Governing Body Spotlight

Co-Chair of the France CISO Community

Eric Singer


Schneider Electric

Eric Singer has worked in cybersecurity for over 25 years. Since 2018, Eric has been the CISO for the EMEA region at Schneider Electric. Here, Eric leads and maintains Schneider Electric’s cybersecurity vision and strategy, ensuring that information assets and technologies are adequately protected.

Eric is a board member of the CESIN, a representative association of information and digital security experts in France, with more than 800 CISO members from large French companies and administrations across various sectors – banking, insurance, industry, services, media, and health. He is also a chair member of ECSO, the European Cyber Security Organization.

Learn more about leaders in the France CISO community here.

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

I attended an engineering school in the early ’90s, and following my military service, I obtained a master’s degree in IT security – the first one in France at this time.

Subsequently, after working for a telecom operator (Bouygues Telecom) and an industrial manufacturer (Alcatel) as a Cybersecurity Internal Auditor, I joined the ANSSI, the French Cybersecurity Agency. Here, I actively participated in the creation and management of the government’s 24/7 watch and alert centre and led the coordination of cybersecurity crisis simulations. 

Between 2009 and 2018, I served as CISO for numerous companies, including Galeries Lafayette, Nexans, Orano, and AKKA Technologies. Since 2018, I have served as CISO at Schneider Electric for the Europe, Middle East, and Africa region.

What is one of your guiding leadership principles?

“You’re going to be the victim of a ransomware attack! That’s not admitting defeat, it’s preparing for success.” John Zangardi

Like John Zangardi, the former CISO of the US Department of Defense, I think that incidents and crises are unavoidable and that we should be prepared to face cyber threats at any moment. Therefore, one of my guiding leadership principles is to always be prepared and to train regularly to face unprecedented threats. These exercises allow us to get to know each other and to work together better, but also, more importantly, to increase our resilience. Resilience is key for us all.

With disruption being a key theme of the past year, where do you see your role as a CISO going in the next 1-2 years?

In our digital and connected world, all CISOs now have to work together. We are all facing numerous cyber incidents and encounter similar challenges. The supply chain attacks, like the SolarWinds case, have made people conscious of the evolution of the threat landscape. 

More than ever, companies are interconnected. CISOs have to cooperate to ensure the cyber resiliency of our economy. I see my role as bringing value to Schneider Electric and its ecosystem by protecting and influencing our company, customers, partners, and national authorities at all levels – including executives and peers.

What advice would you give to someone just starting out in the role as a CISO?

There is no magic recipe to being a CISO. The most important thing is to listen, adapt, and understand the company you are working for: its culture, business, and influential people. You have to mix your cyber knowledge and your company knowledge, as well as the strategic and operational components in order to address the risk landscape and bring value to the company.

But never, never relax– always be on your guard! Incidents may come from any place and you have to remain humble in order to learn from high-severity incidents. These incidents are opportunities to enhance your cyber security capabilities and share them with your executives.

Tell us 3 fun facts about yourself.

Can you be fun when you are a CISO? You have to protect your company as a kind of ‘cyber warrior’. However, you are also a human being! Having fun is a way to manage pressure and be more efficient. So, I put some fun  into my job.

I enjoy every bit of life – having fun with my family, kids, friends, dogs, and cats! I enjoy doing yoga, playing tennis, running, and listening to blues and rock music. And guess what? Some of my friends are CISOs and we do not just sit around sharing IOCs but also interesting experiences, such as a David Gilmour concert, for instance!

For me, cybersecurity has been a passion since I was a kid. I remember creating password manager software when I was just 14 years old. The aim here was to create and store complex passwords. At this time, in the ’80s, I do not even remember what the need for this was. At this time, the Internet did not even exist! I used an Oric PC, plugged into an old TV set. I used to do backups of my software on an audio tape… it was not reliable at all!

What is the value of joining an Evanta community?

With more and more zero-day threats, I think we can make progress and become even more resilient through collaboration. Therefore, I am strongly involved in several CISO organisations and associations – such as serving as a board member of the CESIN in France and as a Chair Member at ECSO. 

Similarly, by participating as a co-chair member at Evanta, I hope to extend the connections between CISOs. Participating in a professional community through Evanta provides a key opportunity to discuss all the major issues of tomorrow with my peers, enabling us to increase our maturity level to build a more cyber-secure world.

Together we are stronger.



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