I am Sarah Armstrong-Smith. I have had a long and impactful career in business continuity, disaster recovery, cybersecurity, and crisis management, which enables me to operate holistically to understand the threat landscape, and how this can be proactively enabled to deliver effective resilience.
I currently operate as a Chief Security Advisor in Microsoft, and act as an executive sponsor to strategic and major customers across Europe. Prior to joining Microsoft, I worked for several large institutions across the public and private sector, including Thames Water, AXA, EY, Fujitsu, and the London Stock Exchange Group. I have been on the front-line of many major incidents, including IT failures, data breaches, and fraud. I talk passionately about the ‘human-aspects’ of cyber and building trust and transparency.
I am a Fellow of the British Computer Society and have been recognized as one of the most influential and inspiring people in UK Tech, regularly contributing to thought leadership, industry publications and journals.
I want you to know that as someone who has spent over 25 years working on the strategic, tactical, and operational response to major incidents and crises, I have walked in your shoes, and I know the kind of things that you’re potentially dealing with.
From my early days working as Fraud Controller, and Business Continuity Analyst, right through to working as an Executive and Board Advisor, I have come to understand what works well and what doesn’t. I embraced each opportunity that came my way, not necessarily knowing where it may lead, but just knowing that it gave me a thirst for knowledge, and a burning desire to deliver positive change.
Abbas Kudrati, a long-time cybersecurity practitioner and CISO, is Microsoft Asia’s Chief Cybersecurity Advisor. Abbas works with customers on cybersecurity strategy, how Microsoft sees the threat landscape, how we are investing in the future of security at Microsoft, and how organizations can take advantage of Microsoft’s security solutions to help improve their security posture and reduce costs.
In addition to his work at Microsoft, he serves as an executive advisor to Deakin University, LaTrobe University, HITRUST ASIA, EC Council ASIA, and many security and technology startups. He supports the broader security community through his work with ISACA chapters and student mentorship. He is also a part-time professor at Deakin University, Melbourne, Australia and a regular speaker on Zero Trust, cybersecurity, cloud security, governance, risk, and compliance.
Abbas has received multiple industry awards, such as “Business Leader/ Professional of the year 2021 by IABCA,” “Top Security Advisor for APJ for the year 2020 and the year 2019,” “Best Security Professional of the year 2018,” “CISO 100 Award 2018,” “Finalist for Australian CISO of the year 2015,” “IT Governance Professional of the year 2014,” and “Security Strategist of the year 2011.”
He is the bestselling author of books such as, “Threat Hunting in the Cloud”, “Zero Trust Journey Across the Digital Estate”, and “Digitization Risks in Post Pandemic World”.
He graduated from Gujarat University, India, with a bachelor’s degree in Accounting and Auditing and is a certified Forrester Zero Trust Strategist, C|CISO, CISM, CISA, CGEIT, CPDSE, and CSX-P, among other professional certifications.