King & Union teamed up with Cybercrime Magazine to profile and reflect on the illustrious career of Steve Katz, who pioneered the CISO position.
The chief information security officer (CISO) role dates back to 1994, when financial services giant Citigroup (then Citicorp, ranked 17th on the Fortune 500 at the time) set up a specialized cybersecurity office after suffering a series of cyberattacks from Russian hackers.
Steve Katz was anointed CISO.
“I was running information security at JPMorgan at the time, and the rumor on Wall Street was that Citicorp had been hacked,” recalls Katz, who recently visited Cybercrime Magazine’s production studio in Northport, N.Y., a few miles from his home on Long Island.
“You know we had the hack so you have a blank check to set up anything you want,” Katz was told by his new bosses, who were tapped by the CEO and board at Citicorp to shore up their digital defenses. “We want to make sure it doesn’t happen again. We want you to build the best information security department anywhere on the globe.”