Kordia Group has today announced it has appointed Hilary Walton as its new Chief Information Security Officer.
Walton joins the company from Airways, where she was a Senior Manager overseeing ICT, Digital Strategy and Transformation and oversaw the team that was responsible for embedding an information security-focussed culture across the business.
Primarily based in Christchurch, Walton will travel to Kordia’s head office in Auckland, as well as other office locations around New Zealand and Australia, on a regular basis.
Kordia Group's acting CEO Shaun Rendell welcomes Walton to the role, noting that this marks the first dedicated full-time CISO at the company.
“Information security is by necessity part-and-parcel of doing business, particularly for Kordia Group where it’s not only a critical operations requirement, it’s also a key service we offer to our customers.
“To date, the CISO role has been a shared one along with security operations, but with Hilary coming on board it will be her sole focus – something we believe will translate to better outcomes for both our business and our customers.”
Walton joins the company in anticipation of the partial retirement of Bruce Cochrane, long-serving CISO and Head of Security Design and Operations who has been with Kordia for more than 40 years. Cochrane is stepping back at the end of the first quarter of 2020.
After the handover period, Cochrane will continue providing his extensive expertise in a part-time capacity, managing the Security Design and Operations team, which includes Kordia’s Security Operations Centre (SOC).
Educated at the University of Canterbury, from which she holds a Master of Science in Psychology, and Massey University, where she gained a diploma in Aviation Management, Walton also has a Certified Information Security qualification. She is particularly adept at understanding and managing the people aspect of cybersecurity and is an author in this field, having published the book ‘A How-to Guide for Improving Security Culture and Dealing with People Risk in Your Organisation’ in 2016.
“Information security is both a fascinating and challenging environment, so I am thrilled to join a company for which cybersecurity is a core component of all its offerings,” says Walton.
The international experience she brings to Kordia includes a stint with the Olympic Delivery Authority in London, where she worked as a Manager in Information Security and Security Culture for the 2012 Olympics, and a consultancy role with Mendas Ltd, where she was seconded to the British intelligence agency, MI5, to manage a security project.
In her most recent position with Airways as a Senior ICT Leader, she took an approach which recognised that people and organisations prosper when businesses digitally transform and leverage technology as an enabler to meet strategic objectives.