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The Digital Age: A New World of Purpose-Driven Opportunity

Jon DuschinskyEditor’s note: Jon Duschinsky, an entrepreneur, social innovator and firm believer in leading a purpose-driven existence, will be the closing keynote speaker at ISACA’s EuroCACS/CSX 2019 conference, to take place 16-18 October in Geneva, Switzerland. Duschinsky recently visited with ISACA Now and shared his thoughts on why being purpose-driven is more realistic than ever in today’s digital age. For more of Duschinsky’s insights, listen to his recent appearance on the ISACA Podcast.

ISACA Now: Why is being purpose-driven so important for professionals?
Purpose-driven means that you’re clear on what you do, you’re clear on how you do it, and most companies and professionals are pretty clear on those two today. The bit that tends to get lost in all this is why. Why has this group of human beings come together in this corporate structure to do the thing they do? And if the answer of that is to make profit, that is not the why. That is a result of the why. And so purpose-driven companies are companies that have understood what that why is and have gotten really clear what their purpose is – why they get up in the morning, why they work, why they innovate, why they create, why they make their product, why they serve their customers. … And the truth today is you make more money by making a difference.

ISACA Now: You have been described as a serial entrepreneur. What do you find so intriguing about entrepreneurship?
I kind of go through life encountering with curiosity, seeing things, seeing concepts, seeing ideas, and drawing connections between them – perhaps connections that others haven’t seen before or connections in new ways, and then from that being able to sort of articulate a vision to turn that connection into something that can be communicated and articulated – ‘What if we did this?’ – and then it’s really about enrolling and inspiring others to say ‘Oh, that would be cool, why don’t we all try and do that together?,’ because the first thing about entrepreneurship is you can’t be an entrepreneur on your own.

ISACA Now: In one of your past presentations you cited a statistic that nearly half of all jobs will be replaced by technology in the next 10 years, at least in some regions. What comes to mind when you think about that type of jarring possibility?
What’s happening is that today we don’t need people to work the machines anymore, and that’s the seismic shift. Shifts of that scale and their ripple effects are going to be felt in every family, in every community, in every company. There’s a lot of talk about how the US and other developed countries are heading toward massive levels of structural unemployment. That is false. I do not believe we are going there. … What we need to get as the humans are no longer needed to work the machines is to then tap into something that is fundamentally human, which is that when we are given a little bit of freedom from needing to work the machines, when we’re given the breathing room from needing to ensure our basic survival, then humans are free to seek more meaning. … We are seeing this new world of opportunity where human beings are actually given the time and the space to be able to pursue the things that matter most to them.

ISACA Now: What are the biggest keys to successful communication when it comes to social innovation in the enterprise setting?
The keys to communication come back to this idea of clarity on the why. It’s very easy to talk about what you do and how you do it. But actually, the communication at that level is fairly transactional, and it’s about the process and it’s about the what we’re doing. It’s a set of tasks. We’re communicating at a tactical level. When you get real communication, when you get real connection, what you get is something called enrollment. It’s buy-in. When you really communicate effectively with people, you get  not just their understanding of them sitting there nodding and they know how to execute the tactics or the process, but you get their buy-in at almost an emotional level with the thing that you’re sharing. They really get it. And to get it you have to understand not just what it is and how it works, but you have to understand and be aligned on why it’s important. That’s the really critical piece, and it’s what differentiates so many companies that do this.

ISACA Now: How will the educational system need to adapt to keep pace with the evolving technology landscape?
When I spend time with CEOs and business leaders, they’re fairly unanimous in the [opinion] that the educational system, at all levels now, is not fit for purpose. … We need education systems and education styles that enable young people, and this starts very young, to grow into their creativity rather than having it tested and normalized out of them. That’s the first thing. The second thing is that we need to have a realignment between higher education and the needs of the workforce, which means that the two have to be much more closely aligned. 

ISACA’s Global Impact To Be Celebrated on ISACA CommunITy Day

Melissa SwartzOn 5 October 2019, ISACA will conduct its inaugural ISACA CommunITy Day, a day of global service for ISACA members (through their chapters) and staff to give back to their local communities. We will track the hours served, people participating, opportunities offered, and places helped as we all strive to have a positive impact on the world. Watch this video from ISACA CEO David Samuelson inviting you to participate.

