New CSO appointments in India

Here is a comprehensive list of CISO/CSO movements and new appointments in the Indian cybersecurity space in 2020.

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With security taking centre stage across the enterprise, the role of the CSO or CISO is becoming increasingly complex and challenging, but exciting, nonetheless. As these executives find new roles in which they can bring their experience and vision to bear, we'll keep you up to date on new appointments and movements in the world of cybersecurity.

If you have any appointment or job news to share, please let us know.

September

Ashok Kumar N joins Encora as Sr Director, Global GSRC and Head of Digital Security

ashok kumar nanda Ashok Kumar N

Ashok Kumar N, Sr Director, Global GSRC & Head-Digital Security, Encora

Former CISO at Amazon Pay India, Ashok Kumar has joined Encora as Sr Director, Global GSRC (Governance Security Risk and Compliance) and Head of Digital Security.

Encora is a global digital engineering organization headquartered in Arizona, US with a 4000+ strong team and growing.

The company assists organizations in driving innovation in AI/ML, cloud, IoT, automation, and mobility in addition to other enterprise technology solutions.

In his new role, Kumar will actuate Encora’s digital security practice. He will also be developing and instituting the framework for technology pertaining to Governance, Risk and Compliance (GRC). Additionally, he will be responsible for the implementation of international security, risk, and compliance standards and frameworks at the firm.

Kumar accrued extensive experience for his current role during his tenure at Unisys, where he developed and set up the company’s security and compliance Centre of Excellence for global operations covering over 30 offices in the Americas, Europe and Asia.

He has implementation experience in multiple standards and frameworks, including ISO 27001, ISO 22301, ISO 20000-1, ISO 31000, NIST, HIPAA/HITECH, ISAE 3402 SSAE 16 SOC 1 & SOC 2, SOX, FedRAMP, Fisma and PCI-DSS.

In his stint with Amazon, he led the adoption, implementation and localization of corporate, transactional and regulatory security requirements from US & China to India & South Asia.

Gomeet Pant to head IT Ops & Cybersecurity at Vedanta Zinc International

gomeet pant cso100 Gomeet Pant/CSO100 Awards

Gomeet Pant, Head-IT Ops & Cybersecurity, Vedanta Zinc International

Gomeet Pant has been appointed Head of IT Operations & Cybersecurity at South Africa-based Vedanta Zinc International (VZI).

In his previous role Pant was heading cybersecurity at Cairn Oil and Gas – a vertical of the Vedanta group. In his new role at Vedanta Zinc International (VZI), he will be overseeing IT infrastructure in addition to cybersecurity.

The seasoned cybersecurity leader has been associated with Vedanta since June 2013 when he joined the company as Group Lead, IT Security and Compliance.

His new role makes him responsible for Operational Technology (OT) security at VZI. Explaining his new role, Pant said: “I’m now on the Vedanta Group’s security committee and will be leading as the group’s security anchor.”

As Vedanta Zinc International is a South African entity, Pant will be relocating to SA in two months from now. In addition to his new responsibilities, there’s a portion of IT security he will continue to manage for the Vedanta Group in India.

Being responsible for OT systems’ security, Pant shared his thoughts on what makes OT security more important than IT security: “Data can be recovered after an attack on a company's IT, but if there’s a cyberattack on OT systems, it can cause a significant impact on human safety and the environment.”

He added that a cyberattack on IT results in monetary loss, but unlike attacks on OT systems, human lives are not at stake.

Neha Taneja takes over as Head-Cybersecurity at Cairn Oil & Gas

Neha Taneja will now be heading cybersecurity at Cairn Oil and Gas. A tenured cybersecurity leader, Taneja was previously Asst. VP-IT at GE Capital Business Process management services.

She then joined SBI Card as Deputy VP-IT and served 7 years 6 months in the company before her exit as VP-IT Controllership.

July

Dharmesh Rathod joins Welspun Group as Head-Cybersecurity

dharmesh b rathod CSO100 Awards by IDG India

Dharmesh B Rathod, Head-Cybersecurity, Welspun Group

Former CISO at Adani Enterprises, Dharmesh Rathod has joined the Welspun Group as Head of Cybersecurity. Founded in 1985, Welspun Group is a multinational conglomerate with investments in steel, energy and textiles.

Prior to his stint at Adani, Rathod played the role of a CISO as Head-IT Assurance and Information Security at Essar Services India Ltd. for six years. 

