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Top 100 Interview: Imraan Kharwa

Data Protection Officer, Infobip Ltd.

While Imraan has recently assumed the role of Data Protection Officer at Infobip Ltd, he has in-depth information security and privacy experience across several industries. These range from combatting internal and external threats in the role of Information Security Officer at Tourvest Retail Services to deploying privacy teams while serving as Data Privacy Manager at Deloitte. Imraan holds a Bachelor of Laws Degree from the University of Kwazulu-Natal as well as a Certified Information Privacy Manager qualification with the International Association of Privacy Professionals.

How will you drive your organization’s cybersecurity strategy forward in 2021?

My portfolio extends across the African continent where privacy legislation is fast developing, and organizations have little time to adapt to the changing regulatory landscape. Privacy laws in some jurisdictions are nuanced and organizations are all left with interpreting and implementing these laws based on their appetites for risk and bespoke business constraints. A key objective for me is to harmonize and craft privacy best practices that we can implement as an organization to get us to a level where we are comfortable that we are compliant
across as many of the jurisdictions that we operate in as possible.

What should information security executives focus on in 2021 to generate business value?

I consider one of the primary drivers to be a paradigm shift in the global attitude to privacy and information security. To remain competitive, organizations must embrace a shift, from viewing privacy as a compliance burden to one that is a value proposition going forward. Already, many large companies have started to sell privacy as a differentiating factor in their businesses and have begun reaping the rewards associated with this change, including added customer trust, more ethical data handling, and enabling long-overdue privacy rights. In the coming months and years, businesses that position themselves as privacy-friendly and as privacy advocates are going to have a competitive advantage over those that do not.

Imraan Kharwa is featured in our Top 100 Global Leaders in Information Security Report. Click here to read the full list.