Many ISACA chapters have enthusiastically jumped into this initiative, contacting partner charitable organizations and setting up volunteer opportunities for their members to join. Anamika Roy, CommunITy Day Lead for the Chicago Chapter, is excited to get involved, saying, “The Chicago Chapter is organizing a range of interesting and fun opportunities to engage members of various interests and ensure that there is something for everyone. We are working to volunteer and support hunger, education, animals and health.”

The St. Louis Chapter was the first to enter an opportunity into the sign-up tool for their members to opt in. When asked why they see this as so valuable for ISACA’s membership, St. Louis Chapter CommunITy Day lead Karey Barker responded, “ISACA has a vision to be a ‘world-changer.’ It is up to us as individual chapters to hold ourselves accountable, to do our part, and help ISACA in its mission to positively impact the world.”

Download these participant instructions or follow these easy steps:

  1. Create a Helper Helper account to sign up for activities hosted by your chapter or track any independent volunteer service you do on ISACA CommunITy Day.
  2. Give back to your local community on 5 October 2019. (In future years, ISACA CommunITy Day will be the first Saturday in October annually.)
  3. Confirm your hours in Helper Helper when you are done volunteering to be included in ISACA’s global impact statistics.
  4. Follow our impact using #ISACACommunITyDay and post your own photos and videos to your social media accounts and your Helper Helper account. Use these handheld signs to highlight your activity or location in your pictures: download A4 or download 8.5” x 11”.

Members of the Melbourne Chapter quickly created their accounts in Helper Helper, the sign-up tool specifically for this event, and are already getting involved giving back. The chapter board has been planning their participation in this day since they got a sneak peek at the Oceania Chapter Leader Meeting in April. As chapter leaders Anthony Rodrigues and Ashutosh Kapse see it, “ISACA Melbourne Chapter’s greatest asset is its members who make valuable contacts, strengthen leadership skills, learn more about the organization, contribute to the profession’s knowledge base, and help fellow members develop professionally. ISACA CommunITy day is an opportunity for our member base to come together with a defined purpose and objective to have positive impact on the broader community.”

ISACA staff members are eager to participate as well. On 5 October you will find staff teams packing seeds for Feed My Starving Children; running or walking a 5K for AIDS research; sorting and stocking donations for ReStore, the home improvement warehouse that supports Habitat for Humanity, and much more.

ISACA has had a positive impact on the technology community for 50 years, and now, in our 50th anniversary year, we are highlighting the ways our global membership lives our values and has a positive impact on the world around us. Barker summed up the event perfectly: “CommunITy Day - a worthwhile endeavor to honor ISACA's past 50 years and make a difference locally and globally for the next 50!”

Learn more about ISACA CommunITy Day and help ISACA be a world-changer. Contact volunteer@isaca.org with any questions.

FaceApp Puts Privacy Back Under Spotlight

Emeka ElueThere has been a heightened surge of questions about data privacy in recent weeks, especially in light of the app called FaceApp. This app allows users to take pictures that can be filtered to either look multiple years younger or older, depending of your preference. The concern surrounding this application is the access users grant the developers of the application – full and irrevocable access to their images and associated data.

These concerns have raised several eyebrows, so much so that US Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer called upon the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to open up an investigation into the application in order to better understand the potential risks and impact it has due to the application’s alarming usage policy. The policy states that the user grants its creator “never-ending, irrevocable, nonexclusive, royalty-free worldwide ownership of images used in the application and the freedom to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish and translate them without providing compensation in any way.”

The associated data include usernames, photo albums and other information, like users’ location and messages. The policy is not novel, as most app developers including Facebook, have used similar statements in their policies, but it has raised concerns nonetheless, with geopolitical concerns (the data is being stored in Russia) surely factoring in.

As IT auditors and cybersecurity and governance professionals, I believe the duty falls on us to help educate and drive the conversation about the impact of data privacy, not just because of FaceApp, but because the impact and severity of a breach if and when it occurs can be catastrophic. The million-dollar question is how can this be accomplished?

