From Moscow, to New York, to Hong Kong, and most places in between – Ilya has been there, in boardrooms and in the field, building his vast experience. His dedicated work has touched a wide spectrum of risk mitigation and resilience operations, including threat and vulnerability assessments, risk management framework development, design and implementation of technological, physical, and operational asset protection controls, and third-party due diligence, to name a few.
Ilya joined Current Consulting Group’s management team in 2018, and his impact on the company and its growth to date has been remarkable. In this article, Ilya shares some of his experience in risk management and what drives him as a leading practitioner and dedicated mentor and coach.
Your vast experience and numerous accomplishments speak for themselves, but how did you get into the industry in the first place?
Completely by accident. I was in the middle of my master’s degree program in Criminal Justice at John Jay College when my future mentor and friend, Paul DeMatteis, stumbled on my resume and offered me a position with a global security team at Prudential Financial in Newark, NJ. In my first week, he tasked me with writing policies for securing company’s check stock. In a few months I was in Mexico and Argentina, helping Paul conduct assessments and build connections with local colleagues. In my six years at Prudential, I was given opportunities to work on more assignments and projects some practitioners don’t get to do in their twenty-year careers.
Your accomplishment as lead of the security redesign of the UN Headquarters in New York does turn a lot of heads. Apart from this, what other experiences and accomplishments over the years are you particularly proud of?
I am proud of having helped a global law firm understand their significant data protection exposures well before the term “cybersecurity” came into our lexicon. I’m also proud of organizing protection for my colleagues when a group of them had to travel to a dangerous location. However, I am most proud of various opportunities to help young and aspiring practitioners in our industry build their skills and stand out from the crowd.
You dedicate a lot of your energy and time to inspire and guide aspiring risk practitioners through their focus on asset management, psychology, and design. Where does this drive and enthusiasm to coach and teach stem from?
I mentioned earlier that I got into this industry completely by accident. I don’t want this to be the pattern for young and aspiring practitioners. I want to help build professional foundations in our industry so that the next generation would have fewer barriers for entry and growth. I also want our industry to equal or be better in terms of academic and professional resources when compared with law, medicine, architecture, and engineering.
What drew you to Current Consulting Group?
My friendship with our fearless Managing Director, Björn Wahlstrom, and a team of dedicated, humble, warm-hearted colleagues. I also very much enjoy opportunities to enable individual practitioners and teams with different resources which I have come across in my career. I have been able to realize many of these opportunities at Current Consulting Group