Meet the Team: Daniel Baird, Senior Information Security Consultant

Thai Boxing. Renewable energy and Polish sausage. These are just some of the topics that Atom’s new Senior InfoSec Consultant, Daniel Baird, can speak knowledgeably about.

As we continue to assemble a crack team of tech experts here at Atom, we think it’s important to not only give our talented and knowledgeable team members a little bit of the limelight but also demonstrate that there’s more to our IT professionals than first meets the eye.

This week, we’re delighted to introduce you to Daniel Baird who recently joined us as Senior Information Security Consultant.

Specialising in multiple areas across commercial and operational technologies – including cybersecurity, network, and telecoms – Dan adds valuable new strings to our IT bow. His work has taken him far beyond the North East (virtually), to London’s Tower Hamlets and even New York. But with a little persuasion and the promise of pizza, we are thrilled to have welcomed Dan to our fast-growing business.

In the few months he’s been with us, we’ve not only witnessed Dan’s extensive expertise in everything from networking to compliance frameworks; we’ve also discovered that underneath the calm, practical and professional exterior is a martial arts expert once ranked as one of the top junior athletes in the world for his height.

With that in mind, we politely asked him to give up five minutes of his time to share a bit more insight into his career background, first impressions of Atom and life away from work.

Dan, could you tell us a little bit about your career to date?

“My first networking role was back in 2012. I was an IOC engineer dealing in LAN to WAN connectivity, security, storage and much more. It was the perfect introduction to the area of tech that interests me and it opened doors to help me find my natural career path quite early on.”

“Not too long after, I was headhunted by a US company based in New York, where I managed numerous data centres and collaborated with global vendors. But for a number of reasons I decided to move into contract work, which enabled me to take on clients in a range of different sectors.”

“The first of those was Tower Hamlets Borough Council, helping them migrate their communications systems to their new headquarters. It was meant to be a three-month job, but I ended up working with the council for two years in total.”

“Most recently, I was contracted by EDF Renewables to work on one of their OT (operational technology) projects. But it wasn’t long after I started working with EDF that I was contacted by Atom Managing Director, Dean Cowens, who suggested that I might be a good fit.”

What was the appeal of working at Atom?

“Having worked with Dean already in a previous business, there was a pre-existing level of trust there. It felt like an opportunity on both sides, and I was thrilled to join because it’s a fantastic company experiencing some really exciting growth. It felt like the perfect time to come on board.”

“In recent years I’ve moved into being more of a technology consultant across corporate and operational technology. As a result, I’ve built quite a bit of experience in cyber security. This has included frameworks covering ISO 27001, HES62443/OG86, NIST/NIS2; automating network security and operations; as well as developing and streamlining network and security policies, process and deployments. These are all areas I believed I could add value to Atom.”

How do you find being part of the team?

“It’s brilliant. In my role, I report directly to Leon [Hughes, Technical Director], but I also work closely with Dean and the rest of the team to get everyone’s input. We all work very collaboratively to make the business as good as it can be.”

“It’s a really friendly bunch, with no one trying to step over each other for individual success. It’s all about making sure the customers get the best services possible.”

When you're not working hard, what are you doing?

“Unwinding for me isn’t the easiest task because I have boisterous kids waiting for me at home! But I do love to travel. My wife is Polish, so we visit Poland regularly. I love learning about and experiencing other cultures.”

“I’m also keen on fitness. I’ve been into combat sports like Mixed Martial Arts, kickboxing and Thai boxing since I was a child. I did some of them competitively as a kid, ranking third in the world for ‘four foot and under’.”

“Although I haven’t competed much as an adult, I did take part in a Mixed Martial Arts charity event for Cancer Research not long ago. We managed to raise over £1,000 for a great cause… and, thankfully, I also won the bout.”

What's your favourite Polish dish?

There are too many to choose! I love golumpki. You peel the leaves off cabbage and stuff it with a filling. That can be minced meat or mushroom and onion, or something else altogether. I also love Polish sausage. All the food is great, really. As a cuisine I would describe it as being ‘hearty’.”

“My wife and I actually got married in Poland, which was an incredible experience. Polish weddings last for two days, so I also got to try a lot of the Polish alcohol over the course of that 48 hours. Probably too much!”

Looking for modern technology solutions from a team you can trust? Help is on the way. Get in touch with Atom today.