Kordia appoints dedicated chief information security officer

The first dedicated full-time CISO at the company will be primarily based in Christchurch.
Hilary Walton

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-focused 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 acting chief executive Shaun Rendell noted that this marks the first dedicated full-time CISO at the company. Previously the role has been a shared one along with security operations.

“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.”  

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 but will continue to provide his extensive expertise in a part-time capacity, managing the security design and operations team, which includes Kordia’s Security Operations Centre.

Educated at the University of Canterbury, from which she holds a MSc 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,” Walton said.

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, where she was seconded to the British intelligence agency, MI5, to manage a security project.

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