When it comes to SaaS startups, CISOs play an imperative role in information security compliance and infrastructure. However, many people may not know what the role of a CISO actually entails. The CISO is a senior-level executive, responsible for developing and implementing an information security program, which includes procedures and policies designed to protect enterprise communications, systems, and assets from both internal and external threats.
After suffering a series of cyberattacks from Russian hackers in 1994, Citigroup (formerly known as Citicorp) set up a specialized cybersecurity office and became the first company to implement a CISO (Chief Information Security Officer) role. Now, a quarter-century after the first CISO emerged, every one of Israel’s biggest organizations, especially tech companies, has an information security compliance expert.
Chief information security officer responsibilities
Let’s take a closer look at the specific roles and responsibilities of a CISO in an organization before we dive into the experts themselves:
Security operations: analyzing threats in real-time and responding to problems when they occur.
Cyber risk and cyber intelligence: staying on top of emerging security threats, as well as helping the board understand how acquisitions and other significant business transactions might impact security.
Data loss and fraud prevention: preventing internal staff from stealing or misusing information.
Security architecture: establishing best security practices for IT and network infrastructure, buying and upgrading security hardware and software and implementing security software.
Identity and access management: controlling access to restricted data and systems, by ensuring only authorized individuals can access them.
Program management: identifying risks and mitigating them with programs or projects, such as regular system patches.
Investigations and forensics: finding out why a breach occurred, dealing with the responsible parties if they are internal, and planning to prevent future incidents.
Governance: ensuring that all of the above initiatives run smoothly and receive the funding they need, as well as ensuring corporate leadership understands their importance
Top 10 CISOs that dominated information security compliance
There are a number of highly skilled CISOs to learn from, especially for SaaS startups. The engaging, insightful and entertaining style of these experts will help you stay on top of information security compliance news and thought pieces without it being boring.
We asked our team at Scytale about some of the most experienced and knowledgeable CISOs on the Israeli tech scene. Here, in no particular order, is a selection of just some of our favorites.
Shahar Geiger Maor, CISO, Compete
Shahar is an experienced CISO with a demonstrated practice of working in an internet-savvy environment. Shahar is specifically insightful when it comes to helping new start-ups find their way in an ever-changing tech environment. Shahar works for Compete, which gives users an unfair advantage with immediate insights into complete compensation package data, including parental leave, work from home policies and health benefits.
May Brooks-Kempler, Deputy CISO, Helena
May Brooks-Kempler is a seasoned information security consultant with over 15 years of experience in information & cyber security. After years of consulting and managing security groups, she shifted her focus to the human factor and founded Helena, a consulting firm specializing in enhancing security awareness.
Liran Sheinbox, CISO, Playtika
Liran has over 16 years of experience in IT, OT, and automotive security. Liran specializes in cyber security and is specifically a big fan of security in the development lifecycle and employee awareness. He is one of the founders of the Israeli Automotive Security Research Group (Israeli office) and a security bug bounty hunter, which was mentioned in Paypal’s top worldwide security bug bounty hunters. Liran is the CISO of Playtika, a pioneer in the games industry with more than 34 million monthly active users across a portfolio of casual games titles.
Barak Blima, CISO, Syte
As a CISO Leader with over 10 years of industry experience, Barak has leveraged collaborations with other leaders and resources to set the best balance between security strategies and business operations. He is a cybersecurity expert with a demonstrated ability to understand the overarching vision and mission of organizations and establish measures to ensure information assets, resources, employee information, and technologies are safeguarded properly. Barak works for Syte, the world’s first product discovery platform for retail and uses visual AI to create intuitive search and discovery experiences for all types of shoppers.
Oren Elimelech, Global CISO, Atera
Oren is a global certified CISO, cyber and information security expert with over 20 years of experience in the banking, financial, insurance, payments, energy, governance, health, hi-tech, defense, blockchain & cryptocurrencies exchange sectors. Oren currently works for Atera, which provides an all-in-one management platform for IT support companies, MSPs and VARs.
Maor Saubron, CISO and Director of Cyber Security, Amdocs
Maor has been working for over a decade in Cyber Security and IT, with leadership, strategy, technical, and operational experience for enterprise organizations. Moar has provided thought leadership with a highly diverse background and broad knowledge. He currently works for Amdocs, which accelerates customers to migrate to the cloud, digitalize and automate their operations, and provide end users with the next-generation communication and media experiences.
Tal Sarid, Global Field CISO, monday.com
Tal is a seasoned entrepreneur, life, business and innovation coach. With 15 years at Microsoft, Tal held positions such as Strategic Transformation Lead, Senior Evangelist, Principal Consultant and managed the 365 productivity business. Being both business and technically oriented with a proven track record of relationship management, achieving business goals, managing strategic sales targets, launching new markets, opportunity management and business development, Tal has also designed and implemented enterprise, hybrid and cloud solutions worldwide. Tal currently works for monday.com, a cloud-based platform that allows users to create their own applications and work management software.
Itzik Menashe, CISO, Telit
Itzik has 20 years of experience in IT and information security and held positions in high-tech, fintech, and military companies. He is leading corporate IT as VP Global IT & Information Security at Telit. Itzik is also part of Team8, which is a global venture group with deep domain expertise, creating and investing in companies specializing in enterprise technologies, cyber, AI and fintech.
Tal Kollender, Co-Founder, CEO and CISO, GYTPOL
Tal’s interest in the cyber world came at an early age, where she was a professional hacker, always on the hunt to crack open what seemed impossible and on the lookout for IT challenges. Her professional career took her to Dell EMC, where she was a cyber expert & System Security Architect before creating GYTPOL, a solution for IT security to monitor, identify and remediate risks caused through misconfigurations on endpoints, servers, premises infrastructure and cloud services.
Yael Vaknin, VP CISO, EverC
Yael’s background includes solid business and strategic understanding, gained from years of experience forming organizational cyber strategic plans in the government, financial institutions, and large corporates, both domestic and international. In addition, she served on the board of directors at a large national infrastructure company Netivey Ayalon. Yael is currently the CISO for EverC, a pioneer in risk management and cyber intelligence, building advanced technology that enables businesses to grow in an online crime-free environment
We are all about SaaS compliance!
Thank you for taking the time to read our selection of the top CISOs in Israel. We are constantly learning of new and innovative enhancements in our industry, which makes us more and more excited about next-generation compliance.
Have we missed your favorite CISO? Reach out to us so we can include your suggestion in future posts.
Want to learn more on information security compliance? Take a look at our insightful blogs and videos, as well as see what some of our awesome customers have said about working with us to get ISO 27001 or SOC 2 compliant.