Laura Deaner

  • VP & Chief Information Security Officer, Northwestern Mutual


Laura Deaner

As Chief Information Security Officer (CISO), Laura Deaner is accountable for establishing and steering Northwestern Mutual’s enterprise-wide information risk management and security strategy. In this role she will champion the build out of an integrated risk culture, driving effective operation of technical and administrative controls. Laura works closely with the executive leadership and the Board of Trustees, matching effective controls to an appropriate level of risk tolerance. Leading the enterprise’s second line of defense, she is responsible for prioritizing and sequencing the treatment of information security risks, aligned with industry-standard risk management frameworks.   

Prior to coming to Northwestern Mutual early in 2021, Laura was the Chief Information Security Officer at S&P Global, responsible for establishing and driving the enterprise information security vision and program.  She leverages her twenty-one years working in security for multi-national Fortune 500 companies to build effective and robust information security programs by aligning deep technical expertise with executive business vision and support. She was previously the first named CISO at PRNewswire, where she built a comprehensive security practice from the ground up.    

Laura holds a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from Old Dominion University in the state of Virginia in the United States.  She is a member of several information security and technology societies including OWASP, WiCyS, ISC2, and Society of Women Engineers (SWE).  She’s featured in Women Know Cyber – 100 Fascinating Females Fighting Cybercrime.    

Laura is an advocate for diversity and inclusion in technology as well as her field of Cyber Security. She served as a council member of the S&P Global Diversity Equity and Inclusion Council whom are tasked with fostering a diverse and inclusive environment. Her accomplishments as a council member have included revamping the Employee Resource Groups, adding sentiment and data driven metrics to enhance the community goals. She worked to establish partnerships with various organizations to build in diverse talent pipelines in the technology organizations such as Girls Who Code. 

Laura is a frequently requested speaker and respected thought leader, recognized for her innovative leadership and strong business acumen.  She has participated in the World Economic Forum’s Global Futures Council on Cyber Security as a co-chair leading a group of subject matter experts in solving cyber challenges. She serves on the Board of Directors for the Financial Services Information Sharing and Analysis Center (FS-ISAC), an industry consortium dedicated to reducing cyber-risk in the global financial system. FS-ISAC has 7000 plus financial institutions, 15,000 users in the 70 jurisdictions to ensure the mission is accomplished. As a board member, she continues to encourage more participation in sharing timely cyber information which is action oriented at a global scale. 

Laura loves spending time with her family. She and her partner Murray are proud parents of four boys. They live in Brooklyn, NY where they love getting outdoors as a family for hiking, bike rides and amateur astronomy star gazing.  She is also a big fan of science fiction and tinkering with technology at home. Don’t ask her how many raspberry pi’s she has.