“It is crucial to periodically revisit your security architecture to reevaluate risks and make necessary adjustments,” said Irshad Saifi, CDIO at Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas

Can you describe your current role, and what responsibilities do you undertake? (Word Limit: 100 words)

In my current role, I am responsible for driving the Innovation, Business Transformation, Information Technology and Cybersecurity for the firm. I play a pivotal role in identifying the firm’s needs and spearheading the development of a customer-centric digital transformation strategy, translating this to a long-term roadmap, budget needs, and redesign of the organization, with an aim to increase productivity, building intellectual property, and reducing costs

How will you describe your journey in the cybersecurity Industry? (Word Limit: 100 Words)

I have significantly contributed my cybersecurity expertise specifically in the last 20+ years across the three organizations which include Sunpharma/Ranbaxy at the global and group levels, Havells, and SAM & Co. Fortunate to be entrusted with key responsibilities, I have consistently set a high standard by exemplifying a visionary approach. I successfully implemented cutting-edge cybersecurity technologies, optimized human resources, and streamlined processes, positioning each organization at least 5 years ahead of contemporary standards.

If you could make one recommendation to the next generation of cybersecurity leaders, what would it be? (Word limit: 100 words)

I recommend to all my colleagues the prioritization of fundamental controls and hygiene practices as a foundational step. Subsequently, focus on constructing an optimal blend of technologies, personnel, and processes to fortify your organizations, ensuring compliance and the implementation of controls that not only provide protection in the present but also anticipate challenges for the coming years. It is crucial to periodically revisit your security architecture to re-evaluate risks and make necessary adjustments, considering the rapidly evolving risk landscape.

How do you stay current with the latest security threats and technologies? (Word limit: 100 words)

By consistently engaging in industry forums, attending conferences, and participating in continuous professional development. Subscribing to reputable cybersecurity publications, collaborating with peers, and leveraging online courses also contribute to my ongoing education. This proactive approach ensures that I remain well-informed about emerging threats and advancements in security technologies, enabling me to implement effective measures to safeguard against evolving cyber risks.

Can you discuss a time when you had to handle a security incident, and what steps you took to resolve it? (Word limit: 100 words)

Certainly, during a security incident, I immediately initiated our incident response plan. I isolated affected systems, conducted a thorough analysis to identify the breach’s nature, and contained the impact. Communication was paramount; I liaised with stakeholders transparently, keeping them informed about the situation and our mitigation efforts. Utilizing forensics, we traced the source, implemented patches, and strengthened our defenses. Post-incident, a comprehensive review informed future preventive measures. This experience reinforced the importance of a robust incident response framework, rapid decision-making, and continuous improvement to bolster the organization’s overall cybersecurity posture.

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