CISOs are no longer just security architects with great technical skills defending the organization’s information and data assets. They are rather enablers for new business models and digital platforms driving business growth.
One such dynamic CISO who personifies the changing CISO profile is Jaspal Singh Sawhney, Global Chief Information Security Officer, Tata Communications. Being responsible for the Global Infosec Group, cybersecurity strategy, governance and implementation of security programs for one of the world’s leading digital ecosystem enablers and communication networks is no mean task.
Tata Communications carries around 30% of the world’s internet routes and connects businesses to 60% of the world’s cloud giants and 4 out of 5 mobile subscribers. Enabling this is the world’s largest wholly owned subsea fibre backbone and a Tier-1 IP network with connectivity to more than 200 countries and territories.
Sawhney’s expertise and wealth of experience is behind keeping this vast network protected so that the company can, in turn, assure secure services to its customers. He is in charge of the infosec annual operating plan and infosec governance for the whole enterprise and telecom & other growth LOBs.
Of his career spanning over 28 years of experience, Sawhney has spent majority of it protecting banking systems. His extensive experience working with banks, which are among the most targeted entities for cyberattacks and also among the strictest in terms of following compliance and governance practices, provides Sawhney with unique insights into implementing security, compliance and governance frameworks in high risk environments.
Prior to joining Tata Communications in April 2019, Sawhney was associated with Deutsche Bank in various leadership roles for over 18 years. He joined Deutsche Bank in Singapore in 2000 as Regional Head for Information Security Engineering and gradually moved up the ladder to become CISO and Country Head – CISO for Deutsche Bank in India. He was responsible for information security for the banking franchise in India as well as held organizational leadership responsibility for 500 plus roles within the India Security Operations Center.
In his earlier roles with Deutsche, he was responsible for COO/Chief of Staff functions for 700 FTE Technology Operations Centres in India requiring management oversight of technology organization, operations, financials and client relationships for Deutsche franchise in India. He was also the global technology relationship lead for captives in US, UK, and APAC.
Sawhney was also instrumental in conceptualizing, designing and implementing a multi-year strategic information security middleware program delivery for Global Applications portfolio for Standard Chartered Bank within their Singapore Regional HO.
With his deep expertise in cybersecurity, infosec programs, technology infrastructure, Governance Risk & Control and regulatory relationships, Sawhney has made contributions to the development of several industry standards and frameworks. He is also a sought after speaker at industry forums.