Governing Body Spotlight

Co-Chair of the Toronto CISO Community

Samer Adi



Samer Adi is a strategic IT operations executive with expertise in driving information security programs within business units. He is a big picture visionary delivering business continuity while ensuring best-in-class security systems and implementing new technologies and process improvements to ensure up-to-date technology platforms.

Samer leads by example, modelling accountability, ownership, and clear and consistent communication. He is an adaptable leader, builds and fosters talented teams, and champions excellence and innovation. He is an author, public speaker, and motivator, who is passionate about information security and data privacy. 

Learn more about leaders in the Toronto CISO community here.

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

Over the years, I was able to build DevOps teams from the ground up, lead corporate-wide complex modernization projects, and move IT operations from on-premise to cloud without causing any business outage. 

Before my current position as the CISO at Greenshield, I was the Technology Operations and Security Leader with Canada’s #1 meal kit provider, leading a team of 200 professionals in IT Infrastructure, Security, and B2C Call Center.    

Before that, I was the Vice President of Infrastructure and Chief Information Security Officer to the largest payment processing network in Canada, leading a team of 70 professionals. We maintained PCI-DSS compliant status for the company for 2012–2014 and PA-DSS status for all their payment applications. In addition, I served with the largest network provider for white label ATMs with the same capacity. 

I was the Head of Information Security and Internal Controls for one of the well-known retailers in Canada, leading a team of security professionals to provide the best information security protection possible and maintain compliance with regulators’ requirements. 

Before, I was the CISO for the Canadian office of a global IT consultancy company. I managed a team which was responsible for providing complete cybersecurity services externally to the clients and internally within a global structure. 

I have more than 30 years’ experience in information security and information technology infrastructure support and hold a degree in computer science and information technology. I published two books in computer maintenance. Both books are part of the grade 11 & 12 curriculum.

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

The CISO role will become more of a business leader when the security function becomes a business function. Also, as CISOs, we need to step up our game in data/application security.

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

Connecting with other CISOs and domain leaders. Also, the opportunity to meet vendors and service providers. Evanta events are a great learning opportunity from peers and partners.


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