We play a pivotal role in the design and implementation of how data are analyzed, received, stored and transferred. In most cases, we are involved in the design of the user content policy and also how data are extracted from users. We have to ensure that only the data required to perform a function and nothing else is collected from users. This is quite similar to the standards stipulated in GDPR and HIPAA. Once data is provided by users, the work continues for the entrusted data to be protected by risk-based industry best practices followed to the letter for optimum security. In addition to the establishment of standards, requiring companies to pay hefty fines for the mismanagement of data and other privacy missteps will cause more and more companies to think deeply about how they approach the handling of data entrusted to them. Data is now the new gold!

Consumers are starting to pay close attention to how their data is been managed and are interested in knowing more about data privacy. It is my recommendation that FaceApp should not be used and if it is already in use on one’s device, it should be deleted to avoid further data collection. If you choose to still use the app, make sure you understand more than the user content policy – know what the repercussions could be if you choose to move forward.

Establishing a Foothold in the Professional World as a Young Professional

Alicja FoksinskaExtracurricular activities have filled my schedule for as long as I can remember. I was always involved in academic clubs and societies, and in most I held leadership positions. But upon graduating college, everything came to a halt. My color-coded calendar was no longer riddled with meetings, fundraisers, events, socials, and more. Before graduation, I was known by professors and students of the business school. I had a network of people I could reach out to if I needed help, which suddenly disappeared as I entered a professional world where no one knew me. I struggled to come up with a way to build relationships with the people of the IT audit profession and ways to get involved, as I missed my extracurriculars activities and my color-coded calendar.

During a meeting with my manager, I brought up my concerns. He suggested that I consider joining the local Birmingham (Alabama) Chapter ISACA board. As someone right out of college, joining a board seemed like an “old person” thing to do. I was very skeptical because I didn’t think I had anything to offer the board as I was only a couple months into my career. He told me to give it a shot, so I did.

My first board position was the Programs Director, which was perfect for my personality and previous experience. In college, I held many positions where I planned events, so this aligned with my strengths. This role furthered my networking, planning, organization, and communication skills, as I had to plan the events, present them to the board for a vote, and then carry them out by making sure everything went smoothly on the day of the event.

Furthermore, I volunteered to work the registration table, which is probably the best kept secret of networking. You are in the position of learning the names and companies of people within your profession while introducing yourself to them. After a couple meetings, I knew people by name and the company they worked for, which many people wouldn’t learn if they just went to networking events and roamed among the same group of people.

Within a year, the Birmingham Chapter sent me to one of the ISACA North American leadership conferences, where I met board members from across the United States. A couple years later, I was given the opportunity to attend the Global Leadership Summit, and the leaders from the previous conference remembered me. At that moment I felt truly immersed in this profession – I never thought I would be recognized in a crowd of international board members just a few years into my career.

At the beginning, I didn’t think that a young professional could be involved in such a large organization as ISACA, with more than 140,000 members around the world. I thought only highly-experienced people could be on a board, but I was surprised to learn that a young professional can be a beneficial addition to a chapter board.

Today, I’m serving my second term as the Vice President of the Birmingham Chapter. One of my key roles in this position is to find good speakers, which is hard to do when one hasn’t been in the profession for that long. I’ve been thankful to have a supportive board, as well as coworkers, who always have a recommendation for me. This has continued to expand my networking landscape tremendously as I’ve worked to recruit various industry experts to speak at events.

To anyone looking to become involved and know people within our profession: join your local ISACA board. You are not too young or too inexperienced to make a difference. I can assure you that your business acumen will grow, and you will be rewarded with an expanded network within the IT risk and IT audit profession locally, nationally, and even internationally. In our risk-averse profession, I invite you to accept this risk and join your local ISACA board. 

Editor’s note: For more resources for young professionals, visit www.isaca.org/young-professionals.

