Today’s ISACA Now post profiles International Vice President Christos Dimitriadis, Ph.D., CISA, CISM, CRISC, the head of information security at Greece’s INTRALOT GROUP. Christos is chair of ISACA’s COBIT Security Task Force and has served as chair of ISACA’s External Relations Committee and as a member of the Relations Board, Academic Relations Committee, ISACA Journal Editorial Committee and Business Model for Information Security Work Group.
ISACA: Describe your professional background.
Christos: I have been conducting research in information security since 1996, when studying at the University of Patras, Greece. When developing my diploma thesis, I studied risks for mobile operators, assessing companies and developing case studies. This was more or less my initiation in the profession. When I completed my five-year studies and received my diploma, I decided to gain more expertise through Ph.D. studies on 3G and 4G security, also involving research in identity management, biometrics, honeynets and gaming theory in mobile security.
In 2000, I started working for a consultancy company, providing services in information security in Europe. And in 2007 I decided to take a CISO position at INTRALOT, a multinational supplier of gaming and transactional systems.
ISACA: What are your duties at INTRALOT?
Christos: My responsibilities include managing information security at a group level in 53 countries in all continents. I develop the corporate information security strategy and I coordinate departments around the world in order for information security to act as a business enabler. This covers all business processes of INTRALOT, from operational security to products and technology.
ISACA: Why are you an ISACA member?
Christos: I became an ISACA member when I realized the need to continually update my expertise and collaborate with security professionals around the world. ISACA gives me the opportunity to learn the state of the art, to get answers to problems that trouble me and for which other ISACA members have practical solutions. One very important reason is the understanding of cultures around the world that give different perspectives to information security. Since becoming a volunteer, I have enjoyed even more benefits, since I have had the opportunity to shape the profession and cooperate with high-profile experts from around the world. My CISA, CISM and CRISC certifications have added to my expertise and are greatly appreciated by my employers and their clients.
ISACA: How long have you been on ISACA’s board?
Christos: I was originally elected vice president in 2010. This term, 2012-2013 is my third. I am really honored.
ISACA: Why did you want to be an ISACA board member?
Christos: The main reason for serving on the board is my strong belief that ISACA is a unique association that provides huge benefits and opportunities to professionals, the organizations they are working for, as well as the information technology community as a whole. Serving on the board gives me the opportunity to contribute to ISACA and the community at a strategic level, shaping the future of the association based on the needs of the community.
ISACA: Describe your life outside of work.
Christos: Most of the time I travel around the world, visiting INTRALOT companies and participating in ISACA meetings and events. When at home in Greece, my hobbies include sailing, kite-boarding and snowboarding. These sports help me clear my mind and relax. They are also activities that require high discipline, training, preparation and study of new technologies and configuration in equipment and handling. (Sound familiar? They follow the same principles with IT and information security and one’s ability to be proactive and prepared makes a difference when it comes to threats. A well-governed organization makes difficult tasks look smooth and easy. The same can be seen in a professional athlete…nothing is left to luck. It’s all about being ready.) I also enjoy is spending time with family and friends.
ISACA: You travel a great deal. Do you see different approaches to IT in different parts of the world?
Christos: Although the main principles are the same, there are two factors that make a huge difference—culture and regulation. The way companies operate and do business depends on the national, corporate and societal culture they operate in. Regulation is also diverse, dictating different needs. These factors alone, since they are primary business drivers, impact IT, operations, processes and security.
ISACA: What advice do you give to young professionals entering this field?
Christos: My advice is to continuously try and gain access to information and trends. Be well-informed and try to understand and estimate what is coming in the future. Participate in international networks. Exchange opinions. Be active. This is why I believe ISACA makes a difference—because it provides tools to knowledge by deploying an international network.
ISACA: What unique opportunities and challenges do you see over the next year?
Christos: I believe that this year we will be facing even more challenges that one should see as opportunities. The economic crisis, for example, is still a problem that many organizations have to deal with. There is a huge opportunity in 2013 to achieve a balance in risk and value by providing governance, management, IT and security solutions that are more cost-effective and efficient. If this is achieved, professionals and their organizations will realize huge benefits.
For a full list of ISACA board members and their biographies, visit www.isaca.org/board. To view past board profiles, click on a name below:
Juan Luis Carselle
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