If Matt Burroughs’ father hadn’t encouraged him to pursue a summer internship, he might’ve never unlocked his passion for cybersecurity. When Matt returned home one summer during college, staying productive was his only option. He landed an internship where he could practice securing a database and applying the skills he learned through his coursework, and eventually, he landed a job at a security company upon graduation.
Now, years later, Matt has managed to stay inspired, maintaining what he calls a “proactive and vigilant mindset.” As Novolex Vice President of Information Security, he’s been consistently challenged to reach higher and deliver for customers, business partners, and colleagues. Matt believes he is part of a bigger culture of individuals who are never satisfied with being mediocre.
“My passion comes from helping other people solve their problems,” says Matt. “I firmly believe that behind every security measure, there are individuals whose livelihoods depend on the protection we provide.”
Matt is a premiere example of the kind of employee Novolex recruits—driven, determined, and committed to staying ahead of an ever changing industry. In his role, Matt oversees and manages the organization’s information security program. Ultimately, he empowers employees to work confidently, knowing that their sensitive information, intellectual property, and privacy are safeguarded and in the right hands.
Matt’s passion for building a safer digital future has not gone unnoticed. He was recently recognized on Chief Data Officer Magazine’s Under 40 Security Leaders 2023 list, which recognizes the world’s most influential and successful cybersecurity leaders. This list, generated by industry leaders, recognizes the most talented individuals across the cybersecurity landscape.
In alignment with Novolex core values, Matt puts safety first every day. As company leadership works around the clock to protect the health and well-being of every employee, Matt’s team is relied upon to secure sensitive cyber data that is critical to successful operations.
This commitment to safety and cybersecurity is what Matt calls a “security conscious culture.” He believes that this mindset allows Novolex to protect its own value assets, effectively building consumer trust and mitigating the risks posed by cyber threats.
However, establishing these company-wide institutions, systems, and processes isn’t always easy. As a leader in the space, Matt carefully balances security needs and business objectives, asking himself how Novolex encourages growth and innovation while also making risk-informed decisions that project the broader organization.
For Matt, it all starts with leading by example. He intentionally builds and empowers a strong team with diverse skills and expertise, understanding that each team member has a unique perspective to bring to cybersecurity. He shows his team that a commitment to best practices goes a long way, and through communication and collaboration, they can spread security awareness throughout the entire organization.
Matt’s leadership extends beyond his team and colleagues—he’s also a key player in Novolex’s initiative to shrink the talent gap through internships. “Our company believes that bringing a diverse group of local talent is essential for driving innovation, fostering creativity and achieving sustainable growth,” says Matt. He recognizes the diverse pool of talent that exists particularly in the cybersecurity space, with younger security interns maintaining the same strategic edge that many cyber attackers do. He also acknowledges the underrepresentation of women in the industry, which only makes him more intentional in seeking out diverse talent.
His journey prior to entering his current role as took him around the world—from Kuwait to London to Australia. But today, as a cybersecurity lead at Novolex, Matt feels right at home being among peers that care deeply about safety, innovation, and adaptability. The Novolex ongoing commitment to cybersecurity measures keeps Matt engaged, allowing him to contribute his expertise and collaborate on solutions.
When asked about his recent recognition on the Under 40 list, Matt beamed (which, according to him, takes a lot). “To be recognized among my peers and industry professionals for my contribution is truly humbling,” Matt shared. “This recognition serves as motivation to continue pushing boundaries, strive for excellence, and embrace new challenges.”