Amin Siddiqui entered the world of ‘Cybersecurity’ when the word itself was unheard of. After 3 decades of innovation and expansion in the field, today he’s acknowledged as an International Authority in Cybersecurity GRC (Governance, Risk Management, and Compliance). Based in Saudi Arabia, he is an Information Security and Data Privacy Expert with varied experience, especially across the foreign Banking sector.

Amin was honoured with the CISO master level award in 2022; Cyber Centinels CISO award in 2019; successful completion of a tier three data center migration award in 2011; and successful implementation of a core banking application award in 2009, in addition to many other project related awards and recognitions.

But what he’s especially recognised for, is his ability to strike a balance between business deliverables and staff satisfaction. “By creating a positive work environment, I ensure the staff is motivated and inclined to work hard so that business deliverables are met. In doing so, I cultivate a culture of success, appreciation and respect within the office setting, which is essential for long-term achievement. 

As the famous philosopher and physician Albert Schweitzer said – Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.”

Amin’s accomplishments, integrity and values can be traced to his family. An only son of two medical doctors and the youngest of three sisters, he had a sheltered childhood. But in his 12th year of high school, his father unexpectedly passed away in a foreign country, leaving Amin heartbroken.

Eager to earn for his family, he got a job in a local bank as an IT administrator as he had always been interested in Computers and Technology. He also worked night shifts at a large national bank’s data center, where he was immediately noticed by the CIO.

However, following his mother’s advice, he enrolled in the IT program at Prince Sultan University. After graduation, he was rehired by the same CIO who had noticed him before, and given a unique challenge – Join the elite Y2K team working on the Y2K bug fixes, also known as the ‘Millennium bug’.

From that point on, Amin was transferred from department to department whenever a project needed to be completed. It wasn’t long before he was hired in a newly established department with a new concept – Information Security, which created a sudden demand for technology experts. The more he learned about this field, the more he liked it. He thus completed the necessary certifications and built his knowledge and skills around it.

In 2008, he married his lovely wife Samia and had three beautiful children — Omar, Fatimah and Sarah. “I’m so grateful to have them in my life and I do my best to make them happy and provide for their needs. I hope that my children grow up to be kind and compassionate individuals and have a successful future.”

All through his journey, Amin has remained grateful for his father’s guidance and wisdom. “As a professional and a family man, I make it a priority to give both aspects of my life equal attention and effort, and I never let one aspect of my life interfere with the other. If I had a bad day at work, I would never allow this to influence how I spend time with my family and vice versa.”

Amin believes his biggest strength is being a good listener, as 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. I believe this is a crucial part of being an effective leader. Listening encourages open and honest communication, which is essential for a successful team.”

As talk turns to leadership, Amin tells us that one of the things he’s noticed about successful people like Bill Gates, Jack Welch, Azim Premji and Warren Buffett is that they were not managers of the companies they ran, but rather leaders.

“I want to inspire, influence and motivate the people who work with me instead of just managing them. I strive to lead by example and show my team that hard work and dedication to a cause can lead to success. I want to be the kind of leader who will guide my team, not just tell them what to do. I want to motivate them to reach their highest potential.”

Leaving us with an important message, he says - “Every person has a different definition of what success should look like. It is therefore important to define success on a personal level. But remember, there is no bigger success than happiness.”

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