Avtar Singh

Shaping Risk Management

Avtar Singh

AVP- Admin & External Affairs-Balco and Chief of Security & Intelligence Aluminium Sector,

Vedanta

As technology evolves, so do the intricate physical and cyber threats. Hence, the landscape of risk management and security too needs to evolve at an equal pace, if not more. This dynamic milieu is creating a field for leaders who can fortify organisations against multifaceted risks. Leaders like Avtar Singh are playing a transformative role in creating a secure digital world.
Avtar is a titan whose leadership embodies a narrative forged by years of shaping, innovating, and steering industries toward resilient security practices. His illustrious career in risk management spans diverse sectors, reflecting the evolution of security practices. From navigating high-stakes hydrocarbon environments to adapting strategies in telecommunications amid technological shifts, Avtar’s leadership shines brightest in the aluminium sector. Here, expertise crystallised in safeguarding global supply chains, weaving insights from varied sectors into robust security frameworks.
This background defines Avtar’s visionary adaptability—an amalgamation of experiences transcending industry boundaries, crafting innovative security solutions. His trajectory epitomises the evolution of security practices, promising a fortified future in an everchanging industry. This helps Avtar foresee risks and craft comprehensive mitigation strategies, honed in high-risk environments. Transitioning seamlessly across industries, his acute understanding of Physical Security, Intelligence led and Technology driven security systems reinforces defences.
TradeFlock spoke to Avtar, the AVP-Admin & External Affairs-Balco and Chief of Security & Intelligence Aluminium Sector, Vedanta, to understand more about his journey as an exceptional leader who is shaping the risk management sphere. 

How have significant milestones shaped your transition from reactive to proactive cybersecurity strategies during your professional journey?

Throughout my professional journey, key milestones have significantly shaped my approach to security operations management. The shift from reactive to proactive security strategies was a pivotal moment, focusing on preventive measures, threat anticipation, and risk assessment to thwart potential physical and cyber threats before they occur. Milestones like establishing security standards, the rise of intrusion detection and prevention systems (IDPS), and the advent of security information and event management (SIEM) systems were instrumental in this evolution. Additionally, the integration of machine learning and AI, the emphasis on threat intelligence sharing, and the embrace of cloud-based security marked essential advancements. The adoption of the Zero Trust architecture challenged traditional security models, advocating continuous verification and authentication, regardless of location or device. Recognising the human element in security, milestones emphasising user education, awareness training, and behavioural analytics underscored the importance of human behaviour in fortifying security measures. These milestones collectively epitomise the transformation of security operations, emphasising proactive, integrated, and adaptive approaches to counter the ever-evolving landscape of physical and cyber threats.

How do you manage cybersecurity in our increasingly connected world, leveraging your telecommunications expertise?

My telecommunications background shapes my proactive approach to Physical Security, Intelligence led and Technology driven security systems in our digital world. Regular threat analysis identifies vulnerabilities in networks, systems, and devices. Robust measures like encryption, firewalls, and user education mitigate risks. Collaborative threat intelligence sharing strengthens defences, while AI aids real-time threat detection. A well-defined response plan ensures swift recovery from cyber incidents. Agility, adaptability, and proactivity remain central to safeguarding against evolving threats.

What are your future career aspirations, and what are your thoughts on entrepreneurship?

Navigating the unpredictability of today’s world, I find value in embracing each day as it comes. However, if presented with the chance, I envision making a meaningful contribution by sharing insights on fraud prevention, especially within vulnerable communities. Simplifying intricacies and raising awareness among rural and underserved populations aligns with a potential social cause I’m eager to pursue. This avenue allows me to continue my expertise in fraud management while making a tangible impact on a broader scale.

As a crisis management expert, how vital is crisis management amidst growing cyber security concerns? Are there any specific examples to highlight its importance?

Amid increasing physical and cyber threats, exemplified by incidents like the 2017 NotPetya attack, crisis management stands as a crucial shield. A well-prepared crisis plan enables swift responses, containment of breaches, and rapid restoration of operations. Transparent communication maintains trust, minimises reputational damage, and aids post-crisis analysis for future Physical Security, Intelligence led and Technology driven security systems strategies. Crisis management in Physical Security, Intelligence led and Technology driven security systems serves as a proactive defence, ensuring preparedness, resilience, and structured responses to cyber incidents. The global impact of NotPetya emphasises the vital role of effective crisis management in mitigating the expansive consequences of physical and cyber threats.

How do you instill a culture of security awareness in your organisation and influence individuals to embrace it?

I cultivate a robust security culture in my organisation through targeted approaches. My tailored sessions cover Physical Security, Intelligence led and Technology driven security systems essentials, ensuring everyone understands phishing, password management, data handling, and incident reporting. Leading by example, I champion security measures, set protocols, and foster a culture of vigilance through transparent communication of policies, updates, and threats via reminders and newsletters. Involving teams in initiatives and recognising exemplary practices incentivize proactive engagement, while regular assessments and feedback ensure continuous improvement. Adapting to emerging threats or work environment changes remains pivotal, embedding a shared responsibility for security awareness in our organisational ethos.

How do you foresee security technology evolving in the next 5–10 years, and what role do you anticipate playing in this evolving security landscape?

In the upcoming 5–10 years, security technology will revolutionise security measures by leveraging evolving algorithms for faster cyber threat identification, streamlining operations for swift incident responses, and enhancing authentication tools for a better user experience. Additionally, it will effectively protect interconnected devices against vulnerabilities. In this collaboration, the envisioned role involves identifying emerging security technologies aligned with organisational needs, initiating innovative solutions, developing strategies, fostering collaborations, and educating the team to ensure readiness in the ever-evolving security realm. My aim is to lead our security efforts by embracing these advancements, ensuring a resilient security posture against emerging threats.