Nandkumar Saravade is New CEO of DSCIFormer IPS Officer, Industry Veteran Tapped to Lead Body
Nandkumar Saravade has been confirmed as the next CEO by the board of the Data Security Council of India. He takes over from the current officiating CEO, Rama Vedashree, VP, NASSCOM. Saravade will be based in New Delhi and is slated to take up the reins on July 1.
"We are delighted to announce Mr. Saravade's appointment as CEO of DSCI," says R. Chandrashekhar, President - NASSCOM, which oversees DSCI. "His rich experience will add immense value to the industry. We see Mr. Saravade's experience contributing significantly to taking these to a next level, as the organization grows."
Saravade is a former career IPS officer from the 1987 batch and a leading expert in cyber-crime. Until recently, he worked as an independent advisor on fraud and security to Big Four consultancy Ernst & Young and for ICICI Bank.
Prior to his independent stint, he worked as Director, Citibank South Asia, heading security, investigation and vigilance, up to September 2013. Between 2008-2011, he was General Manager, Financial Crime Prevention Group, at ICICI Bank, where he was involved in a broad spectrum of Information security related activities - from fraud risk assessment and internal investigations to regulatory reporting and compliance.
Saravade's last assignment with the IPS was as the Director, Cyber Security and Compliance, NASSCOM, which involved policy formulation on cybersecurity and privacy, capacity building for law enforcement, advising NASSCOM members on incident response management and organizing mass awareness campaigns on cybersecurity. During his time here, he also helped NASSCOM set up its initiative on cybersecurity - thereafter known as DSCI.
Saravade was also previously a member of the High Level Group on Electronic Banking Controls Governance and Technology Risk Management Standards set up by the Reserve Bank of India. He has also been Chairman, India Payment Risk Council, a body of fraud risk professionals in Indian banks, between 2008-2011.
Commenting on the appointment, former DSCI CEO Dr. Kamlesh Bajaj says Saravade's appointment is a positive development. With his background in the IPS and CBI, and having worked in banking and consultancy, he has a deep overall competency in the domain that will stand DSCI in good stead, he says.
"Pushing for the adoption of security best practices in the industry and a focus on skill development are going to be a continuing challenge that he must take up," Bajaj says. "He would also be taking the lead in the implementation and adoption of DSCI's privacy framework." Bajaj stepped down as CEO in April after a seven-year stint. [See: DSCI's Bajaj Steps Down]
"I am delighted to join DSCI," Saravade says. "I have been associated with NASSCOM and DSCI for a long time and have witnessed DSCI emerging as a most credible and committed body for elevating data security and privacy protection standards in India. It is a very challenging responsibility given the current environment on cyber security and I am committed to taking DSCI forward."
On the state of things now, Saravade believes that immediate impetus would be to the recently announced DSCI cybersecurity taskforce. [See: New Cybersecurity Task Force Launched]. This initiative is being managed by DSCI.
In the long run, Saravade says his efforts will be to promote the DSCI's charter of thought leadership and policy advocacy in the industry. Of particular interest is scaling up capacity building initiatives in information security, which is actually quite an immediate need, given the rising demand for skilled security professionals in the country, he says.
In a past interview with Information Security Media Group, Saravade said that despite disjointed efforts, privacy laws in India have not come about. [See: India Needs New Laws to Fight Fraud] Saravade was upbeat about the Justice AP Shah committee's report on privacy at the time. He stressed on the need to go beyond discussion and policy formulation to adoption and enforcement -- even if in a small way -- to get the ball rolling. Given DSCI's focus on privacy issues and its own privacy framework, it is possible Saravade's appointment may help galvanize the privacy conversation in the country once again.
Industry leaders seem optimistic about the appointment. Well known for his quiet manner and articulate ideas, Saravade is regarded as an apt choice because of his extensive work with the government and industry. Mumbai-based Devendra Parulekar, Partner and Practice Leader - Cyber Security, Ernst & Young, says, "Saravade brings a deep understanding of cybersecurity, forensics and privacy. His experience in law enforcement and the industry positions he has held will truly help shape DSCI and take it to the next level."
Dinesh Bareja, a leading independent security analyst and founder of the Open Security Alliance, welcomes the appointment in the national and corporate context. "Saravade brings a tremendous amount of experience in law enforcement and has been a leader in the digital security domain for the past decade in the country, who is very well versed with technology and the ground realities and challenges," he says.
Saravade is non-partisan and commands the respect of the industry. His leadership will help bring about firm changes which are much needed, Bareja says