At Adani Enterprises, he led security strategy, audits, risk management and compliance, threat management, and IT & OT security. He is credited with setting up a security assessment framework in line with global security standards. He also designed the OT security program, including POCs and evaluations and played a key role in driving ISO27001 certification and assessment for the group.

In a career spanning over 22 years, Rathod has been the recipient of several leadership awards. He has made his mark as an eminent speaker at global and domestic platforms and has authored articles on cybersecurity for reputed publications.

Rathod is certified in ITIL V3, ISO27001 LI and LA, to name a few, and is also a trained Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP). In addition to being a cybersecurity chief, he has also played the role of an IT & cybersecurity strategist, architect & adviser and was an industry mentor for the Standford Advanced Cybersecurity Program.

June

Unique Kumar, former CISO at Max Healthcare, joins CK Birla Group as Group CISO

Unique Kumar Unique Kumar

Unique Kumar, Group CISO, CK Birla Group

Unique Kumar, who in the past, headed security operations at Max Healthcare, Aviva India and Aptara, has been appointed as the Group CISO at CK Birla Group.

In addition to his extensive experience in cybersecurity, in his previous stints,  Kumar was responsible for implementing new IT technologies, digital transformation, IT infrastructure, datacentre, large scale ERP rollouts, IT automation and cloud computing.

He also has experience in mergers & acquisitions and maintaining stakeholder relationships. He has the know-how in managing risk and audits and is certified in ISO 27001 compliance, Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) and Project Management Professional (PMP).

In 2018, Kumar bagged his second consecutive CSO100 Award for spearheading key security initiatives at Max Healthcare – this included intrusion detection systems, email security, phishing simulators and Identity and Access Management (IdAM).

May

Maya R Nair appointed as Director & CISO at Credit Rating Information Services of India Limited (CRISIL)

maya r nair ciso crisil Image supplied by Maya R Nair

Maya R Nair, Director & CISO, CRISIL

Maya R Nair, former CISO at Reliance Capital Ltd. and Head-Information Security at Idea Cellular has joined Credit Rating Information Services of India Limited (CRISIL) as Director & Chief Information Security Officer.

In her previous stints, Nair also served as head of security operations at Reliance Jio and was CISO & Head-IT Infrastructure at Lentra AI Ltd.

An experienced veteran in the credit information space, Nair served as Assistant Vice President-InfoSec at TransUnion Credit Information Bureau Limited (TUCIBIL) for close to a decade. In addition to protecting TUCIBIL from internal and external threats, she played a key role in setting up the ISMS framework to conform to ISO 27001:2013; she helped revamp and migrate the datacentre with zero downtime and also set up the BCP and DR site for the company.

Nair is a Certified Information System Auditor (CISA) and a certified Information Security Management System (ISMS) lead auditor for ISO 27001. Among her list of credentials are BS 25999 Lead Implementer and DSCI-certified privacy lead assessor.

March

Rajesh Hemrajani appointed CISO at Paytm Payments Bank

Rajesh Hemrajani, CISO at Paytm Payments Bank CSO100 Awards

Rajesh Hemrajani, CISO at Paytm Payments Bank

Former CISO at IDFC FIRST Bank, Rajesh Hemrajani has joined Paytm Payments Bank as the Chief Information Security Officer.

He has over 28 years of experience in framing corporate information and cybersecurity policies & procedures, setting security standards for IT infrastructure, risk assessment, and developing business continuity plans and service standards.

At IDFC First Bank, Hemrajani managed four global information security functions and verticals with an 85-member team of skilled cybersecurity and risk professionals. He was a winner of the CSO100 Award in 2019.

February

Former CISO at YES Bank, Rajesh Thapar joins OakNorth as Head of IT and InfoSec

Rajesh Thapar at the CSO100 Awards CSO100 Awards

Rajesh Thapar, Head-IT & InfoSec at OakNorth Bank

Former CISO at YES Bank, Rajesh Thapar has been appointed as the Head of IT and Information Security at OakNorth. OakNorth is a UK Bank providing loans to small and mid-sized businesses in the UK. A veteran CISO in the banking space, Thapar has extensive expertise in ISO 27001, IT Strategy, Management, Pre-sales, and Management Information Systems (MIS).

Prior to working at YES Bank, Thapar was with IBM India as Information Security and Risk Management Lead, delivering IT security and risk management functions across manifold strategic outsourcing clients. He has also worked with Citigroup Global Services (now TCS eServe) and IDBI Bank.

