Based out of California, Ray Austad started his IT and Information Security career in Higher Education and Non-Profit, and pivoted over to financial enterprise after 18 years. Beginning with Zurich Insurance’s Group Information Security as a Business Information Security Officer in 2014, and later taken on functional roles overseeing Cloud and Application Security, Vulnerability Management, and Incident Response within the Farmers Insurance Group business unit.

At the beginning of 2020, Ray took a different view of Cybersecurity and risks to business by moving over to Farmers Risk Management team. As a Director Information Security and Risk Management, the next chapter started with being able to evaluate the organization with a new and intriguing lens. The first quarter was allocated to learning more about Enterprise Risk Management and adjusting to a role of business assurance, opposed to operational execution.

The second quarter changed the organization and our personal lives with the pandemic, and provided new, unforeseen challenges. However this offered new opportunities to calculate organization and supplier risks, and view business resiliency differently. Heading into the third quarter, the focus will be on continued improvements with information security risk baselines, collaboration with our operational and business partners to monitor pandemic impacts, and evaluate new and emerging risks.

Ray currently lives with his wife and two kids (5 and 7) in Los Angeles, while taking on new roles of educator and jester at our home school. He holds a Master’s degree in Film Production from Chapman University, Bachelor’s degree in Liberal Studies from CSU Long Beach, and became a CISSP May 2014.