Volunteer Spotlight: Evelyn de Souza
Evelyn de Souza is a Data Privacy and Compliance Leader at Cisco Systems, where she focuses on developing blueprints and holistic solutions to help organizations embrace the cloud securely and ensure data privacy in an agile manner. She currently serves as the co-chair of the CSA Cloud Control Matrix Working Group, where she has been integral in guiding the development and evolution of the recently launched CCM V.3.
How did you become involved in the CSA?
I learned about CSA and became intrigued by what they were doing as cloud security was something new and vast at the time and info security was lagging in many ways. It was a time when I was in transition between careers as well and saw as another opportunity to supplement my current job and role at Cisco. Prior to Cisco, I was a former school teacher in Australia, so this was all very new to me.
I wanted to be involved in something where I could learn a lot and make a huge impact. I saw the opportunity to co-chair the CCM and I decided to take it on. I worked with Cisco to get their support as well, which was very important. They allowed me to dedicate 20 percent of my job to this role. I would say to any interested volunteer out there that it is important to work with your supervisor up front so you can strike that ideal balance between your corporate role and volunteer role. Both are essential to each organization.
What type of knowledge or skills have you gained by your involvement in the CSA that otherwise you would not have in your current role?
I saw the co-chair opportunity as way to learn about how cross mapping works which was something I was interested in learning about. It also helped me learn and appreciate the issues implementers go through when using the CCM.
Through my work and knowledge of CCM I have been fortunate to become a recognized leader on the topic and have been given the opportunity to present in meetings at Cisco that perhaps I would not have normally participated in, but also to present at industry events and conferences all over the world. There is also a wonderful benefit from collaborating with all the CCM working group volunteers. We have some tremendous minds and experience in the group that I am fortunate to work with and learn from truth be told. We really have a terrific collaborative model that allows for direct and open feedback.
How do you think your involvement has impacted cloud security?
The CCM has become the de-facto standard in cloud security. It is critical and valued by so many organizations. There is a sense of value and accomplishment in working with the group co-chair and all the CCM Working Group volunteers knowing that what we do truly does impact so many organizations. Recently, it also inspired me to work on developing a data protection model – Cloud Data Protection Cert that is being worked on now for integrated into the CSA GRC Stack
How has it impacted your career path?
The work with CSA has inspired me to participate in other industry initiatives and to look for inspired learning opportunities.
What is next for Evelyn with the CSA?
First and foremost, I want to continue my work with the CCM working group. Our next step is to align CCM with CAIQ, which will be important guidance for the industry. I would also like to work on creating a tiered data protection model for the industry to follow.
Finally, I hope through my learnings and stories, that I can inspire other CSA members out there to volunteer. It has been an amazing and rewarding experience that you will not regret.