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Senior Expert in Cyber Defence

Nicolas Loriot started his journey at Airbus 20 years ago as an intern.
Now a Senior Expert in Cyber Defence, he shares his insight on this long journey and what he’s learned since joining the company. 

Nicolas Loriot

"I’ve had the chance to develop a lot of skills during my journey. Most are technical, because I chose the ‘expert’ path which requires a certain level of technical knowledge. However, I haven’t neglected the development of soft skills either! Overall, working with a range of industries has helped me gain a lot of experience and expertise – as I’ve had to continuously adapt to new threats, cultures and goals."

What is your role within Airbus CyberSecurity?

Currently, I wear two hats within the company, My primary job title is Senior Expert in Cyber Defence, working in Airbus CyberSecurity’s technical office . Plus, I’m also an Enterprise Cyber Security Architect for our Connected Intelligence division – which provides geospatial data and defence solutions.

Can you talk about your professional journey?

Over two decades ago, I started as an intern focusing on IT security engineering in Sycomore’sIM/IMSEC department, a subsidiary of Airbus Defence and Space (formerly EADS Telecom). I quickly graduated to working as an engineer on the programmes side of the business – which dealt primarily with defence and government clients. My role was in the cyber security integration domain. , focusing on gateways, firewalls, SIEM and more. During my career, I’ve had the chance to try my hand at a huge variety of positions within Airbus. I’ve worked as a security WP leader, an auditor for existing systems and customer projects, a cyber security integrator, an R&T engineer, a systems architect, a technical manager, a security product architect, a SOC analyst, an incident handler, and an enterprise security architect. It’s common to see colleagues moving laterally throughout the organisation to gain experience in new areas! I’ve also had the chance to work with organisations in a range of industries, such as aviation, telecommunications, media and TV, defence ground vehicles and naval defence. All of these require highly tailored cyber security solutions.

What new skills have you been able to develop since joining Airbus CyberSecurity?

I’ve had the chance to develop a lot of skills during my journey. Most are technical, because I chose the ‘expert’ path which requires a certain level of technical knowledge. However, I haven’t neglected the development of soft skills either! Overall, working with a range of industries has helped me gain a lot of experience and expertise – as I’ve had to continuously adapt to new threats, cultures and goals.

What do you enjoy the most about your job?

Understanding and adapting to each customer’s unique circumstances really interests me. It’s fun because you’re constantly challenged and have to be aware of and ready to respond to the customer’s needs. I love that I’m always learning – even today, with my long experience in cyber. There’s also a great team spirit within Airbus. For example, during the famous TV5 monde incident case in 2015, we were in crisis mode. It was great to see various stakeholders coming together to solve an incident, focused on getting out of the crisis rather than on people’s mistakes. I’ve learned a lot from others and that’s part of what I love the most about my job.

What made you want to stay at Airbus Group so long?

I started in a relatively small subsidiary of Airbus – Sycomore I loved it because I had the opportunity to take on a lot of responsibility. Then, I was able to work for different entities within Airbus and for various external customers. It provided me with a large playground, which is to me, the best way to develop skills, take on new challenges and get better at my job. I would also add that within Airbus, there’s an ‘expert’ career path that helps promote people to higher positions.

What attributes make someone a great candidate for a role in cyber?

I’d say that you have to be curious and willing to learn, because the cyber world is constantly evolving and the things you’ve learned today will be outdated in five years. So, you have to be aware of evolutions to technical processes, but also changes to how your customers work. Indeed, in order to resolve a customer’s issue, you need to choose the best option for their needs rather than your preferred solution. To do so, you have to be aware of your customer’s business, its features and the right processes to put in place.

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