Past Winners

John South, CSO, Heartland Payment Systems Winner Winner

John South has established a best-in-class IT security team at Heartland Payments Systems by hiring the most talented practitioners to manage the various elements defined in the security program. Seeking team members that have strong communicative and technical capabilities, he stresses the importance of compatibility between the company’s risk/needs and individuals’ strengths.

Once team members are identified and on-boarded, South ensures they have ample opportunities to continually expand their knowledge with access to a variety of security training resources. Further, South challenges his team members to grow their expertise by pursuing professional development opportunities. He encourages his staff to earn both CISSP and CISA credentials, as well as at least one additional expertise-specific certification. With this foundation, South empowers his team to take ownership of security initiatives and lead the application of security principles and guidelines to mitigate risks that face the enterprise.

By aligning Heartland’s security program with the company’s corporate objectives, South and his team have won the support of corporate leaders and colleagues. In doing so, South has established the business of security at Heartland as a vehicle to support the organization’s various business units.

Coming to the table with solutions that help leaders securely accomplish their objectives, and being able to effectively communicate these measures, South and his team have solidified their roles as true business partners for groups across the organization. Looking out for the best interests of business units and merchant customers, South and his staff have earned respect and even converted once-skeptical business leaders into internal champions for the group. 

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