Colt names financial industry veteran Surti to head up security efforts

Colt is looking to bolster its information security strategy.

Colt Technology Services has named Ashish Surti as its chief information security officer, reflecting a mission to help its larger enterprise clients battle an ever-growing raft of global cyberattacks and security threats.

Reporting directly to CTO Rajiv Datta, Surti will be responsible for Colt’s overall information and cybersecurity strategy and will head up Colt’s Computer Security Incident Response team.

Bringing in a new team member focused solely on security makes sense, particularly as Colt solidifies its customer service capabilities for large brands it serves, including AMR International, EDICOM and JCDecaux.

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Colt said that Surti will enable the service provider to bolster its information security strategy by continually enhancing and embedding cyberrisk management and logical security practices into all of its company activities.

Ashish Surti

In his role as CISO, Surti will lead the assessment, evaluation, prioritization and mitigation of the internal and external security threat to Colt’s products, network infrastructure and business information systems.

Surti’s appointment as CISO is part of Colt’s leadership recruitment drive that’s coupled with plans to invest over $228 million into the business as it celebrates its 25th year in business.

“With the ever-present risk of cyberattack and increasing pressure from global threats, secure network connectivity matters now more than ever to organizations across all markets and industries,” Surti said in a release. 

Evidence of this recruitment drive has certainly been reflected in its top management ranks over the past two years. Beginning with naming former XO Communications executive Carl Grivner as CEO in 2015, Colt also named Rajiv Datta as CTO and later Andrew Housden VP of Capital Markets.

A 15-year security veteran, Surti joins Colt from TSB Bank where he was that company’s first CISO. During his tenure at TSB Bank, Surti oversaw information risk management, security consultancy and architecture, and cyber intelligence and response.

His experience with financial markets will be a valuable asset to understanding the demands of some of Colt’s core customers, which see secure connectivity and adhesion to increasingly stringent governance as critical requirements.

The timing could not be better. According to Kaspersky Lab security experts, the attack vector will shift from Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) toward other types of financial companies.