Microsoft appoints Igor Tsyganskiy as CISO in major leadership shift

Microsoft appoints Igor Tsyganskiy as CISO in major leadership shift

Igor Tsyganskiy

Microsoft has named Igor Tsyganskiy as its new Chief Information Security Officer (CISO), beginning January 1, 2024, as part of a new leadership transition. Tsyganskiy, who became a Chief Strategy Officer at Microsoft four months prior, will take over for Bret Arsenault, who served as CISO for fourteen years.

Microsoft’s Executive Vice President of Security, Charlie Bell, announced on LinkedIn that the company’s Secure Future Initiative is the reason behind the decision to reorganize its security leadership. Microsoft unveiled this internal initiative in November to improve the security of its extensive suite of software products.

Charlie Bell said in a blog post on December 5th that Bret Arsenault will be moving from his long-standing job as CISO to a position as Chief Security Adviser as part of the company’s new strategic focus on security. According to Bell, Igor Tsyganskiy will take over as CISO in the New Year.

“Bret will concentrate on expanding our impact across the entire ecosystem: Microsoft, partners, customers, government agencies, and important communities,” Bell stated. “I am also happy to welcome Igor to the position of CISO. Igor is a powerful leader and technologist with a distinguished background in high-stakes, high-security settings.”

Arsenault’s LinkedIn page states that he joined Microsoft in 1990. Before taking on several security roles and being named Microsoft’s Chief Information Security Officer in October 2009, he began his career as a senior engineer.

Before joining Microsoft, Tsyganskiy was the Chief Technology Officer of Bridgewater Associates LP, a hedge fund that works with institutional clients like foreign governments, central banks, endowments, pension funds, and foundations. Before that, Tsyganskiy led SAP SE’s Advanced Technology Group and served as Senior Vice President of Product Management at Salesforce Inc.

The appointment of a new Chief Information Officer (CISO) coincides with Microsoft’s growing optimism over the development of technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), which demands a strong emphasis on cybersecurity. The goal of lowering vulnerabilities in Microsoft’s product ecosystem is at the center of the Secure Future Initiative. The business intends to employ more memory-safe programming languages, such as Python, C#, and Java, as these reduce the possibility of particular flaws that hackers could exploit.

Additionally, Microsoft is automating vulnerability assessment in code with CodeQL, an open-source tool created by GitHub, and optimizing its threat modelling procedures. Microsoft hopes to resolve vulnerabilities in its cloud services twice as quickly by using a remediation process called distributed system delivery (dSDL), which combines continuous integration and continuous delivery software. This will happen by speeding up the release of security updates.

“So much of the world relies on Microsoft for its digital safety, and we only need to look at the news headlines to understand that we live in a rapidly evolving threat landscape, one that is highly demanding and drives us to constantly innovate and deliver,” Bell stated on LinkedIn. “Navigating all of this requires a tremendous amount of leadership expertise and experience.”

Bell stated that Tsyganskiy has “deep knowledge and experience from his previous role outside of Microsoft, and I am excited to continue collaborating with him on this important work.”