Exclusive: Barclays builds out security team with second Europol hire

Paul Gillen, head of operations at Europol's European Cybercrime Centre (EC3), will leave his position to take up a similar title at UK bank Barclays.

Exclusive: Barclays builds out security team with second Europol hire
Exclusive: Barclays builds out security team with second Europol hire

Speaking to SCMagazineUK.com over the weekend, Gillen confirmed that he is leaving in June to take up the role of managing director of cyber operations at the bank, which only recently hired Gillen's former boss, Troels Oerting, as group chief information security officer (CISO).

The new job is London-based and Gillen said it represents an ‘exciting' challenge to move on into private sector after 32 years in the police. Prior to joining EC3, Gillen worked for the Garda Síochána (Irish Police Service), where he was most recently head of the Computer Crime Investigation Unit (CCIU).

“Troels and I were part of the top management team at EC3. He was head of EC3 and I was head of cyber operations and cyber intelligence,” he told SC.

“Troels went to Barclays in January 2015 and he expressed an interest in renewing our partnership at Barclays.”

“Barclays is a huge organisation and is taking cyber-security seriously. My unique experience was attractive to them and I relished the challenge to head their Cyber Security Operations Centre.

“My role will have a wide scope but will include responsibility for defence-in-depth teams across Barclays' business areas. At 51 years old, after 32 years in policing and 19 years in high-tech crime investigations, this was the right time to accept this new challenge.”

Brian Honan, managing director at BH Consulting and EC3 special advisor on internet security, added in an email to SC: “Paul will be a big loss to the law enforcement community in its battle against cyber-crime but I think it is good that we have senior law enforcement experts in cyber-crime moving into the private sector.”

“Paul's expertise and experience in tackling cyber-crime will be a major boost for Barclays and for its customers. The movement of law enforcement experts into the private sector will also help build bridges between the private sector and the law enforcement community which in turn should benefit better cooperation between the two groups in dealing with cyber-crime. I have no doubt that while a big loss to Europol, the agency will still be able to continue to grow its reputation and capabilities in dealing with cyber-crime.”

EC3 has been heralded as a great success since its launch in January 2013, operating as an epicentre for EU member state to crackdown on cyber-crime. During Gillen's stewardship, EC3 had carried outseveral famous takedowns, including on the infrastructure behind CryptoLocker and Gameover Zeus botnets as well as Shylock Trojan. As exclusively reported by SC at the time, the centre also launched the J-CAT centre, for EU member state investigators to build cases from the ground up.

It's unclear at this stage who will replace Gillen at Europol – which didn't respond to SC's request at the time of writing – still apparently in the midst of recruiting Oerting's replacement. Wil Van Gemert, who joined Europol as deputy director of operations last February, also currently holds the role of acting director of EC3.