Meet The Team:
Niall Mackey

Sales Managing Director

Niall Mackey

Commercial Director

Our MD is a sports fanatic, plays pickleball at league level and enjoys celebrating the wins in life. We recently sat down with a cup of tea to discover more of what makes Niall tick. What ensued was a great conversation. We trust you will enjoy it too!

Niall Headshot-min

Q. 1

Can you share key experiences that led to your role at Topsec Cloud Solutions and how they shape your approach?

Niall: A story I tell quite frequently is how I landed up in IT because I was avoiding the religious studies class at school. From an optional study point of view there were just two choices – IT or religious studies. I suppose this is the part where we say “and the rest is history”. 

But all jokes aside, this key experience does speak of one of the foundational aspects to the approach that led me to my role at Topsec Cloud Solutions which is that I followed my curiosity.

Then another stroke of luck came my way in my early career in that

“I discovered that while I loved the tech I could also communicate well with people.”

This led to my tenure being the IT Manager at Bank of America where my team and I developed the first paperless office! 

In time, I also held roles at Interoute, Nokie Networks and Horse Racing Ireland.

In January 2008, I joined Topsec. All these years later, I still find the work we do fascinating to protect our clients’ businesses from cyber threats. I greatly enjoy the people I work with, both our team and our clients, and I make it my personal mission to fight the baddies every day.

Q. 2

Can you outline major shifts in email security and their impact on Topsec's strategies and the industry?

Niall: Firstly, the optics for cyber hackers are changing.

For too long, the prevailing image was one of a lone wolf teenage hacker in a hoodie drinking a redbull hacking through firewalls. Now, people are waking up to the fact that cybercriminals run massive businesses themselves. You can now purchase “ransomware as a service” just as you can do for software. 

Then, when I joined Topsec, most organisations had on-prem solutions. Easily 90% of businesses had their entire business based on their premises. Topsec was always flying the flag for cloud-based solutions, before this term even entered the mainstream. Now, I’d say 98% of our clients have cloud-based email security data solutions.

The next big shift I witnessed was the emergence of ransomware. Again, it’s now a commonplace term but it was not even a factor when I first moved into email security. Topsec was ahead of the curve on this one because we had identified that links could be weaponised and developed a URL protector.  

Our URL protector goes up to 10 links down to check for any poisoned links in the “long tail” behind the link a client may be asked to click on. 

Quite frankly, our URL protector is the best in the business.

Q. 3

How do you ensure a human-centric sales approach amidst technical complexities, and can you share examples?

Niall: Although the image of cybersecurity is heavily focused on the tech side of things, it’s not difficult to remember that humans are at the absolute centre of what we do. 

Cyber attacks have really serious implications and those are borne by the people in the organisation. Especially by those in leadership positions.

One of Topsec’s chief differentiators is that we actually have highly trained experts monitoring all of clients’ businesses. Yes, we make extensive use of AI capabilities, and we see technology as an integral part of the “cybersecurity solution stack” for all businesses, but you cannot replace human expertise. 

We tell our clients our team will know you have a problem before you do – and we’ll already be on it sorting it out.

Time and time again, we’ve been told this is why we’ve won their business by clients. Our human touch is highly valued.

Q. 4

Highlight a significant success story during your tenure at Topsec that exceeded expectations.

Niall: We work with both small and large companies across many industries. To name just a few, we currently have clients in engineering, intellectual property, food, healthcare, agriculture and forestry among others. Our case studies provide real world examples of the work we do for these clients. And the impact this work has had in protecting our clients from cyber attacks.

Q. 5

What emerging trends in email security excite you, and how is Topsec preparing for them?

Niall: AI is the big new thing on the block, but all the hype takes away the true game-changer this type of technology truly offers. We’ve had AI, or perhaps, more accurately ML (machine learning) solutions and tools in the email security space for years.

What we’re seeing now is those tools and solutions become even more refined as firms build Zero Trust Architecture to really build a moat of protection around their data.

We’ve also seen Google and Yahoo get serious about prioritising email security with their rulings on DMARC records

Our marketing on this has taken the angle that email is growing up. It’s an accurate description of how massive email providers are taking steps to thwart cyber attacks via inboxes. And it’s a message that’s cutting through.

Q. 6

Share strategies for maintaining work-life balance in a high-pressure sales environment.

Niall: This is where the pickleball comes in! I’ve loved sport since I was a child and that love has only strengthened over the years. I played and coached tennis for a number of years, but my latest passion has been pickleball. Topsec sponsors a league and I am part of a team. It’s huge fun! My wife constantly asks me why I’m running around like a deranged lunatic, but what can I say, it’s my preferred way to keep fit!

So that’s what I do in my free time. Closer to the office, I believe in working hard and playing hard.

Obviously, I mean this within reason. 

But as mentioned earlier in the interview, the cost of cybersecurity breaches ultimately sits with people. Our team takes our role incredibly seriously. Each person on the team has a highly tuned sense of the responsibility we have towards our clients. And we also celebrate the wins.

I’m a big believer in allowing yourself a moment to say “that was a job well done”.

Q. 7

How does customer feedback influence sales strategies and product development at Topsec?

Niall: We have a close relationship with our clients. Both sides of the equation, our clients and ourselves, view our collaboration as a partnership. We’re there to protect their businesses and we do. Our team is in this for the long-term and I am proud to say our clients stick with us for years. That’s because we go deep into understanding their businesses, listening to their feedback and providing solutions that are absolutely designed to keep their data safe.

Q. 8

Describe your leadership style and its impact on your sales team's dynamics and performance.

Niall: I greatly enjoy working with people and seeing their professional development take place. 

“However, I expect people on my team to take an active role in their own growth.”

I’m always on hand to bounce ideas off of and to share guidance on dealing with whatever work challenge they’re facing, but I don’t spoon feed anyone. 

Everyone on my team will tell you that I don’t micromanage. I insist people take ownership in making the decisions that pertain to their work. None of us enjoy making mistakes, but they are par for the course, and we can always talk through what happened and what we would do differently next time round. 

When I look at the calibre of people around me at Topsec currently, I allow myself a moment of pride. People here are self-directed and take responsibility. It’s why we have a great culture in the team.

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