Panel Profile: LafargeHolcim EMEA CISO José María Labernia

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Welcome to the IT Pro Panel Profile, where we talk to the CIOs, experts and IT leaders that make up the IT Pro Panel, and discover their top tech, pet peeves and IT inspirations.

As one of the world’s largest industrial manufacturers, LafargeHolcim has a significant estate to protect, with facilities and offices across the world. Protecting the company’s technological assets throughout EMEA is the job of José María Labernia, one of the company’s regional CISOs.

José is responsible for a team of 500 staff spread across more than 50 countries, and has to wrestle with difficulties such as the combination of information technology and operational technology, managing remote workers, and the growing need for IT and business to work together.

José María Labernia

EMEA CISO - LafargeHolcim 

Describe your role in 20 words or fewer. 

I am a seasoned cyber security director with broad experience in IT governance, cyber, internal control and risk management fields.

What was your first computer? 

It was an Amstrad CPC 464, with a joystick attached to it. I used it to start very easy programming techniques, and to play games through its built in tape drive. The screen only had 16 colors!

What do you like most about working in IT? 

I love the fast-changing environment and how IT changes the world. I tend to be an early adopter when possible of mass consumer technology - especially Apple devices!

If you could magically get rid of one piece of technology forever, what would it be, and why? 

It would have to be passwords, as strong biometric control mechanisms would help to gain trust and make people's life easier.

What future tech innovations are you most excited about? 

Self-driving cars - I hate driving and I cannot wait for cars to drive alone and significantly reduce the number of car accidents where people are involved. 

Who’s your biggest inspiration in the world of tech? 

Steeve Jobs; he was all about perfection, performance and passion, and he was the best example of how to translate technology into business language. Without Steve Jobs, we may still be working with Nokia phones, without social media and with lots of low-resolution pictures everywhere.

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