Rahul Bhardwaj: Building Security and Privacy Conscious Culture

Rahul Bhardwaj | Global Privacy and Data Security | Kroll
Rahul Bhardwaj | Global Privacy and Data Security | Kroll

Information is a tremendous boon when protected in the digital age, but it can be exploited if it is not private and protected. Having a security and privacy-conscious culture is the most excellent shield for protecting the most valuable information of organizations. Building similar culture by solving the challenging and complex problems passionately in the information security industry is Mr. Rahul Bhardwaj.

From 2004 to 2006, Mr. Bhardwaj worked as an information security analyst for Vertex Computer Systems. He was active as a team manager for Capgemini (Formerly Patni Computer Systems) from2006 to 2009. He began his tenure with FinTech giant FIS in 2009 as a security and governance manager, rising to the post of Director – Information Security Assurance Services in 2013; he also helped FICO set up the Enterprise Risk Management Program serving as Principal – GRC till 2019.

In 2019 Mr. Bhardwaj joined Kroll (Formerly – Duff and Phelps), where he was tasked to design and implement a Global Privacy and Data Security program for the firms. Due to the business nature of acquiring mid to small-size global firms in different geographies, and some of these firms needed to upgrade their respective robust privacy and data security controls to meet the high standard of the firm.

Ensuring Success with Clarity

Mr. Bhardwaj was assigned to set up “Global Privacy and Data Security, ” a challenging and complex problem to solve, but that is the only thing he has sought throughout his career. He was tasked to provide leadership, management, and strategy for all aspects of global privacy and data security and liaison with other executives. He also handled multiple functions like COO, CIO, Global CISO, CCO, CPO, and operational executives to have a unified strategy to set up a global privacy program for the firm without business distribution. His approach was to bake security and privacy into Kroll’s core operations and practices and build a security and privacy-conscious culture. The clarity in thought process and efficient planning ensured success and brought in multiple accolades.

Being a Renowned Data Security Leader

Mr. Bhardwaj is renowned as an information technology professional with more than 15 years of specialty in data security and privacy.

He has been recognized among many global awards and recognitions like:

  • American Business Awards – Gold STEVIE,” in IT Executive of the Year 2020
  • Security Systems News’ 20 Under 40
  • Finalist for a 2017 Information Security Leadership Award.

Fostering Faster, Smarter, and Sustainable Decisions

Kroll delivers global organizations’ coverage to anticipate and exceed the complex demands surrounding risk, governance, operations, and growth. The Kroll logo “Kroll Lens” represents the sharp focus, forward-thinking, and long-term competitive advantage to its clients through its proprietary data, technology, and insights. Kroll’s unique perspective is forged by the diversity of its skill sets and backgrounds, coupled with the geographic reach and experience of being a market leader. It is a powerful filter that turns question marks into decisive periods.

Across every shifting economic and regulatory landscape, the Kroll Lens allows clients to stay ahead by making faster, more innovative, and more sustainable business decisions. Kroll’s six values are at the core of who they (team members) are and how they interact with the company’s people, clients, and partners at work and within every community they serve. These six values include excellence, ambition, courage, inclusion, innovation, and unity.

Democratizing Innovation and Automating Processes

The only way to overcome the challenge of skilled resources in the information security industry is by proper usage of Technology. Mr. Bhardwaj believes that all security leaders must leverage advances in technology to future-proof their respective business or security programs. Meaningful digital transformation can be achieved by democratizing innovation, integrating applications, automating processes, and embracing the IoT.

One of the most common objectives and targets Mr. Bhardwaj set for himself and all the leaders working for him is that a particular portion of their daily operations must be automated by applying solutions available in the modern era. He also works with many startups and problem-solving think tanks to find optimal solutions to real-life problems and challenges faced by the industry. He believes that as the competitive landscape continues to evolve and grow more intense, success will be driven by those who innovate by using technology to disrupt and reimagine business models.

Identifying and Leveraging Innovation Earlier

Mr. Bhardwaj is a huge advocate of building open and collaborating cyber security communities, which defend the ecosystem as one big team. Strength in number is key to hiring; retaining the best and brightest cybersecurity talent will always be difficult for many organizations, putting many mid to small-size firms open to attack. As a community, everyone can benefit if more people are working on a problem collaboratively, with a broader data set and context, the better the outcome.

From threat detection to incident response, bad actors’ tactics — and methods to thwart and resolve them — are constantly evolving. Drawing from the lessons learned and best practices of more than just a single organization enables security professionals to be more efficient with their time, reach maturity more quickly and identify and leverage innovation earlier.

Staying Ahead of Challenges and Changes

New directives and regulations are adding complexity to compliance operations across all industries every year. Navigating the rapidly evolving regulatory landscape is key to retaining a competitive advantage; Kroll is constantly working on advanced alternative approaches to compliance management to stay ahead of new challenges and changes. Based on the global trends building operational resilience is becoming important in the compliance industry.

With the recent security incidents (like SolarWinds etc.), and vulnerabilities impacting large-scale industries, it is expected that regulators worldwide impose more requirements on firms to strengthen the industry’s overall operational resilience when dealing with cyberattacks. Kroll has reviewed its plans and stressed testing the firm’s cyber controls, educating boards and employees on technology and cyber risks, and reporting such incidents to the board.

Continuing to Strengthen Cyber Defenses

Mr. Bhardwaj will continue to challenge himself with new projects and challenges at Kroll and look to contribute to the overall firm’s value by strengthening the cyber defenses. He is also very passionate about giving back to the community and is involved with multiple Not-for-Profits dedicated to education and skill development among students and disadvantaged youth, which he intends to continue.

Being Focused and Dedicated

Mr. Bhardwaj advises aspiring entrepreneurs in the Security Risk Management sector, “One must be passionate about the Security Risk Management field as it’s constant learning. You must be focused and dedicated as it only takes one incident to make or break your firm’s and your reputation. Know your business and its objectives, build your security risk program which is aligned to your organization’s objective.”