Roland Cloutier, Chief Security Officer at ADP. PHOTO: Cybercrime Magazine.

ADP’s Chief Security Officer On Overcoming A Lack Of Cybersecurity Talent

Roland Cloutier shares strategies for mentoring, recruiting, and onboarding

Steven T. Kroll

Northport, N.Y. – Jun 2, 2019

Roland Cloutier is the kind of leader who’s always looking for a new challenge.

“If your job isn’t changing, then you’re stagnant in your career,” says Cloutier, senior vice president and chief security officer at ADP.

The cybersecurity employment shortage is expected to hit 3.5 million over the next two years. Cloutier is not ignorant of this, so he spoke about the important role of community colleges in filling the demand, with the credibility of a community college graduate.

“There’s a lack of qualified talent and workers in the space. It’s going to take not just cyber-specific universities with top-tier talent developed for a specific area,” says Cloutier. “It’s going to take everyone, and community colleges are a great start.”  

From this start, Cloutier entered the Air Force and began a career in law enforcement as combat security police in aerospace defense. Then he became a detective in Veterans Affairs. The crimes he investigated increasingly involved computers, which he wanted to understand from a technical point of view. And so with his curious and driven personality, Cloutier enrolled in a computer science program at Boston University, which at the time was one of the only schools that offered courses in cybersecurity. This change happened almost a decade into his career.

Always improving is not something Cloutier just says, as he walks the talk. He credits a lot of his growth and success to the mentors he’s had in each stage of his career. What’s interesting is that Cloutier has tapped one of the executives on his team to learn from millennials and incoming workers in a reverse mentorship program that will make improvements for everybody involved.

“They’ll sit down and talk to us about what’s important in the workforce, what they perceive as the needs to be able to effectively do their jobs, where they see leadership failing, and where they see management failing,” says Cloutier. “It allows us as a team that’s helping drive the organization to really get a deep understanding of what our workforce needs to be successful and then turn that into an operational program.”

Cloutier has been at ADP for nine years, a tenure that’s three times the average for people in his position, because he’s always looking for the next thing to learn, to do, to solve, and his role allows for this.

“I was pure cyber, then I was a converged security expert, and then I was running operational risk management for the company,” says Cloutier. “All of those areas requires additional mentorship and knowledge.” 

Cloutier’s curiosity helps his mission for continuous learning. He’s not one to rest on his past success, but rather uses that as a step toward solving the next challenge.

Steven T. Kroll is a public relations specialist and staff writer at Cybercrime Magazine.

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