Peer Recognition of Outstanding Achievements Within ISACA Community

Melissa SwartzThe prestige of the ISACA Awards Program is evident by the high caliber of recipients who are nominated and selected by their peers. Consider the eight Global Achievement Award recipients honored at North America CACS in 2019. They traveled from around the world to accept their prize from 2018-19 ISACA Board Chair Rob Clyde onstage in front of more than 1,500 colleagues. Slightly nervous and very excited, they reveled in the spotlight and had some fun in the photo booth afterward congratulating each other and accepting accolades from conference attendees. They would not have gotten the attention they so deserve without other ISACA members acknowledging the volunteer service, thought leadership, and professional contributions they have made to our professional community and submitting the nominations.

The community support and collaboration in the nomination process is rewarding for all involved – the person submitting the nomination, award reviewers, the Awards Working Group and, of course, the person being honored. One of our successful nominators this year was a past ISACA Awards Working Group volunteer. Now that he is not part of the evaluation process, he was proud to stay involved by nominating a fellow volunteer. Our past volunteers have even developed these tips for how to write a quality nomination to help future nominators craft nomination dossiers that adequately highlight the impact the candidate has had on the organization and/or the profession.

In addition to the Global Achievement Awards, ISACA’s highest honors, ISACA is proud to recognize outstanding chapters and the certification exam top scores annually. We are a global organization with much of our impact and activity at the local level. ISACA Chapter Leaders are dedicated and passionate volunteers who have implemented impactful programs for their members. Any ISACA members are able to nominate their chapter leaders, chapter programs, or their whole chapter for the three awards presented in four chapter-size categories.

Chapters such as Accra, Malta, and Greater Washington, DC – all 2019 recipients of the K. Wayne Snipes Best Chapter Award – offer model programs that many other chapters could implement locally. Recruiting, retention, communications, member experience feedback, partnerships, and educational offerings are just some of the ways award reviewers gauge the impact these outstanding chapters have on their members. ISACA is proud to highlight their work and encourages other chapters to nominate themselves and their leaders for recognition, too.

Learn more about the incredible class of 2019 recipients in these videos featured at the award presentations or download the 2019 ISACA Awards Booklet

You can nominate a colleague for a Global Achievement Award or a Chapter Award by 15 August each year. Awards are presented in the following calendar year. Learn more about the awards criteria, eligibility of nominators and candidates, and how to write a quality nomination in the ISACA Awards portal.

Contact awards@isaca.org with any questions about the ISACA Awards Program.

Reimagining the Enterprise Landscape Through Advanced Technology

Stafford MasieEditor’s note: Stafford Masie, CEO of Google Africa (2006–09) and Non Executive Board Member at ADvTECH, will be the closing keynote speaker at the 2019 Africa CACS conference, to take place 19-20 August in Johannesburg. Masie, an inventor, mentor and keen observer of how to humanize technology, recently visited with ISACA Now to discuss how enterprises in Africa and beyond can take advantage of the major technological forces of the day, such as artificial intelligence and advances in fintech. The following is a transcript, edited for length and clarity:

ISACA Now: In what ways do organizations need to “wake up” to the realities of today’s change environment?
In each industry vertical we are experiencing incredible disruption, but this isn't due to traditional known competition. Technology now allows organizations to expand beyond their core focus and deliver on services that were previously unimaginable. Additionally, this innovation, incurring this metamorphic competitive atmosphere, is “inorganic” – we are discovering that organizational sustainability is derived from unlocking external latent human capital on the outside of your business versus only focusing on core competences and excellence. The call today is to become a *co-creative* ecosystem and deliver on outcomes derived from combinatorial innovation. Accenture provided the industry with a transversal benchmark: “The benchmark for innovation excellence is being a company for which 75% of current revenue comes from business activities that began in the last three years!” The most important call to action for all leaders today is “Reimagination!”

