Cybersecurity Guard

CINDY PROVIN, BBA ’89
PRESIDENT, AMERICAS REGION, THALES E-SECURITY AND VICE PRESIDENT OF GLOBAL STRATEGY AND MARKETING E-SECURITY WORLDWIDE, THALES GROUP PLANTATION, FLORIDA

BY KIRA LEWIS

Cindy Provin helps companies and governments protect themselves and their customers against cyber threats. It can sometimes feel like a lopsided battle, says the president of data encryption and cybersecurity firm Thales e-Security. “The cybercriminal only has to find one vulnerability, but organizations have to be monitoring every potential threat,” she says.

Every company is vulnerable, Provin notes. “We read about cyber attacks in the paper every day. It’s not a matter of if, but when,” she explains. “The security industry is growing tremendously because companies are reacting quite seriously.” Indeed, during the last five years, Thales e-Security has seen both order intake and revenues grow between 20% and 25%.

Plantation, Florida-based Thales e-Security is an arm of the Thales Group, a French aerospace, space, defense, security and transportation company that had more than $18 billion in revenue last year. Provin has run the company’s Americas region since 1999, and she is responsible for operations and strategic direction, from sales and marketing to technical support, engineering and finance. Before that, she was vice president of Racal Security and Payments, a Sunrise, Florida-based company that later became an acquisition that formed Thales e-Security.

Provin didn’t begin her career in the technology field, though. She started out in health care in Los Angeles, but soon landed in sales and marketing at a tech company. She ended up moving into an operations role with that company, then a variety of operations and marketing leadership positions with other technology companies. Provin credits a constant curiosity and desire to know more about each area of the company: “From an inquisitive standpoint, wanting to understand as much as possible meant taking on more and more responsibility, which puts your hands in many areas of the company and gives you more opportunity to be recognized for achievement,” she says.

Provin says the most interesting part of her job today is innovating to help her clients defend their data against increasingly sophisticated attacks. Much of that innovation, she says, happens in the U.S., which “is driving a lot of the data privacy and compliance issues, as well as the technology around it.” Provin says Thales will continue to expand the services and solutions it offers for both data protection and the broader landscape of IT infrastructure. “The need for data protection is not going away,” she says. “It’s only going to get stronger.”

Provin is married to a fellow School of Business alumnus, Scott Provin (BBA ’88), who was the starting right guard for the 1987 National Champion Hurricanes football team.

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