Anuj Tewari, Chief Information Security Officer, HCL Technologies


  1. What are your views on the current information security domain of the country?In the past few decades, a wave of technological advancement has changed the global economy. The rise of the digital revolution has pushed industrialism aside while the world became connected. The launch of Digital India in 2015 has accelerated the pace of all things digital, which called for greater attention to data security. India is going digital faster than most world economies, continuously increasing levels of connectivity—from offline to online, from phone to smartphone, from local to the cloud, and from private to sharing; thus creating a ripple across the world that demands greater, better and more innovative technologies for developing cyber security solutions. And now with the new way of working due to pandemic, where everyone is connected online, information security has become a priority more than ever. In this new dawn of digital revolution, hackers are exploiting every opportunity to steal information by phishing, ransomware, inject malware and crash networks. As the new ways of working has changed the threat landscape with the increase in IoT and BYOD devices, we should re-look at the security infrastructure, policies and regulations to secure our perimeter. There is a need to how to collect, use and disclose personal information about people in a privacy compliance manner and Privacy law will play a key role in regularizing it.
  2. What do you think are some of the most important leadership traits and how would you describe your leadership style? What is your leadership philosophy?Leaders make leaders and leadership style in it its ideal form, create a valuable and positive change in the team with the end goal of developing followers into leaders. I believe in a transformational style of leadership, where a leader acts as a mentor to the team and reward them for creativity and innovation. The team members are treated differently according to their talents and knowledge. Each individual is empowered to make decisions and is always provided with the needed support to implement their decisions. An empowered individual has the will and aspirations for self-development and has intrinsic motivation for their tasks. In order to foster supportive relationships, it is important for a leader to keep lines of communication open so that team members feel free to share ideas, enabling the leader to offer direct recognition of the unique contributions of each individual.

  3. Who is your mentor/s and what recent challenge/s have you sought their advice for?I am an admirer of Stephen Covey for a long time, which has transformed me professionally and personally. Whether you want to improve relationships with colleagues, managers or have more fruitful social relationships, he bestows serious lessons on his readers. These lessons have more or less withstood the test of time and remain relevant as a solid foundation in interpersonal communication. ‘7 habits of highly effective people’ is one of the founding school of thought. Covey starts the book with three habits which he groups together under the title Private Victory. These habits are more about developing your own habits as an individual. It is important that a private victory comes first because if you are trying to implement change in a team, you must be able to change yourself. I always refer to the lessons taught in the book to seek answers whenever I face challenges.
  4. When and why did you join HCL Technologies?I joined HCL in 2014. I have always been inspired by Mr. Shiv Nadar (Founder of HCL Technologies), he is a philanthropist and a great leader and same can be seen in the core values of HCL. HCL has a culture of grassroots, business-driven, customer-focused innovation, in which every employee is an ´ideapreneur’. This environment is shaped by HCL’s ‘Employees First’ values, which empower and encourage employees across the organization to come up with innovative solutions to operational and customer challenges. This value-centric approach and culture were the key drivers for my decision to join HCL.
  5. How do you predict the IT industry will be different in two years, and how do you see yourself shaping that change?Learning to navigate our entire lives online has been a sudden learning curve for all of us over the last few months. With the emergence of new norms of working, IT industry is definitively going to be different in next two years. Organizations would require to review infrastructure and policies to support new norms. Unlike the older days where, where continuity of services would typically be thought through at a building, facility, state or at a country level. With the new working situation, the resilience plans may morph to have worked at home as a normal business operating state. While the organizations moving towards a fluid workplace to maintain service continuity, there is a need to ensure an adequate security posture is maintained and compliance is monitored.

  6.  A woodcutter must always keep his axe sharpened. How do you ensure that you are always on top of your game?With the ever-changing threat landscape and new technological advancements, it is particularly important to stay on top of developments in industry. Companies that focus on the past tend to stay in the past, learnings from mistakes are key to better growth. In order to stay ahead of our competitors and to experience increasing success, we must plan for growth. We must find ways to make our business niche even more unique. We should invest in new technology so that we can remain a leader in our industry.
  7. What do you do when you are not working? Are you learning anything right now?I am an avid reader and I enjoy non-fiction reading, over the years I have also started listening to podcast, webcasts. These days I am reading on the evolving risk landscape with the current pandemic. Several ecosystems whether private or public had possibly not preempted and are learning from the COVID19 pandemic.
  8. What are some of the key credentials that you own?• CISSP ® – Certified Information Systems Security Professional
    • CISA ® – Certified Information Systems Auditor
    • CISM ® – Certified Information Security Manager
    • CIPT ® – Certified Information Privacy Technologist
    • CCSK ® – Certificate of Cloud Security Knowledge
    • CEH ® – Certified Ethical Hacker
    • ISO 27001LA, BS25999 LA, ITIL v3, ITSM, MCSE – Security Track, CCNA
  9. What books and blogs are you currently reading?I am currently reading A million thoughts from Om Swami. There are several tech blogs I follow and enjoy reading.

  10. What lessons have the past decade thought you?• If you follow your passion, you will thrive: I have learned that you should not let others tell you what to love. With digital disruption all around us, we are at times feeling passionate about what later feels like a momentary excitement. Whether is responding to something your friend posted, or what made the news that day. I found this by putting my energy on aspects that I am passionate towards and be less distracted by the noise in the environment around us.
    • Don’t take rejection personally: Rejection is not a reflection of self-worth. Now say this loudly nine times. I have experienced a lot of rejection over the years. Whether it was personal or professional, those rejections did teach me to make myself better and push the envelope. Rejection is a sign that something (career, college, relationship) is not a match. It is not a reflection of who I am as a person.
    • Be careful of what you dream of: Dreams come true. Be careful of what you visualize, and think. Thoughts seep into our speech, behaviour, actions and ultimately shape our destiny.

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