ISACA Now: From your experience at Google, how has Google made the greatest impact in Africa over the past decade?
It has been almost 10 years since I worked at Google. Establishing their presence in South Africa, with an incredible team, was such a privilege. Every business is challenged with discoverability, and Google is the world’s most powerful platform to achieve this – applicable to any size of business. Since its establishment in South Africa, the mere economic impact from consumers searching for services and being delivered relevant business access in this regard has been significant. The launching of localized maps, search, YouTube, etc., has unlocked massive value and given South Africans an amazing online experience. I will never forget how hard the team worked on delivering all these capabilities leading up to the soccer World Cup; everyone attending the games, local and internationally, primarily utilized Google's services to navigate the country and the events. It is very difficult to measure the actual “impact” because people have utilized Google when they need a plumber, when needing an answer while studying, all the way through to seeking help when your child’s fever spikes. Besides these obvious impacts on the surface, I know that Google has done so much silent work enabling/accelerating Africa's internet infrastructure on the western and eastern seaboards and also all the terrestrial capacity we access today.

ISACA Now: Where do you see the future of fintech headed?
About eight years ago when I founded the mobile point of sale (mPOS) company “Thumbzup,” the term “fintech” wasn't widely used or understood. Today it represents a diverse ecosystem of innovation spanning disparate payments mechanisms through to the modernization of the traditional banking system. This is all great for the consumer – expansive digital and physical methods of settling merchants and doing business electronically. The impact on a merchant’s business is significant because there are now so many options to accept omnichannel payment and generally manage your business electronically. There are two trends I am watching closely: 1) The convergence of the telecommunications, retail, banking and over-the-top tech sectors; each of these sectors believe they own the last mile and are all attempting to own the “store of value.” 2) The continual emergence of Bitcoin and its redefinition of the exchange of value without the need for a so-called trusted intermediary. Many folks believe that Bitcoin, and the broader cryptocurrency space, will hurt the existing incumbents. I do not. I believe we have the formal economy serviced by electronic mechanisms, the informal economy serviced by cash and then we have an un-defined “third economy” that Bitcoin will ultimately unlock. The transaction types and financial use cases for and by bitcoin in this “third economy” are difficult to envision or predict today but will have immeasurable impact on humanity.

ISACA Now: You have some experience with AI – which applications of AI do you consider most promising in the near future?
Tim O'Reilly said it beautifully: “The fundamental design pattern of technology is to allow us humans to do things that were previously impossible.” I think this is so very much more applicable specifically to artificial intelligence. There are many amazing neural network applications being developed and employed by organizations today; the list is too long to highlight here. But, the most interesting aspect of AI is watching disparate species of artificial intelligences augmenting each of us right now. This results in the emergence of a fascinatingly new organizational archetype; I call it an “algorithmic marketplace.” An example would be Uber, a business that owns an artificial intelligence platform augmented and enabled by big data and real-time feedback loops from its participants, the drivers and the riders – all of it combining to give us a form of transportation that was previously unimaginable. This is a metaphor for future businesses which, because of these AIs, will have to metamorphosize to orchestrate services in this manner. It’s not just a big artificial intelligence engine but rather a symphony of human machine symbioses, within and outside an organization.

ISACA Now: On the other side of the AI equation, what concerns you most about potential misuses of AI going forward, and what should be done to mitigate those concerns?
I tend to be an optimist regarding artificial intelligence but I believe we are already seeing AIs programmed with unfortunate fitness functions. … We need to understand that AI is our superpower but inequality is our kryptonite! A dystopian future has never been more possible and real. But, it doesn’t have to be this way! If we do let machines put us out of work, it will be because of a failure of imagination and a lack of will to make a better future. We do not have to do more with less humans to improve operating margins and increase so-called productivity. We should consider doing what was previously impossible with humans augmented by AIs: deliverable new services that were previously unimaginable!

Rebuilding Institutions for an Online World

Jamie Bartlett Editor’s note: Author and journalist Jamie Bartlett will be the closing keynote speaker at the Infosecurity ISACA North America Expo and Conference, which will take place 20-21 November 2019 in New York City. Bartlett recently visited with ISACA Now to discuss his outlook on how technology is reshaping society, beginning with his contention that the internet is killing democracy. The following is an edited transcript of the interview:

ISACA Now: One of your books, The People vs. Tech, contends that the internet is killing democracy. What do you mean by that, and what should be done about it?
It’s quite a simple argument: that the institutions of democracy – the legal system, election law, education, an informed public willing to compromise – have been created for an offline world. And yet now so much of our political life takes place online, and all the systems we have to keep democracy running don't seem to work well anymore. And more to the point, in the future this disconnect will worsen. There are many things we need to do to close the gap. For example, we need to update election law so that all micro-targeted adverts are published in a national database so that everyone can see them (to end the so called “dark ads” problem). We also need to change our education system so it focuses more on media literacy and helping people deal with information overload.

