Governing Body Spotlight

Governing Body Member of the France CISO Community

Rudolphe Proust

Chief Global Risks Group


Rudolphe Proust has spent 25 years in the French National Police as Senior Assistant Commissioner of Police (Commissaire Divisionnaire) in different departments, including a position abroad as French Regional Police Attaché in Singapore, covering Southeast Asia. 

Rudolphe has headed intervention units, police stations, and a CID department – in charge of fighting against organised crime in casinos and gambling clubs in France. He also worked with the Stock Exchange Regulator, conducting investigations into the stock exchange market and listed companies – inside trading, market manipulations, false information, and money laundering.

Rudolphe is currently Head of the Global Risks Group at French real estate development company, Altarea, where he previously served as Head of Global Security (including Cybersecurity) for four years. Rudolphe has developed expertise in various areas, including: physical security, tangible and intangible assets protection, cyber risks, and complex fraud prevention in a French and international environment for the private sector. 

Learn more about leaders in the France CISO community here.

Give us a brief overview of the path that led to your current role.

I initially wanted to start my career in administration as a student. This led me to the Political Sciences Institute in Toulouse. I passed the exam to become the Chief of Police and had wonderful experiences in various operational departments in France and overseas (Europe, Africa, and Singapore).

In 2014, after considering the future of my career in the police force, I reached the conclusion that I should start to gain further experience in the private sector. As such, I started off at a prominent American company covering a huge area and scope.

After three years, moving forward internally was no longer possible, so I decided to move back to France where I began working at Altarea. Here, I worked towards building their first security department. Starting from a global approach to security risks, we built a department that considers physical and logical security as a key global challenge.

After four years, it was time for me to move forward and my Board decided to extend the scope of my responsibilities to compliance, internal audit and insurance – a holistic risks approach. I now lead the new Global Risks Department at Altarea. This department is in charge of preventive actions and management of risks – but in a very operational way, not from a compliance perspective only. 

What is one of your guiding leadership principles?

It is difficult to speak about one without the others. I would say that when you create a new department with existing skilled people and scattered structures, you must gather the energies, create synergies, and help everyone to find their place so they can perform to the best of their abilities. Another important principle – once again, linked to the others – is to keep everyone “operational” as a risks department covers a very wide remit. Finally, open-mindedness and consideration for others! We are stronger when several around the table.

With disruption being a key theme of the past year, where do you see your role as a CISO going in the next 1-2 years?

My role is not explicitly that of a CISO. Moreover, disruption is not only a key theme of the past year, but also past, current, and likely future key theme. We have been inscribed in this trend for years and it will likely last as such.

Disruption is one of our mindsets in my company. Avoiding disruption would immediately isolate my department from others. If I want to stay aligned with my CEO, my strategy needs to include the exploration of new opportunities.

Furthermore, as cyber threats become more predominant and security risks rise to the top of the list of priorities, we also have to consider other challenges like environment, climate, economical changes, and geopolitical parameters.

Therefore, the risk approach for companies will become more accurate and will place my role at a crossroads within my company. But this situation is also a wonderful business accelerator. For example, we are now developing data centres, and of course, security is a key figure in the equation for business. 

What advice would you give to someone just starting out in the role as a CISO?

As a CISO, my advice would be to know the threats, keep ahead of the problems, and anticipate them! To facilitate this, you need to create a real network in the community. And some personal advice: stay true to yourself and focus on your strength!

Nevertheless, it should be noted that the Chief of Global Risks is a relatively new role, encompassing physical security, cyber security, data protection, safety risks, crisis management, internal audit, compliance and insurance hedging. Therefore, advising someone only based on my one-year experience in a newly established department would be a bit presumptuous and immodest on my part!

Tell us 3 fun facts about yourself.

1. I have never smoked a cigarette in my life, but I sometimes like to smoke cigars with friends.

2. I am a sportsman (fencing and horse riding).

3. I have started to author a book on the story of my family who immigrated to America in 1862 to sell French wines. 

What is the value of joining an Evanta community?

The utmost value is the network! When facing security challenges, you need the synergy of others, the experiences of your pairs, and of course their best practices. Evanta provides the best opportunity for this sort of networking, and I am very happy and proud to be part of it! Evanta is a tremendous reservoir of experiences and profiles, where we can share the best and worst experiences, without any judgmental assessment. This is the place to confront points of view and take on global IT challenges. Thanks to the Team!



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