December 2019

Kiran Belsekar joins Aegon Life as Vice President - Information Security

Kiran Belsekar, CISO, Aegon Life Insurance  Kiran Belsekar

Kiran Belsekar, CISO, Aegon Life Insurance 

Former SVP - Head of Information Technology & Cybersecurity at ENAM, Kiran Belsekar joined Aegon Life as Vice President - Information Security. Belsekar has accrued over 16 years of experience in IT services in BPOs & KPOs, manufacturing, retail, banking, life insurance & the media domain.

He has proven his expertise in managing IT, information security & risk management, IT operations, IT infrastructure, ERP, managing IT budgets, and enterprise mobility solutions. In addition, Belsekar has demonstrated the ability to work in established organizations as well as startups.

November 2019

Former Sr. GM-Information Technology at WNS Global Services, Allwyn Pereira,  joins SPi Global as Head of IT Security

allwyn pereira  sutherland 1200 2 Allwyn Pereira/Sutherland/IDG Security Day

Allwyn Pereira at CSO100 Awards by IDG India

Allwyn Pereira has joined SPi Global as Head of IT Security. Pereira is an ISACA-certified Information Security Manager and was the Sr. Group Manager - Information Technology at WNS Global Services. 

Prior to joining WNS, Pereira was the Director of Information Technology at Sutherland Global Services, where he worked for over 4.5 years.

Former Head of Technology at Motilal Oswal Financial Services, Amit Jaokar joins NKGSB Bank as CISO & CDO

amit jaokar choice international 1118 2 1 Amit Jaokar/IDG CSO100 Awards

Amit Jaokar at CSO100 Awards by IDG India

Amit Jaokar, who was previously Head of Technology at Motilal Oswal Financial Services, has been appointed as the Chief Digital Officer & Chief Information Security Officer at NKGSB Bank.

A seasoned IT professional, Jaokar is passionate about creating business opportunities for the connected world.  He has expertise in cloud computing, mobility, virtualization, IT infrastructure, IoT, digitization, BYOD and information security.

October 2019

Fal Ghancha appointed Chief Information Security Officer at DSP Mutual Fund

fal rameshchandra ghancha reliance nippon life asset management 2 CSO100 Awards/IDG

Fal Ghancha at CSO100 Awards by IDG India

Former CISO at Aegon Life Insurance, Fal Ghancha joined DSP Mutual Fund in October 2019. In his current role, he is solely responsible for information and cybersecurity governance, policies & processes, security audits, formulating business continuity plan, and running disaster recovery drills. He won the CSO100 Award in 2019 as well as in 2018.

September 2019

Prateek Mishra appointed Head-Information Security at IIFL Wealth

prateek mishra idbi federal life insurance 1136 2 Prateek Mishra/IDG

Prateek Mishra at CSO100 Awards by IDG India

Prateek Mishra was the CISO at IDBI Federal Life Insurance prior to joining IIFL Wealth. He has experience in various domains of information security and has worked with companies like Reliance Industries and HDFC Bank, in addition to his stint at IDBI.

 

August 2019

Shashank Bajpai joins Export Credit Guarantee Corporation of India as CISO

shashank bajpai Shashank Bajpai/IDG

Shashank Bajpai at CSO100 Awards

The former Chief Information and Security Officer at Acko General Insurance, Shashank Bajpai, is now the security chief at Export Credit Guarantee Corporation of India (ECGC).

He brings more than a decade of experience in the information security domain, with an extensive background in leading corporate IT infrastructure strategy, creating an end-to-end infosec risk posture, and implementing key cybersecurity policies and controls.

June 2019

Manikant R Singh joins DMI Finance as Chief Information Security Officer

Former Head-IT & CISO at Orbis Financial, Manikant R Singh, has joined DMI Finance as CISO. At DMI Finance, Singh will be Reporting to the Jt. Managing Director. 

In his current role, his priorities include API & information security, developing in-depth defence, formulating cybersecurity strategies, business automation, cloud strategies, BCP & DP, ensuring high availability and other security compliances.

May 2019

Mohd Shadab Siddiqui joins Hotstar as head of information security and trust

shadabsiddiqui Mohd Shadab Siddiqui/IDG

Mohd Shadab Siddiqui at the CSO100 Awards by IDG India

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