ISACA Now: The dark net is one of your major areas of interest. How concerned should the public be about what transpires on the dark net on a daily basis?
Indirectly yes. Many millions of people have their person data, or their passwords, or other personally identifiable information being sold on dark net sites. This is also true for businesses and companies. This doesn't mean I’d expect non-specialists to spend every waking hour trawling through the dark net. But it is important to bear in mind that there is an always online marketplace in stolen information. There are sites that can help you check.

ISACA Now: Tell us about your role with Demos – what drew you to it and which aspects of it have you found most rewarding?
I was excited by the prospect of using machine learning and AI to build research tools. When I set the center up in 2011, not many researchers in the social sciences were using big data tools. This was very exciting because it felt like I was at the frontier of a new research discipline – social media science – and therefore able to help create the rules and methodologies. Others have caught up now, but of course new fields open up: like the use of Internet of Things data.

ISACA Now: Given the occasionally toxic and polarizing nature of today’s social media landscape, do you consider the parts that are problematic to outweigh the upside of social media? 
In its current format and style, I’m afraid I do now. That doesn't mean there aren’t thousands of good things taking place, because obviously there are. But I think the cost of people’s focus, concentration, and willingness to engage in constructive discussion rather than slanging matches, has had an extremely negative effect on the health of our political debate. That doesn’t mean we should shut it off of course – but we may need to rethink the business model (and our education systems) so they encourage a better and healthier form of politics.

ISACA Now: As we near the 2020s, which cybersecurity themes do you expect to become especially impactful in the new decade?
Without doubt the automation of crime. Many industries are thinking about automation – driving, clerical work, fruit picking, factory work, legal analysis, even journalism. So why would criminals not think the same? They are always on the lookout for new ways of saving time and making more money. I expect far more automatic tools that scan and auto-hack software, more sophisticated AI-powered personalized phishing emails, and so on. This I think will change quite fundamentally how we understand risk in cybersecurity in the next few years. 

Five Ways to Jump-Start Your Career in the Tech Workforce

Are you a student or an early-career professional seeking to kick-start your career in tech? Do you feel a bit overwhelmed by the possibilities out there, unsure of yourself, and lacking a clear idea not only of where you'd like to go, but how you can get there? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. As someone who has walked in your shoes recently, I’ve found that it’s what’s inside that counts so much more toward establishing yourself in industry than any particular skill set or prior work experience that you may have had. This is only fair when one is first starting out on their career journey.

Consequently, I’ve compiled a list of the following five things that have helped me persevere and eventually achieve success on my path to establishing myself as a young professional in the tech industry.

1. Be curious. Let’s face it: if you’re not the kind of person who enjoys learning about new things and always wants to know what’s coming up next, you’re probably not going to enjoy a career in tech. Curiosity should ideally be channeled toward learning new skills and meeting new people. Do some research on local events such as industry meetup groups, conferences and networking events.

2. Be proactive. Leisure time is important for the happiness and health of us human beings – but there IS such a thing as too much Netflix. Go on, be accountable for your own career. Make an effort! You never know where it might land you.

3. Be passionate. One could argue that life is hardly worth living if you do not enjoy it. Since most professionals spend a majority of their waking hours at work, it makes sense to choose a career path that you love instead of a mere sequence of jobs that destroy your soul. Technology is an extremely broad field, as it is heavily utilized in just about all industries these days. It has a lot to offer everyone, so theoretically, you should be able to find something you’re passionate about!

4. Be open but not overwhelmed by opportunity. It’s important to get as diverse an array of experiences as possible when starting out in your career, to help you decide upon the right path for you. It’s also important to not waste energy upon too many irrelevant distractions, either. Learning how to evaluate opportunities is a skill in itself. Find that balance, and you’ll find your career path a lot quicker.

