Top 100 Interview: Ronald Martey

CISO, GCB Bank Limited

Ronald Martey is a cyber and information security management professional with over 10 years of experience spanning the government, telecommunications, financial and technology services industries. He is currently CISO of GCB Bank, the largest indigenous bank in Ghana, where he leads the bank’s cyber and information security strategy. Before that, he led the enterprise security solutions portfolio for IBM across Central and West Africa where he was recognized in 2019 as a ‘hundred percent club’ honoree for increasing the footprint of IBM Security Solutions across Central and West Africa.

What were your greatest achievements in 2020?

My greatest achievement was being able to build what I call a ‘human firewall’ across the enterprise. On the back of COVID-19 and its implications on businesses across the globe, I quickly had to engage my team to find ways to minimize or manage the risk of employees working from home. We made a strong business case to management to invest in a cloud-based learning platform where employees anywhere in the world could access cybersecurity training and awareness content on the go. So far, that investment has yielded a lot of good dividends. Our employees are more security-aware and are now able to effectively identify suspicious and phishing-related emails (which account for a lot of data breaches) across the enterprise.

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

Because employees are now connecting to enterprise systems from anywhere, one of the key focus areas for me will be the adoption of the zero-trust framework, where there is continuous verification of who employees are before allowing them access to critical resources within the enterprise. Dealing with insider threats, both malicious and accidental, is also a high priority for this year, as well as investing in AI-related technologies that can flag suspicious behavior patterns across the enterprise. I am also looking at adopting a third-party risk assessment framework to assist in comprehensive risk assessment reviews of the bank’s service providers.

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