Top 10 CISOs in North America

CISOs ultimately oversee the implementation of necessary security technologies that are designed to mitigate risk from threat actors
Cyber Magazine considers some of the leading Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs) who are committed to protecting sensitive business data

The role of a CISO is to manage and oversee the development, implementation and enforcement of security practices within a business to protect critical data and information.

Given a strong need for businesses to protect critical data and operations in the midst of increased cyberattacks, this role is now more vital than ever before. CISOs ultimately oversee the implementation of necessary security technologies that are designed to mitigate risk from threat actors.

Cyber Magazine wishes to highlight some of the leading CISOs across North America who are working to improve the cybersecurity measures within their respective companies, as well as ensuring that the data of their customers remains secure.

10: Nasrin Rezai, SVP & CISO at Verizon

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Having worked for Verizon as SVP and CISO since August 2020, Nasrin Rezai has seen first-hand the impact that COVID-19 has had on business cybersecurity measures worldwide.

With more than 25 years in the technology sector, including 17 years in cybersecurity, Rezai has an incredibly unique industry perspective to help Verizon’s security team work constantly to keep customer’s information and accounts safe.

Rezai has also held key executive positions in organisations including The Aspen Institute, the Federal Trade Commission and Infoblox.

9: Kevin Cross, SVP & CISO at Dell Technologies

Kevin Cross, SVP & CISO at Dell Technologies

Kevin Cross heads up Dell Technologies’ Security and Resiliency Organisation as SVP and CISO. He has extensive experience leading incident analysis and response, threat intelligence, threat hunting, ethical hacking, forensics and e-discovery, penetration testing and vulnerability management functions for large organisations in both the public and private sectors.

Prior to working with Dell, Cross served as VP and Deputy CISO at Sony. He also founded and developed world-class security operations centres at Sony, the US Counterintelligence Field Activity (CIFA), the Pentagon and the Defense Intelligence Agency.

8: Kirsten Davies, CISO at Unilever

Kirsten Davies, CISO at Unilever

Business enabling and risk management focused, Kirsten Davies holds a unique and globally-experienced approach to information security, data privacy, IT and digital transformation.

With more than 15 years of experience, Davies is a leader in leading digital trust programmes which balance enterprise risk reduction with cost optimisation. She also has a well-established track record of guiding global teams, working across a broad array of industries including manufacturing, finance, energy, telecoms and media & entertainment.

Prior to working at Unilever, Davies has worked as CISO in notable companies including The Estée Lauder Companies Inc., Hewlett Packard Enterprise and Siemens.

7: Phil Venables, VP at Google & CISO at Google Cloud

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Phil Venables is CISO of Google Cloud, where he leads the risk, security, compliance and privacy teams. He is a specialist in cybersecurity, cloud services, technology risk and business resilience, from in-depth engineering to board-level management.

He first joined Google in 2020, after spending more than 25 years as a CISO at multiple financial services companies. Prior to joining the company, he was Partner at Goldman Sachs where he held multiple roles over a long career, initially as their first CISO. He has also worked on the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology at The White House.

6: Brent Conran, CISO at Intel Corporation

Brent Conran, CISO at Intel Corporation

With a background in executive leadership as CIO, CISO and CSO in a variety of businesses, Bret Conran holds valuable experience in cybersecurity. Having worked with Intel since 2015, Conran is responsible for safeguarding the company’s corporate assets, intellectual property, and computer systems. He also drives and manages organisation-wide information security programs aligned with business strategies.

Conran has also worked as CIO and CISO for the US House of Representatives, where he was able to introduce security incident management systems, emergency responses preparedness plans and disaster recovery programmes. He has also been a white hat hacker.

5: Wendy Nather, Head of Advisory CISOs at Cisco

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With more than 40 years of technical expertise in IT operations and security, Wendy Nather is well-versed in the role of an CISO. Now an advisory CISO, Nather holds special knowledge in security programme management, threat intelligence, risk analysis, identity and access management, security operations and incident response, application security and security services.

Prior to her current role at Cisco, she worked 12 years in the financial services industry, five years as an industry analyst and five years in the United States government. Organisations include SANS Technology Institute, UBS and the Institute for Security and Technology.

4: Chandra McMahon, SVP & CISO at CVS Health

Chandra McMahon, SVP & CISO at CVS Health

With more than 30 years of experience in senior leadership managing large and complex security programmes, Chandra McMahon leads CVS Health’s Global Security organisation, where she is responsible for protecting the company from cybersecurity threats and driving its mission to help people on their path to better health. 

McMahon has previously served as SVP and CISO for Verizon, as well as having held numerous leadership roles at Lockheed Martin, including as Vice President and CISO. She is committed to numerous initiatives within the sector, including the championing of women within technology and coding sectors.

3: Bret Arsenault, CVP & CISO at Microsoft

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As CISO for Microsoft, Bret Arsenault is responsible for enterprise-wide information security, compliance and business continuity efforts and leads a global team of security professionals with a strategic focus on information protection, assessment, awareness, governance and enterprise business continuity.

Arsenault has worked at Microsoft for more than 30 years, having held a broad range of managerial positions in technology and information security. He currently serves as the Chairman of Microsoft’s Information Risk Management Council, and hosts Microsoft’s Security Council, a forum with enterprise customers that drives product direction and operational best practices.

2: CJ Moses, CISO & VP of Security Engineering at Amazon

CJ Moses, CISO & VP of Security Engineering at Amazon

New to the CISO role at Amazon, CJ Moses is an accomplished CISO who has led product design and security engineering for the company. He has consistently worked to deliver economic and security benefits of cloud computing to customers within business and government.

Moses has worked as part of Amazon for more than 15 years, with his previous role for the organisation as CISO and VP of Security Engineering at Amazon Web Services (AWS). Prior to that, he worked in technical investigative analysis for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

1: Jerry Geisler, SVP & Global CISO at Walmart

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With decades of experience in security and having been at Walmart for his entire career, Jerry Geisler is certainly a leading CISO. He currently serves as the SVP and CISO of Walmart’s global infosec department, where his responsibilities revolve around data security for millions of customers and associates.

Geisler began his career with Walmart as a cashier in his hometown store more than three decades ago. Since then, he has been considered a forward-thinking industry leader focused on emerging best-in-class information security practices, innovation and business enablement broadly engaged across IT, OT, cloud, platform and product security domains.

In addition to Walmart, Geisler is a long-serving program committee member for the RSA Executive Security Action Forum and member of the University of Tulsa Board of Trustees. He is also an armed forces veteran, having served in the US Marine Corps.

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