Governing Body Spotlight

Governing Body Member of the Toronto CISO Community

Cameron Yardy

Director of Cyber Security

First West Credit Union

Cameron Yardy is the director of cybersecurity at First West Credit Union. First West is the fifth largest credit union in Canada (based on asset size) providing financial services in BC but very soon becoming a federal credit union. 

Cameron’s responsibilities include overseeing all things cybersecurity but are primarily focused on everything operational from incident response to identity and access management. 

Prior to First West, he was in management roles in cybersecurity at CIBC, Rogers Communications and TD Bank.

Learn more about the Toronto CISO community here.

Give us a brief overview of the path that led to your current role.

I began my overall career with a role in the law enforcement community. My strong interest in law (specifically criminal law) drew me to this field despite my parental desires to get into the computer programing field. 

After 13 years, and seeing a new computer security field growing in the late 1990s, I took my experience and made a leap into this new information security realm. My first position was a computer forensics analyst role at TD Bank where I was determined to excel. With recognized successes, my journey took me into management, where I was able to share my life experiences and knowledge with the teams I oversaw.

Today, at First West, I enjoy supporting the credit union's evolution into federal banking and the challenges it brings.

What is one of your guiding leadership principles?

Transparency and honesty are my guiding leadership principles. Those that know me know that clarity on direction and being true to your successes and failures drive a successful team.

What is the greatest challenge CISOs face today, and how are you addressing it?

Technology complexity and speed of adoption are challenges. The use and evolution of technology in our daily lives is moving faster and farther than ever before. 

The latest iteration of this is AI, where every technology and vendor is moving toward some form of advanced data analytics to streamline business functionality and user experience. 

Conversely, as security leaders, we have to approach this new technology with trepidation and caution to ensure risks are managed. Managing business and user expectations while considering a secure approach is our greatest challenge.

What is the key to success for someone just starting out as a CISO?

Having partnerships with all your leaders is the key to success. Evolving and securing a business environment will require champions that are not directly related to cybersecurity. 

Having those partners on your side, sharing in the understanding of how your security goals align and enhance their business objectives will ensure success.

How do you measure success as a leader?

Success to me as a leader is measured by the career progression of those I lead. My greatest satisfaction over my years in cybersecurity is seeing those I lead go on to bigger and better careers based on their time and guidance from me.

What is the value of being a member of the Evanta community?

The advantage to being part of the Evanta community is two-fold. First, the content shared within the community is timely and relevant to the challenges we all share. 

Secondly is the community itself. The ability to meet and share with peers, both in the direct industry you are in, as well as those in a different industry, allows for new and fresh ideas on solving shared problems.

Evanta Governing Body members share their insights and leadership perspectives to shape the agendas and topics that address the top priorities impacting business leaders today.

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