Daniel Smith is vice president of the Federal Security Solutions division at ManTech International Corp. Prior to ManTech, Smith was an executive with Knowledge Consulting Group, which was acquired in 2015.
Why Watch: Smith has worked in public sector IT for most of his 17-year career and moved to the D.C. area shortly after 9/11 to be closer to what was happening in homeland security.
“My arrival happened to coincide closely with the startup of the Department of Homeland Security, where I spent the better part of my early IT career,” he said.
He has focused specifically on cybersecurity for the last five years. ManTech’s Federal Security Solutions division was formerly Cybersecurity Solutions, but changed its name to reflect ManTech’s broadening of solutions to include data analytics as well as cloud and IT operations.
“By diversifying with these other capabilities we’re putting ourselves in the best position possible to help our customers,” he said.
There is sometimes a tendency to view the idea of “cybersecurity” through the narrow lens of a specific field, he added, when in reality, successful cybersecurity is far more comprehensive.
“Cybersecurity isn’t just about installing security tools on your computers,” he said. “It’s not just making sure firewalls are configured properly. It’s not just about making sure you’ve got appropriate policies and practices in place. It’s really a soup-to-nuts approach to having an organizational focus that ensures your data is protected, available when people need to use it, and maintained at a level of integrity that people know they can trust.”
Smith plays a key role in ManTech’s projects aimed at supporting clients whether they are deliberately strengthening their cybersecurity posture or simply forging ahead with other projects that have cybersecurity as a core element.
In many cases, ManTech is helping customers do things for the first time.
“We are not afraid to go after some of our customers’ most difficult challenges in the cyberspace,” Smith added. “We’ve done a lot of work on CDM, the Department of Homeland Security’s Continuous Diagnostics and Mitigation program, where we won one of the first contracts awarded in that space. We were also one of the first companies that started doing phase two for CDM, and today we are the only company that is building a shared services platform for this vital program.”