Governing Body Spotlight

Governing Body Member of the Toronto CISO Community

Nilesh Shastri


Canadian Institute for Health Information

As the Canadian Institute of Health Information’s (CIHI) CISO, Nilesh Shastri leads the Information Security Program with over 20 years of experience in IT and information security for healthcare enterprises. Prior to joining CIHI, he held leadership positions at Bayshore Healthcare, CFPC and TELUS Health. Nilesh has well-rounded expertise in information security governance, risk and compliance, security audits, business continuity, technical infrastructure support, security operations, risk management, and incident response.

Learn more about the Toronto CISO community here.

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

My career has been a thrilling journey, packed with excitement and challenges in various industries and roles. My journey began at NSEIL, one of the world's largest stock exchanges by market capitalization, where I served as a Sr. Engineer and gained invaluable experience in the financial industry. From there, I worked as a Network and Security Consultant at Financial Technologies for two years, learning the ropes of the security sector in the financial segment.

After moving to Canada, I joined TELUS and spent 15 years climbing the ranks from Sr. Network Analyst to Manager and Sr. Manager roles, leading business continuity and technical infrastructure and CISO functions. My tenure at TELUS allowed me to hone my skills in information security, risk management, leadership, and communication. From there, I moved on to work at the College of Family Physicians of Canada as the Director of Infrastructure and User Support/CISO, where I oversaw the delivery of technology services to the organization while improving security posture.

My journey continued as I joined Bayshore Healthcare, where I led large scale security programs, ensuring improved security and compliance posture. Currently, I am the Chief Information Security Officer at CIHI, where I lead a team responsible for ensuring the organization's digital security and compliance. The path I have taken has given me a wealth of experience, skills, and knowledge. 

I am thrilled to continue my journey in this exciting and dynamic field, taking on new challenges and making a positive impact wherever I go.

What is one of your guiding leadership principles?

One of my guiding leadership principles is the value of continuous learning and growth. Throughout my career, I have taken on new roles and industries, constantly challenging myself to expand my knowledge and skills. This willingness to learn and grow has not only benefited me personally but also the organizations I have worked for, as I bring new perspectives and innovative solutions to the table. As a leader, I prioritize the development of my team members and encourage them to embrace new opportunities for growth and development.

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?

I see disruption as a significant challenge and opportunity in the next 1-2 years. With the shift towards remote work, telehealth, and other digital services, there will be an increased risk of cyber threats and data breaches that can compromise patient information.

As a CISO for a healthcare organization dealing with sensitive data, my role will continue to be critical to ensure our organization is well-prepared to protect sensitive data in the face of evolving cyber threats, regulatory requirements, and data privacy and security expectations.

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

Build relationships across the organization, communicate in business terms, focus on business enablement and values you can bring to the organization.

Tell us 3 fun facts about yourself.

  1. I’m vegan.  
  2. I love non-fiction books. 
  3. I enjoy spending time outdoors in nature and love hiking.

What is the value of joining an Evanta community?

Evanta is an excellent forum to meet with peers and suppliers to mutually learn, share and grow together.

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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