Mastercard’s ‘Dr. Jay’ on the Future of Cybersecurity Leadership

Leadership & Executive Communication , Recruitment & Reskilling Strategy , Training & Security Leadership

Deputy CSO Alissa Abdullah on Talent, Tools and Techniques


Alissa “Dr. Jay” Abdullah, SVP & deputy CSO, Mastercard

She was deputy CIO at the White House and served as CISO at Xerox. Now, as deputy CSO at Mastercard, Alissa “Dr. Jay” Abdullah opens up on the accomplishments of her first year as well as new leadership techniques and strategies for refining talent and tools.

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In her latest role, she’s spent the majority of her year working remotely, but that has opened new doors for collaboration and multi-cloud environments at Mastercard, she says.

“I like giving businesses the ability to think outside of the box and do things outside of the box – but to do them in a secure way,” Abdullah says. “When we can allow a company to – in a secure way – be innovative, not say ‘no,’ but then add all the different risk mitigation factors that are highly recommended … it makes me happy, but it makes the company happy as well.”

In this video interview with Information Security Media Group, Abdullah discusses:

  • Her experience in the public and private sectors;
  • Her focus in year one at Mastercard;
  • Her passions for recruiting talent and for refining cybersecurity leadership techniques.

As Mastercard’s deputy chief security officer, Abdullah leads the emerging corporate security solutions team and is responsible for protecting Mastercard’s information assets as well as driving the future of security. While she was CISO of Xerox, she established and led a corporatewide information risk management program and, as the deputy CIO at the White House, she helped modernize systems with cloud services and virtualization.

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