The CIO Association of Canada (CIOCAN) is expanding its membership to allow IT security leaders into the clubhouse.

CIOCAN announced an agreement was made with several members of the Chief Information Security Officers (CISO) community on Tuesday. It will see a new specialty division focused on the security expertise of their new membership.

The association has considered expanding its membership before, says Humza Teherany, president of CIOCAN, and when several CISOs approached them, it seemed like the right time.

“I think the climate right now in Canada is geared for more innovation and as CIOs figure out what they need to do to transform their businesses, the more digital you get the more data you create,” he says. “As you do more, CISOs become critical in the digital transformation journey.”

He points to the numerous large data breaches hitting the headlines in the last couple of years, many of which involve major retailers or technology companies. No executive wants to find their own business in that position. Having CISOs at the table to help a company think about security simply isn’t an option anymore, he says.

Teherany estimates there are hundreds of CISOs in Canada, and even more when you expand the title to include every senior leader of IT security at an organization.

The new division will establish a forum where CISOs can network, create a common destination for security leaders to gather to participate in strategic initiatives, and allow CISOs to participate in discussions with CIO members.

“We’re going to have a separate and connected track of content, data, and partnerships ot bring the right conversation forward,” he says. “Doing it together, we’re stronger than trying to do it by ourselves.”

CIOCAN spoke with Bobby Singh, Security Partners Forum co-founder Grant Lecky, Zaki Abbas, Jamie Rees, Suzie Smibert, and Steve Biswanger to collaborate on creating the new division.



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