Hi-5 With a CISO

Ilan Abadi, Teva Pharmaceuticals

By CybeReady
image December 22, 2020 image 2 MIN READ

Hi-5 brings together leading CISOs & InfoSec leaders for peer-to-peer sharing via five short questions and insights.

Ilan Abadi has been working in Cybersecurity for 25 years – including CISO roles in Ness Technologies and the Israeli National Police. He’s been serving as VP, Global CISO at Teva Pharmaceutical for eight (8) years now.

What is the biggest challenge security leaders face today and how are you looking to tackle it?

State level APT attacks on commercial companies have become common and the approach should be simple: reduce attack surface, maintain network hygiene and deploy a professional SIEM/SOC Team (24×7).

In your view, how important are security awareness programs and what’s a CISO main role in making them effective?

Since COVID-19, the attack surface has increased dramatically because more people are working from home and not from the corporate network. Any single employee is considered a “weak link” at this point and needs to be aware and knowledgeable.

What’s the one thing you’ll never tell an employee who’s made a security error, and how would you suggest to handle the situation instead?

I will never blame the employee instead, I would approach them with empathy and ensure they are getting supplemental education to help them be prepared and avoid this mistake the next time.

When it comes to recruitment – what approach do you take to attract and keep the best talent, and what would be your best tip for a new CISO?

I invite any new recruit to join the best team with the best mission that you can offer them. My advice: “be the good guy against the bad guys”.

Finally (just for fun): if you could have dinner with any renowned figure (dead or alive), who would you choose and why?

I would choose Robin Williams because his life was comedy tragic…like a CISO life!


Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd is the largest generic drug manufacturer in the world and one of the 15 largest pharmaceutical companies worldwide. Teva’s facilities are located in Israel, North America, Europe, Australia, and South America.

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