ISACA is a global foundation with more than 200 chapters worldwide. Many international Risk and Security professionals quickly feel at home at the ISACA chapter in the country they reside in. One of these international members is Ramzy El-Masry. Ramzy has been an ISACA volunteer for many years. Last year he joined the board of ISACA Netherlands Chapter as a member.
As a board member for ISACA NL Chapter Ramzy primarily focusses on organizing the webinars, the Square Tables. ‘My task is to organize as many webinars as possible, so our members have access to updated information and have opportunities to gain CPE. I also have marketing and publicity in my portfolio’, Ramzy says. ‘I therefore need to make sure I align my responsibilities as a committee head for the Square Tables and publicity and marketing with the benefits for our members.’
Providing cutting edge knowledge
Ramzy is also looking at the organization of ISACA Netherlands as a whole. ‘I would like to create more structure into all committees and volunteering activities, so we can all have a streamlined process. This way we maintain good opportunities for all members to join our volunteering activities and enhance the brand value of the ISACA Netherlands Chapter.’ Ramzy stresses the importance of the ISACA-related professions. ‘A lot of people don’t know what we do, while in reality we are serving the greater good of the people to have safety using newer technologies, platforms, systems and their day to day life to be in good hands.’
For Ramzy ISACA is ‘the foundation that tries it’s best to support the community with knowledge about audit, security management, IT risk and compliance. The association that is trying to make sure newer technologies are covered, like Blockchain or Cloud or IoT and now even Artificial Intelligence.’ Ramzy would therefore as a board member like to make sure all members have access to cutting edge knowledge. ‘For example, we organized a webinar on Quantum Risk on Cryptography eight months before the first Litigation Act came out in the US. I hope we can continue to do so with Artificial Intelligence and other cutting edge topics.’
From engineering to security and risk management
When we ask him about his personal background Ramzy responds with a smile: ‘I am from Egypt, the land of over 7.000 years of culture, history and good food, from a family that is almost international. Half of my family immigrated to the US in the last 40 years, so I have cousins and extended cousins all around the world. And as for the other half which stayed in Egypt: some immigrated and some sent their kids for education abroad. So I ended up between friends and relatives, having almost one familiar person in every country. This makes travelling enjoyable, as I get to see a new country and also maybe get lucky and meet a cousin.’
Ramzy is an engineer by education. ‘I have worked in multiple positions within Security, Risk management, Governance but never into Audit.’ He started his career doing penetration testing. ‘This evolved into being a Senior Manager who is more strategic in the operation and implementation of Security Controls and providing advice towards senior leadership team when it comes to security risks and their implications.’ Ramzy is specifically interested in the trial to govern and organize the newer technologies. ‘To make sure it’s achieving business objectives, while not breaking any legal or ethical rule.’
‘I joined ISACA with my initial examination in 2013, CISM’, Ramzy continues. ‘But back then it was ISACA at large, since there was no ISACA chapter in my country, Egypt. Then later I became a member of the Cairo Chapter.’ In 2016 Ramzy moved to the Netherlands and started volunteering for the Dutch ISACA chapter.
Meeting new people
Asked what were the highlights during his work for ISACA so far Ramzy directly refers to two recent, major ISACA events. ‘The ISACA Risk Event in 2022 and the ISACA Europe Conference last year in Rome.’ But he also speaks with great appreciation of his volunteering work for our association. ‘Being part of ISACA in Cairo and the Netherlands as a volunteer has been a big highlight for me so far. When I moved to the Netherlands in 2016, and helped organize the first few English spoken Round Tables for expats in Amsterdam for example. And later on when I helped organize the webinars as a member of the Square Tables Committee.’
Ramzy likes the fact that he meets new people at ISACA activities all the time. ‘They are without exception very interesting and very much engaging in newer topics in the market. This helps me update myself, while enjoying the process of learning.’
Photo left: Ramzy El-Masry, David Samuelson and Dwayne Valkenburg at the ISACA Europe Conference.
Ramzy can therefore only recommend becoming a volunteer. Furthermore, to update your knowledge he points out the ISACA Global Engage website. And ISACA has many learning opportunities. ‘Also important to know that ISACA is offering a fifty percent discount on each of the nine ITCA and CET certificates. This includes the online review courses, lab packages, study guides and the exams for each of the certifications. The promocode to be used upon checkout on isaca.org is PRODEURCHAPTER2023.’
Photo top header (Lise’s lenses): Risk Event Committee on stage, Ramzy is the third from left, ISACA Risk Event 2022.