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The Life of a Chief Information Security Officer (CISO)


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Manuel Joey A. Regala

CISO is an executive-level manager who directs and manages an enterprise’s strategies and governance to protect its information assets. He has sufficient authority within an organization as he is responsible and accountable for all its security programs. The scope of a CISO’s role is very critical that’s why this person has to be strategic so he’d be able to accurately evaluate the organization’s risk landscapes, educate top management on risk mitigation, and conduct investigation and cyber forensics when needed.

What’s a better way to understand the many technical and managerial skills the position requires than getting to know someone who is in this role and checking out his qualifications, characteristics, and values. So for anyone who may be curious, here’s what a CISO looks like: Manuel Joey A. Regala is currently EastWest Bank’s FVP and Chief Information Security & Data Protection Officer. He is also the current president of the Information Security Officers Group (ISOG) and the past president (2013-2014) of the Information Systems and Control Association (ISACA). He has 36 years of combined management experience in the industries of IT and Financial IT Security, this is why all his active advocacies are all related to IT infrastructure and cybersecurity. He established the Information Security Management System (ISMS) using the ISO 270001/002 standards, a Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA) and Certified 27001 Lead Auditor. In 2017, at Hanoi, Vietnam, he became one of the ASEAN CIO/CSO Awardees. On top of his merits and credentials in the IT industry, it’s also noteworthy to know that he was also a Certified Public Accountant, making his knowledge in the finance industry indisputable.

Joey states that as a CISO, establishing great impacts in his domain was made possible because of these three important aspects that all CISOs should be mindful of. He calls it his CIA, which stands for Culture, Integrity, and Ability.

Culture – A leader should know that culture plays a lot in the formation of values that his people would acquire and retain. The success or failure of an organization may be directly or indirectly impacted by its culture.

Integrity – A leader gains unwavering support from his people and stakeholders by his calculated actions and irrefutable decisions. The fortification of his integrity determines his maturity as a leader worth following.

Ability – It’s imperative that a leader should have above-level competencies in his craft. His hunger for the continuous improvement of his skill sets ensures him of his bullet-proof expertise and technical knowledge.

What also sets Joey apart amongst all IT executives are his leadership and people skills combined with his creativity, and passion for what he does. He has already got a lot of accomplishments and experiences in both finance and IT industries but still keeps a very lowly and charismatic character.

Now, with ISOG’s growing influence, he continues his quest to counter cybercrimes and help provide innovative IT enterprise solutions in the country. From October 8th to November 8th of this year, this team will hold an annual campaign with three culminating activities on October 17th, 18th, and 24th. This cybersecurity event is a pioneer in the Philippine history and most of the country’s top-level IT professionals are attending.

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