A Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) oversees the development, implementation and enforcement of critical security practices within a business to protect critical data.
This role is now more important than ever given the need for businesses to protect critical data and operations. CISOs oversee the teams that put necessary security technologies in place to minimise risk to organisations. Many also lead high-level discussions about security strategy and help business leaders better understand risks that impact the organisation.
With this in mind, Cyber Magazine considers some of the leading CISOs for well-established organisations within the EMEA region and have affluent reach within the global cybersecurity landscape.
10: Youssef S., CISO, BMCI Groupe BNP Paribas
Based in Morocco, Youssef S. is BMCI Groupe BNP Paribas’ CISO, having held the position since 2019. As part of his job role, he steers new security programs and deploys ICT control plans, as well as ensuring that risk and cyber protocols remain up-to-date. He also manages security events like vulnerability management and data loss prevention in collaboration with risk teams to ensure company staff have full cybersecurity awareness.
He joined the company in 2015 within the Inspection Générale and prior to that was an IT consultant and auditor for EY.
9: Michael Beck, Global CISO, Darktrace
Having joined Darktrace in its early stages in 2014, Michael Beck developed the cyber analyst operation that supports thousands of Darktrace customers with 24/7 support. Since 2023, he has overseen the company’s internal security program as Global CISO.
Beck started his career as a software engineer on GCHQ’s technologist programme, and progressed to support military operations. He has also conducted intelligence analysis and assessment in operational theatres across the world, including running cyber defensive operations for the UK government, the implementation of the national cyber security strategy and protecting the London 2012 Olympic Games.
8: Joy Omoruku, CISO, Airtel Nigeria
Joy Omoruku is a cybersecurity specialist with experience in IT audit, information security, cybersecurity specialist, security operations, cybersecurity governance and cloud security. She has worked for Sterling Bank in Nigeria, with her previous role being at Microsoft, where she worked as an advisor and consultant to commercial banks and telecoms for hybrid infrastructure security.
Omoruku contributes to the design and approval of a comprehensive security strategy within Airtel Nigeria. The strategy accounts for the end-to-end lifecycle of information security operations, which includes: evaluating the IT threat landscape, devising policy and controls to reduce risk within the business and leading auditing and compliance initiatives.
Andreas leads a team of highly skilled and passionate professionals to protect Polestar’s customers, employees and brand. He works to apply his cross-functional experience in cybersecurity, technology, culture and management to ensure a holistic and collaborative approach to cybersecurity resilience at Polestar.
Andreas has worked as CISO for the company since February 2023, having previously been Information Security Officer. His team works to build and drive adaptive cybersecurity capabilities to embrace different solutions in governance, risk, compliance and security practices.
6: Ivan Sanchez Lopez, Group CISO, Bupa
Ivan Sanchez Lopez has developed his career in global teams and companies in several industries, including consulting, telco, logistics, insurance and healthcare. He works to help cybersecurity teams, organisations and business leaders develop securely in the digital age and provides strategic advice to executives.
As Group Chief Information Security Officer at Bupa, he is responsible for the successful implementation of the organisation’s cybersecurity strategy by enabling the delivery of local teams across the market units worldwide. He also oversees the compliance with internal policies, external regulations, manages the relationship with regulators and reports on the status of Bupa’s cybersecurity programme to the board.
5: Jesús Mérida, CISO, Iberia
Dedicated to information security and risk management, Jesús Mérida is an experienced IT manager who has great experience in governance models and project implementation at both technical and organisational levels. Having been appointed at Iberia in 2019, he has consistently been keen to deliver on the fact that cybersecurity is a key point in the company’s strategy.
Mérida is highly experienced in international business that is dedicated to information technology, with experience across Europe (EMEA), the United States and the Middle East. He also brought his background work at Técnicas Reunidas earned him the 2018 ComputerWorld Award for Ciso of the Year.
4: Andrew Robson, CISO, Bentley Motors
Andrew Robson is an information technology security specialist with notable success directing a broad range of IT initiatives whilst participating in planning and implementing information-security solutions in direct support of business objectives.
Andrew has been involved with information security since 1987 when he was enlisted into the Royal Air Force (RAF) as a telecommunications operator. He has since worked in numerous areas of security, including administration, systems management, IT risk, to Head of Security Operations. He has held a number of prominent senior roles at LloydsTSB, Barclays, The COOP Bank and now holds the position of CISO at Bentley Motors, having assumed the position in 2016.
3: Monica Verma, Group CISO, Orange Business
Monica Verma has worked in the security and privacy industry for nearly 20 years, holding strong ties in finance and health sectors. Her mission is to help build and support those within the industry with professional growth, as well as working to assist businesses in cybersecurity.
Her work as Group CISO sees her heading the security and privacy department at Digital Services in Europe - a division of Orange Business Services. She works within the business to understand how cybersecurity and disruptive innovation such as AI influence and the opportunities and risks associated with that.
2: Helen Rabe, CISO, BBC
Helen Rabe manages the BBC’s information, cyber and technology security strategy and operations. This work consists of a variety of responsibilities that include developing, implementing and enforcing the BBC’s security policies to protect the critical data, services and systems across the business.
With more than 13 years of experience in the cyber industry, she has successfully managed high performing teams to counter genuine cyber threats and worked to deliver security and data privacy management solutions across a broad range of industry sectors that range from financial services, life sciences and broadcasting.
1: Björn Fröhlich, CISO, Deutsche Bank
With more than a decade of combined experience contributing to enhanced information security and risk management, Björn Fröhlich has consistently worked to implement security controls within a wide range of business platforms. His goal is always to enable smart digitalisation in a secure manner for the business that he is working for.
As the Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) for Deutsche Bank’s Switzerland branch, he is responsible for information security topics, including regulations related matters pertaining to Switzerland in particular. He works to increase the bank's information security, as well as advance its IT security strategy.
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