Governing Body Spotlight

Member of the Benelux CISO Community

Jens Hickmann

Divisional Information Security Officer

RTL Group

Since February 2020, I have served as the Divisional Information Security Officer at RTL Group S.A., a listed division of Bertelsmann SE & Co. KGaA. As part of Group IT in our Headquarters, I focus on driving information security with our decentralised Business Unit Information Security Officers and the Central Information Security Services team. 

Together, we are addressing the global security and market challenges, and developing our security posture in line with business objectives and changes. Ultimately, we leverage centralised referenced security solutions, providing them as an internal service so local IT can focus on supporting the business.

Learn more about leaders in the Benelux CISO community here.

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

During my vocational education in Germany, I became an Assistant IT Manager in 2002, working in the healthcare industry. Later, I worked for several banks in Luxembourg, gaining experience in information security while developing the core banking system. 

After graduating, I started as an IT Risk Management Consultant and IT Auditor at one of the ‘Big Four.’ While this role was initially centered around the finance sector, I became more focused on technology and media, specifically data management and information security management systems (ISMS). As part of an international team, I had the opportunity to help RTL Group develop and deploy their ISMS globally, initiating a cultural change to a more group-wide collaboration.

What is one of your guiding leadership principles?

Leading by example, serving the team, transparency, information flow and collaboration. 

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

We must centralise and professionalise more security services, thereby allowing local teams to focus on local business. Cloud security, third-party management and infrastructure security will be on top of our agenda. My role involves leading the team through this mission; working with our stakeholders and communicating efficiently with top management to stay aligned.

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

Communicate a lot, align with Business and IT, hire an efficient team, and stay focused.

Tell us 3 fun facts about yourself.

  • I enjoy our international environment, where I am the only German in our team.

  • I hold a badminton trainer license.

  • I am the ‘Bootcamp Beast’ in our weekly outdoor fitness class, although still on beginners’ level.

What is the value of participating in a professional community through Evanta?

I am very happy about the open exchange of experiences and challenges that we peers have in common. We are inspiring each other with solutions and different angles to approach these challenges. Evanta makes it easy to be part of this community, while also having packed agendas.



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