5. Volunteer. You might be frustrated by some companies’ desire for graduates with volunteering experience, particularly if you are a struggling university student trying to find the time to study effectively AND pay the bills. Volunteering is, however, its own reward. You can not only drive positive change in the world for the causes you care about, but volunteering also gives you the opportunity to demonstrate your professional skills and attributes to others. 

Editor’s note: For more resources on this topic, visit www.isaca.org/young-professionals.

50th Anniversary Q&A with ISACA CEO David Samuelson

David SamuelsonEditor's note: David Samuelson was appointed chief executive officer of ISACA on 1 April of 2019, the year of ISACA’s 50th anniversary. Samuelson recently visited with ISACA Now to discuss the meaning of joining the organization during its milestone year and how ISACA can draw upon its decades of industry leadership to become even more impactful in the future. The following is an abbreviated transcript of the Q&A interview. To read the full Q&A, visit the ISACA50.org Story Gallery.

ISACA Now: You recently were named CEO of ISACA during the organization’s 50th year. What added dimension does that timing provide in terms of your outlook on this new role?
It’s a great time to join ISACA because it is at an inflection point in its history. The next 50 years are going to be very important for ISACA, and the first 50 years have made ISACA a strong, relevant, trustworthy and valuable organization to members all over the world. During the next 50 years, I hope we can double down on all of those things.

ISACA Now: While recognizing that you have only been with ISACA for a short time, what has struck you most about the organization’s history and trajectory over these past 50 years?
I think more important than its history is the passion that I’ve witnessed. The membership is palpably passionate about ISACA. I hope that I can hear the stories that are behind that passion, that can help shape how we build toward the future.

ISACA Now: You have an extensive background in education technology. What have been some of the most transformative advancements that you’ve observed in that area over the years?
The impacts in learning technologies are impacts in all technologies, such as machine learning and AI and cloud computing – the things that are prevalent for all of us now. The newest entrants in the technology world that I think are interesting and perhaps challenging for any organization is voice-first technology, like Alexa. We’re talking naturally, and things happen, either in our house or in our classroom or in our cars or with our phones. I think this represents some new challenges for old problems.

But specific to learning technologies, I think the opportunities to help an adult learner or any learner are related to understanding what they know and what they don’t know, understanding where they’re at in their learning journey, and being able to get immediate feedback as they’re learning. These are not really new ideas, but important ones to help us learn in today’s tech-enabled world. I also think the mobile and digital device revolution has changed the way people consume almost anything in their daily lives, especially for adults. For associations like us that want to communicate important, relevant, trustworthy materials, these changes around us are important for us to embrace.

ISACA Now: Along those lines, panels at ISACA’s CACS conferences this year are discussing disruptive technologies that have reshaped the ways that we live and work. What might be an example or two (personal or professional) of a disruptive technology that you have come to appreciate, from a quality of life standpoint?
I think voice-first is the first one that comes to mind. You can control a supercomputer “in the sky” with your voice, and so what does that mean? It certainly is useful to walk into your house and start a movie where you left off, or to walk into your office and start a presentation where you left off, but it also represents new challenges in terms of keeping us safe in cyberspace because, in order to have that technology, devices have to be listening to everything. So, what does that mean in terms of privacy, in terms of what people know about you – all those kinds of things? I think it’s interesting but also disruptive in the sense that you have a feature that also can be a danger. The other thing that has probably been most disruptive in all of our lives is just the power of computing that we carry with us all the time – we have access to anything, wherever we are. That’s certainly different than it was even a decade ago.

ISACA’s Future Brimming With Opportunity

Brennan P. BaybeckAs my relationship with ISACA unfolded through various volunteer roles for the past 25 years, I have had the privilege of seeing the organization evolve – through good times and challenging times – just as many of us have experienced in our personal lives and careers.

I’ve stayed with ISACA for the long haul because regardless of the hot technology or top-of-mind regulation of the day, I have consistently been proud to serve a global organization that provides the resources needed to advance business technology professionals’ careers and strengthen the technology workforce, while addressing some of the biggest challenges in our industry.

