Mel is the Vice President and Chief Information Security Officer of the Manila Electric Company and its Fintech subsidiary, CIS Bayad Center. Regarded as a pillar in the Philippine Cyber Security Industry and co-founder of Women in Security Alliance Philippines (WiSAP formerly PWCA) which focuses on empowering and inspiring women in Security. She was awarded as IFSEC Global Influencer Top 20 for 2020 - Security Executives category.
What makes you a Risky Woman?
Mel is an advocate of digital transformation, making things work faster, scalable, faster time to service, better customer reach and experience. Behind these initiatives that most companies want to do overnight, as a Risk Leader, she stands firm on the control requirements that must be in place. Exerting effort to strike a great deal of balance between security and customer experience, security and performance. If risks must be emphasized and will have a significant impact on the business then she will raise the flag and work with stakeholders on a hyper collaboration mode.
Name your top 3 achievements
- Developed and operationalized the Information Security Framework for the different Financial, Energy and Technology companies she led and dramatically improved their cyber security hygiene.
- Established and operationalized the Cyber Security Incident Response Center for the largest Energy Distribution Unit in the Philippines and for all of its 12 subsidiary companies of diverse business operations.
- Recognized as IFSEC Global Influencer Top 20 on 2020 for the vast implementations she has done to lead and develop privacy, cyber security and enterprise risk management teams enabling these teams to reach their full potential.
What is the biggest risk you’ve taken in your career?
The risk of losing a job in the executive suite by doing the right thing even if it will hurt other people to the point that it could lead to dismissal or loss of trust. However, after this move, Mel proved her loyalty to the organization and not for anyone else and earned the recognition that she deserves.
What’s something most people don’t know about you?
Mel is a tough leader but has a generous heart. She feels the need to help people even in times when she feels distressed and has a lot on her plate. To still share a portion of herself despite the challenges that she is going through.
What is the best quality for successful leaders in Risk?
Risk leaders are often told that it is lonely at the top, but this can be managed by being Agile and Flexible while maintaining strong grounds.