What are your passions?
People. I love helping people go further than they thought they could, which helps me at work and in my volunteer life.
How have you found working remotely?
It sucks! I’m a people person and being home all the time saps my energy; I need to connect with people. I have found projects to keep me busy and, while not ideal, video calls help (hence why I hate when people don’t have their video on!).
Do you have any pets?
Yes, three rescue dogs, two rescue horses, and one grand prix dressage horse! No kids, make it up in animals! Oh, and two rescue humans (my wife and myself)!
What would your death row meal be?
Mexican, any kind and a lot of it!
Who are your favorite sports teams?
Tampa Bay Bucs and, yes, WAY before that guy Tom Brady joined the team! I’ve been a fan since they joined the league in 1976. Jim McKay was the first coach and left USC (California), where my dad went to school, to coach the team.
What is your favorite album?
Journey’s Escape or Frontiers. They were my first concert and yes, I’m a sappy rock ballad kind of guy…!