Now that ISACA is celebrating its 50th anniversary, the math is not lost on me that I have been part of this organization for half of its illustrious history. It is an honor to begin my term as chair of the ISACA board of directors at such a consequential time for our professional community and the organizations that they serve. Whether it is helping to shape the future of IT audit, evangelizing an executive-sponsored approach to data governance, navigating the rise of automation or promoting the need for our professional community to be lifelong learners, ISACA is well-equipped to make a profound impact in the years to come. Best of all, we have so many avenues through which our professional community can set that impact in motion.

From chapter leadership roles, which I have experienced first-hand through ISACA’s Denver Chapter, to hands-on advocacy opportunities, to championing our SheLeadsTech program, and so much more – ISACA’s breadth of experiences provides a terrific complement to the organization’s core credentialing, learning and professional development resources.

One of ISACA’s greatest strengths is its diversity. Diversity will be the key to solving many of the current and future challenges in our fields, especially security. ISACA will be taking more concrete actions in this area and will serve a central role in this space. Having diverse teams – including gender, race and ethnicity – and diverse perspectives is critically important, and you will see more from me on this in the coming year.

As I begin this new role as board chair, I want to extend deep appreciation to my predecessor, Rob Clyde, whose wisdom and passion for this organization will remain tremendous assets going forward. Fortunately for all of us, Rob will remain part of the board of directors. I look forward to teaming with a talented and purpose-driven mix of board members (as listed below) in the year ahead:

2019-2020 ISACA Board of Directors

  • Brennan P. Baybeck, CISA, CRISC, CISM, CISSP, chair; Vice President - Customer Support Services Security Risk Management for Oracle Corporation
  • Rolf von Roessing, CISA, CISM, CGEIT, CISSP, FBCI, vice chair; Partner and CEO, Forfa Consulting AG
  • Tracey Dedrick, director; former Chief Risk Officer, Hudson City Bancorp
  • Pam Nigro, CRMA, CISA, CGEIT, CRISC, director; Senior Director, Information Security, GRC Practice, Health Care Service Corporation (HCSC)
  • R.V. Raghu, CISA, CRISC, director; Director of Versatilist Consulting India Pvt. Ltd.
  • Gabriela Reynaga, CRISC, CISA, GRCP, director; Founder and CEO of Holistics GRC Consultancy
  • Greg Touhill, CISM, CISSP, Brigadier General (ret), director; President of Cyxtera Federal Group, Cyxtera Technologies
  • Asaf Weisberg, CISA, CRISC, CISM, CGEIT, director; Founder and CEO, IntroSight
  • Tichaona Zororo, CISA, CISM, CGEIT, CRISC, COBIT 5 Certified Assessor, CIA, CRMA, director; Director, IT Advisory Executive with EGIT | Enterprise Governance of IT (Pty) Ltd.
  • Chris Dimitriadis, CISA, CRISC, CISM, ISO 20000 LA, director and 2015-17 board chair; Group Chief Services and Delivery Officer at INTRALOT
  • Rob Clyde, CISM, NACD Board Leadership Fellow, director and 2018-2019 board chair; Managing Director, Clyde Consulting LLC
  • David Samuelson, ISACA Chief Executive Officer

Working together with nearly a half-million engaged professionals around the world and ISACA’s professional staff, the board is committed to driving toward an ambitious and promising future. The work that ISACA’s professional community performs in audit, governance, risk and security not only is essential to the success of the organizations that we serve, but also is becoming central to the health of our broader society as artificial intelligence and other high-impact technologies become pervasive.

ISACA has experienced remarkable growth during the 25 years in which I have been an active volunteer. During that time, the technology environment has become much more complex as we have ushered in the era of digital transformation and growing cyber threats. This change environment, and the corresponding challenges that have been created, provides a healthy sense of urgency to ensure that ISACA delivers even greater value to our professional community. In a world increasingly reliant on securely and effectively leveraging technology, the need to help professionals and their enterprises around the world realize the positive potential of technology provides a shared sense of purpose, and I am proud to play a part in this important work.

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