Global Leader in Cybersecurity GRC
Young and suave Amin M Siddiqui has no qualms accepting that he owes his success as a Global Leader in Cybersecurity to the Y2K computer bug!
Based in Saudi Arabia, Amin’s story began when he was born as the only son to two medical doctor parents and the youngest sibling to 3 sisters, all of whom pampered and protected him in equal measure. When Amin was in the 12th year of high school, his father suddenly passed away in another country, while the family didn’t even get a chance to say their final goodbyes.
It was the lowest point in Amin’s life yet, he was eager to start work and earn for the family as soon as possible. Following his interest in computers and technology from a young age, he got a job in a bank as an IT administrator in 1996. To get his mind off the hard times he was going through, he worked round the clock and even did night shifts at the bank’s data center. The CIO was quick to notice him and praise him for his efforts.
However his mother wanted him to study further. Taking her advice, he enrolled in the IT program at Prince Sultan University. After graduation, he was rehired by the same CIO who had noticed him in the past, and given a very unique challenge – “My task was to join the elite team working on the Y2K bug fix.” The Y2K computer bug, also known as millennium bug, occurred when older software and hardware could not recognize the date after the year 2000.
From that point on, Amin was transferred from department to department whenever a project needed to be completed. Soon after, he was hired in a newly established department with a new concept, at that time, called information security. As time went on, this field grew on him. He completed all the necessary certifications, and built his knowledge and skills around it.
Today, Amin is a global leader in the field of Information Technology and Cybersecurity with almost 2 decades of experience. Not only does he have hands-on experience leading all stages of system development efforts, but he is also solutions oriented as well as innovative. Having begun as a computer system operator, he is now risen to Senior Vice President – Cybersecurity Governance, Risk and Compliance.
In addition, he has bagged innumerous honours along the way – 2009 – successful implementation of a core banking application award; 2011 – successful completion of a tier three data center migration award; 2019 – Cyber Centinels CISO awards, Riyadh; 2022 – CISO master level award by GEC media group Dubai.
“Growing up, I was fascinated by successful businessmen like Bill Gates, Jack Welch, Azim Premji and Warren Buffett, and one of things I noticed about them was that they were not managers of the company they were running, rather they were leaders. In addition to inspiring generations of people, they also had a positive influence on those around them. It is this passion that drives me every day. I want to inspire, influence and motivate the people who work with me instead of just managing them.”
Having spent more than a decade mentoring others while simultaneously improving the organization’s day-to-day operations and revenue streams, Amin is truly committed to mentoring others. His career has been marked by a strong leadership skill set and a visionary approach. He has also proven to be a good relationship builder as well as having good decision-making skills. As compared to other departments, he maintains the highest employee satisfaction rate within his team.
“I believe my biggest strength is that I am a good listener. People need to feel heard more than they need to be told what to do. I listen to my team members and make them feel involved in my decisions, thereby making them feel valued and appreciated.”
He follows the same principle in his personal life. He married his lovely wife Samia in 2008 and is father to three beautiful children — Omar, Fatimah and Sarah. With unmistakable pride, he tells us how they have been an inspiration and a source of strength in his life.
“My father always taught me to hold the stick from the middle instead of either end, otherwise the stick would become unstable, and I have done my best to follow this philosophy. As a family man and professional, I make it a priority to give both aspects of my life equal attention and effort, and I never let one aspect interfere with the other. If I have a bad day at work, I never allow this to influence how I spend time with my family and vice versa,” says Amin, adding success without happiness is not success at all.