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What it Takes to be a Global Leader- Interview with Emil D’Angelo, International President of ISACA

July 8, 2010

It’s challenging enough for information security leaders to bridge the gaps and communicate effectively with the business side of the organization. How do those issues magnify when managing these challenges globally?

In an exclusive interview, D’Angelo discusses:

  • Top global challenges for banking/security leaders;
  • What it takes to be a global security leader;
  • His objectives for his second term as ISACA president.

FIELD: Just a follow up to that; do you find when you’re talking about information security risk management, governance, that there are language and cultural differences on those topics as well as what we’d expect?

D’ANGELO: Oh, absolutely. Sometimes I think in certain cultures, certain things are taken for granted and other times, you know, when you’re first introducing some of these topics, even certain words don’t even translate. The word “control” in the Japanese language didn’t even exist. So having to explain what those kinds of things mean can certainly sometimes be a challenge.

FIELD: Give us s sense of how you’ve met these challenges to be successful.

D’ANGELO: Well, I think that ISACA’s actually been very helpful in making those things successful because you can point to a process or a strategy that’s been vetted by a lot of people from around the globe that are tried and tested, and you can use that to help get your point across or to setup a process that mirrors that within your own organization. And it’s helpful to come with something like that in order to help make your case.

FIELD: Given what you’ve experienced, what would you say is required today for those that would want to be international leaders in information security and risk?

D’ANGELO: Well, clearly I think what’s changed is the need for people that understand the business, understand and can speak to the business management, your senior management more on their terms, making a business case for whatever it is you’re trying to accomplish from a security perspective or business continuity perspective. Putting it in business terms, as opposed to just technical terms. And you really need to have the wherewithal, so to speak, to talk on both sides of the fence so that when you’re talking and working with the technology people, you certainly have to–just as you would to the business people–be able to demonstrate that you’re talking their language and understand the issues and making sense as to what it takes to get things accomplished.

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