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Delzad P Mirza is group CISO at Shapoorji Pallonji Group

The former Head of Information Security and Compliance at Tata Technologies will spearhead cybersecurity across the Shapoorji Pallonji Group.

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Information security and compliance expert Delzad P Mirza has joined Indian business conglomerate Shapoorji Pallonji Group as group CISO.

The 151-year old business house operates across 60 countries and has a diverse range of businesses including construction, infrastructure, oil and gas, renewables and consumer products.

Mirza will be the head of information security across the entire group and has plans to build the entire security team from scratch.

On transitioning from Tata Technologies to Shapoorji Pallonji Group

... There is a shortage of talent in information security and we’re on the lookout for people who are not just book smart but street smart as well.
Delzad P Mirza
Head-Information Security at Shapoorji Pallonji Group

“I learnt a lot during my time at Tata Technologies. One always relies on experience and incorporates a large portion of the learning at the next organization. At the same time, it’s important to understand the landscape, culture, faces and risks at the new company in order to deploy the right strategy,” says Mirza.

He says while there is no silver bullet, Shapoorji Pallonji is a pretty old and diverse enterprise, which will need a combination of tactics to secure not just the corporate jewels but all the group companies as well as customer data.

On building the A-team

MIRZA’S CAREER MILESTONES

April ‘18 onwards: Head-Info Security (Group) at Shapoorji Pallonji Group

Aug ‘15 - April ‘18: Head Info Security & Compliance, CISO at Tata Technologies

Dec ‘10 - Dec ’15:  Associate Project Manager Info Security & Compliance at Tata Technologies

Aug ‘03- May ’04: Info Systems Manager at Leuchstoffwerk

Mirza will not only work with senior leadership and IT heads to strengthen cybersecurity but also has plans to build his entire team from scratch. “Yes, there is a shortage of talent in information security and we’re on the lookout for people who are not just book smart but street smart as well,” he says.

Eagerness to learn and take on new challenges is a must-have for a cybersecurity professional. There’s always a learning curve and you may not hit the nail on the head always, but the thought process needs to be present, Mirza points out. 

Looking ahead

He plans to leverage the power of machine learning and artificial intelligence to revolutionize security at the enterprise. Data protection, securing data on the cloud, automating linear tasks, incident response and optimizing threat intelligence are other priorities on his radar.

“These are interesting times for a cybersecurity expert with General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) coming into force on 25th May,” he points out.

While there are a lot of grey areas around it, it will have an impact on the attack landscape, which is something one needs to watch out for. Other areas of concern include crypto mining and ransomware attacks, which is not going to fade easily, he mentions. 

Devising cybersecurity strategy for a business that operates across verticals and geographies is no easy task, and this challenge is exactly what drew Mirza towards this new role.