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Zenith Live 2020 Speaker Profile: Mike Towers, CISO, Takeda Pharmaceutical Company

October 27, 2020 - 2 min read

Mike Towers will speak on the main stage December 9 at the Zscaler virtual cloud summit Zenith Live 2020 - Americas Conference.

Two events solidified Mike Towers' commitment to secure digital transformation.

The first was a merger: In early 2019, his company Takeda Pharmaceutical Company acquired Shire PLC, effectively doubling the size of the company. CISO Towers found himself having to integrate an incongruous patchwork of network hardware technologies. Takeda had begun rolling out Zscaler Internet Access (ZIA), ostensibly to secure employee internet access via the cloud. But ZIA proved particularly valuable for integrating what Towers calls "quite-disjointed" network architectures after the merger.

While ZIA helped Towers consolidate IT systems after the Shire acquisition, and provided greater flexibility in enabling secure employee connectivity, it was Zscaler Private Access (ZPA) that helped the Tokyo-based pharmaceutical giant preserve business continuity in 2020.

Today when he considers VPNs, Towers asks rhetorically, “What’s the point?” As he puts it, “We can provide that same level of assurance and control natively in the cloud. We want to remove as much friction as possible.” Zscaler helps Takeda remove that friction.

“With the combo of ZIA and ZPA, we’re much more flexible with what we can provide and since we’re running all our traffic through it, we know it can scale,” concludes Towers. “This is a good time to be a security professional because you don’t have to worry about trying to balance user experience and security anymore. You can do both!”

Get the full story from Takeda Pharmaceutical Company CISO Mike Towers on the main stage at Zenith Live 2020. This year, the world’s premier cloud summit goes virtual and free December 8-10. You’ll get the opportunity to engage with Mike Towers and IT leaders from Carrier, Cushman & Wakefield, Royal Caribbean Group, Siemens, DB Schenker, and many more.

Mike Towers shared Takeda’s digital transformation story in the book Securing Remote Work - Safeguarding Business Continuity with Zscaler, from which some of this article is excerpted.


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