Governing Body Spotlight

Governing Body Member of the Nordic CISO Community

Torben Voigt Olsen



Torben Olsen is CISO at Novonesis, formerly known as Novozymes. Despite a master's degree in literature, Torben has spent the past 20-plus years holding various roles in cyber and information security.

Learn more about the Nordic CISO community here.

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

After university, I spent some time trying to find my path until I accidentally ended up taking a course on web development and IT security. After that, I joined a security startup and spent a couple of years as a consultant, before moving to an internal security role, where I have been trying to translate theory into practice ever since.

What is one of your guiding leadership principles?

I believe in the circle of competency. I realize that I can’t be an expert in everything, so I trust the expertise of my team members and colleagues.

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

The amount of work will always be greater than the amount of available resources. Focus on the biggest risks and don't sweat the small stuff.

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

The key to success is to get to know your organization and your stakeholders. Realize that you will not be able to reach all your objectives within the first six months. CISOs should get comfortable with uncertainty.

How do you measure success as a leader?

I measure success by preventing or minimizing the impact of security incidents. Improve the overall security maturity of the organization and keep your team happy and engaged.

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