On A Mission: Egidijus Navardauskas
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On A Mission: Egidijus Navardauskas

Challenges Are Bigger Than Fears of New Responsibilities

As Hostinger’s backstage hero, Egidijus shares his experience and insights on what is necessary to boost your personal and professional growth in the Cyber Security field. He tells us about the challenges, meaningfulness, and work-life balance which have led him to becoming a leader.

Can you tell us a little bit about what led you to your current position? What’s the golden rule for being a successful leader in Cyber Security?

I started my career at Hostinger as a Cyber Security Specialist in November 2019. A dedicated Cyber Security Team was being formed, so we had to develop a new information security strategy from scratch and recruit more team members. We hired amazing and smart people who are still working and excelling in the Cyber Security team. My previous manager entrusted me with the recruiting process and interviews with candidates up to the final stage. I was also entrusted to provide guidance for new colleagues and sometimes to hold one-on-ones with the other team members, giving me the opportunity to develop my interpersonal skills. 

After seven months of work at Hostinger, I was asked whether I would like to become Head of the Cyber Security team. I was surprised and honored with the offer and was given both time and space to contemplate this big step. In the meantime, I continued doing managerial work and supporting the team before finally deciding to accept the offer as my hunger for challenges was bigger than my fears of new responsibilities. After celebrating the first anniversary of working at Hostinger, I was promoted to Head of Cyber Security, and my manager was reassigned to a different role within the company. My general tips to those willing to take this job, especially after moving from a specialist position, are to understand how the business works along with its monetization model and then identify the most significant risks that might harm it. 

Once you understand the threat to that environment and the technologies already used, you can set up additional technical, operational, or physical controls to reduce the risks to manageable levels. Of course, you will need a team with appropriate skills to implement your information security program, so hiring the right people is critical. Moving to a management position also means that you will need to learn how to manage people appropriately, and you will need to improve your communication and negotiation skills. It might be hard to get support from other business units and executives without them. I strongly recommend being up to date with the latest cyber security trends, technologies, and frameworks, reading books about management, or signing up for management courses that will help you adapt to a managerial mindset. I also highly recommend checking out “High Output Management” by Andrew S. Grove, a must-read for every new manager in Hostinger.

How is Hostinger’s mission important for you? What do you find meaningful in your job? 

Hostinger’s mission is to make life easier for website developers and their customers by offering easy-to-use, fast and reliable web hosting services. Without ensuring the security of our services, I believe it would be hard to accomplish our mission. Hence, the ability to directly contribute to our company’s mission and our client security is the most meaningful aspect of my job. 

Tell us about your typical workday. Do you have a routine to boost productivity? How do you prefer to start/end your day?

It’s hard to talk about a typical workday as most of the activities I do differ depending on the situation, quarter priorities, or unexpected events. Therefore, I always have a free slot in the daily schedule for unforeseen things or staff consultations. Usually, my typical workday starts with coffee, going over emails and information security newsletters, and reviewing internal company communication channels for what happened during the night to ensure that there have been no events or threats that require my attention. I regularly organize meetings and follow-ups with my team and other business departments, review reports and statuses of identified security issues to ensure the internal service level objectives (SLOs) are met. Also, I gather and announce weekly team updates, prepare team activity reports, and ensure smooth work of the Cyber Security team by providing guidance and support. 

The best way to boost my productivity is to eat healthy food, exercise at least two times a week, go to bed at least at 11:00 PM, and plan the next day’s work in advance. The human body and brain need to get a good rest to perform well, and food is the fuel that provides energy to our brain, so it’s crucial to manage your sleep cycle and eat well. It’s hard to keep a healthy routine always, but it helps to stay focused during the day. 

Another thing that helps me stay productive when I feel very tired or unproductive is meditating for 15 minutes during the lunch break. Meditation helps calm down the mind and refresh the body.

Think of the best people you work with. What do they do differently?

There are many great people at Hostinger that I know and work with. I could say that the common thing that they all share is a growth mindset and strong ownership. They constantly learn new technologies and walk the extra mile to deliver results. I’m proud to work with so many intelligent, talented, and inspiring people. 

What’s the best thing that’s happened to you recently?

The first thing that comes to my mind is that I’ve found a new hobby. I really like the beautiful landscape that you can see from the mountains or on a plane. So I bought a drone, and during my free time and if the weather allows, I enjoy flying it to capture good pictures from the sky. 

What have been the biggest challenges you’ve had to overcome while working here?

The biggest challenge for me was adapting to my new role in the company. Instead of doing technical tasks myself, I distribute the team’s workload and responsibilities according to the area of expertise or adapt the task-relevant maturity framework. Hostinger organizes Manager’s Academy courses for new managers, and this training has helped me overcome the role-related challenges. 

Are you currently learning anything new? Why? How will it help you to grow?

Recently I started listening to the audiobook “Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win.” It drew my attention as I’d heard positive stories about Navy Seals, their self-discipline, mental toughness, and successful accomplishments in combat missions. According to the book’s reviews, some of the Navy SEAL principles could be successfully adapted in business, particularly leadership. I can’t tell if it will help me grow in any way, but I will definitely learn something new from it and probably try to adapt some of the practices in my daily life and work.     

Striving for the highest standards and delivering results is challenging. How do you spend your free time?

I listen to audiobooks, enjoy nature while hiking in the forest, or visit popular tourist attractions and places to catch nice pictures with my drone. 

What is your favourite place in the world? Why?

My favorite place in the world is here and now, being in the present moment. Being present, you don’t think about the future or the past. You focus on the particular moment and enjoy what’s happening now. 

Are you ready to give a boost to your career? Have a look at the positions we are currently hiring for

The author

Author

Ieva Tamošiūnė / @ievatamosiune

Brand Communication Manager @ Hostinger

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