Rizwan Jan, CIO of CNA Corporation, on prioritising the significance of fostering cultural shifts while navigating business transformation and addressing cyber risk

CNA is an independent, non-profit research and analysis organisation. It is dedicated to transformation to ensure the safety and security of the nation. For 80 years, its scientific rigour and real-world approach to data has been indispensable to leaders facing complex problems. CNA employs operations research to address military questions in the Centre for Naval Analyses and domestic challenges in the Institute for Public Research.

Culture supporting transformation

Building a strong organisational culture within an organisation is a complicated process. However, the benefits extend far beyond merely fostering a positive working environment.

“A strong organisational culture is about more than positivity. Additionally, it’s a strategic foundation for business growth and cyber resilience,” says Rizwan Jan, Chief Information Officer at CNA Corporation. The non-profit research, development, and analysis organisation works in support of key United States agencies. Jan stresses the importance of the role culture plays in his efforts to drive digital transformation. Also, his team support cybersecurity functions at CNA. He explains that when employees are aligned with the company’s mission and values they are more engaged in achieving the organisation’s goals.

“It fosters a collaborative environment where people feel empowered to give their best effort,” he says. Furthermore, he notes this collaborative culture is a key driver of innovation and efficiency. Perhaps most importantly from Jan’s perspective, he adds that culture acts as a shield against a wide variety of challenges, including cybersecurity threats.

A holistic transformation integrating culture with cybersecurity and technology

A shifting landscape of external threats and internal transformation has necessitated profound changes within the CNA. As the organisation has changed, Jan’s role has become increasingly “dynamic and multifaceted”. He has supported CNA’s journey towards “continuous digital business transformation”. Moreover, challenging circumstances have demanded rapid adaptation to changing business needs. It has been a period of accelerated evolution. Jan emphasises his team’s continued success highlights the importance of fostering a culture shift supporting organisational change.

During the past 18 months, Jan spearheaded a series of digital and procedural implementations. What’s more, these improved the internal functionality and external security of the CNA.

“We’ve addressed numerous challenges,” he explains. “We identified cybersecurity vulnerabilities, enhancing our defences to counter evolving threats. Equally, these vulnerabilities required the implementation of “comprehensive security measures. These included regular vulnerability assessments, employee training programs, and deployment of advanced cybersecurity tools and capabilities.

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