Meet the team: Stéphane Gauthier
Meet the TELUS Agriculture team members who are empowering and connecting our customers, from producers to consumers, for a more sustainable future.
Stéphane Gauthier is the Head of Infrastructure, Security and Compliance at TELUS Agriculture. He joined the TELUS team in fall 2020, through the acquisition of Exceedra/AFS Technologies, where he was Chief Technology Officer. In his current role, his focus is to protect customer data and maintain effective information systems across the company. Stéphane has 30 years’ experience in information technology and is passionate about providing software solutions to the consumer goods industry. He lives in Montréal, Quebec, Canada, where he enjoys the diverse cuisine and rich French culture the city has to offer.
What is the biggest misconception you hear about cybersecurity?
I would say that the biggest misconception is that “cyber threats are always external.” It is true that external threats are a very important concern for organizations and should be monitored thoroughly. However, internal threats are equally dangerous. Negligence, human error or ignorance often make internal threats a higher-security risk than external threats. At TELUS Agriculture, we provide regular Data Privacy and Security training and continuous phishing simulation to our team members. All computer devices have next-generation antivirus, endpoint detection and response (EDR) and Network Managed Detection and Response (MDR) using appliances and endpoints agents. My team actively monitors our networks and systems for risks and we assess our controls periodically to ensure that appropriate measures are in place to protect data.
Tell us more about your role at TELUS Agriculture.
My primary role is to support customer privacy and internal infrastructure, such as our data centres and network security. This means I am responsible for developing and implementing TELUS Agriculture’s security programs to protect our systems and assets from threats. I am also responsible for managing all aspects of risk to the organization and our clients.
My team works closely with the legal department and the TELUS Data & Trust Office to ensure data handling practices are responsible and respectful of customer privacy. We oversee the organization’s compliance program related to the governance of our policies as well as any industry-specific or location-specific regulations such as data sovereignty, risk management and security awareness. Above all, I take pride in promoting trust, collaboration and communication within all our teams to further create sustainable operations and processes.
What is the most common question you get from customers and how do you respond?
The most common questions we get from customers are about our security and compliance, such as, “how do we secure our data and systems and how do we protect personal information?” Customer privacy is of the utmost importance to us. TELUS Agriculture works closely with the TELUS Security team to maintain and continuously improve our security controls and effectiveness. TELUS Agriculture is committed to compliance with local jurisdictional privacy laws. Our customers can trust that we have made privacy regulation a priority and have devoted significant and strategic resources towards our effort to be compliant in all our hosting locations.
What do you want people to know about data security at TELUS Agriculture?
TELUS Agriculture is an international company with team members, partners and customers all around the world. Since the business is collecting and processing data from different countries, it is important to be compliant with country-specific requirements and laws such as data localization, cross-border data transfer, security and availability, including individual rights such as to be informed, access, erasure, correction, etc. Therefore, we have infrastructure and processes in place that allow us to effectively support and protect our team members and customers worldwide.
What is a fun fact people don’t know about you?
A few colleagues and I in the Montréal office have been working in the same building for more than 25 years. We began as Groupe Informatique MEI and went through several acquisitions before joining the TELUS family. We started as a Canadian company, and closed the loop two years ago when TELUS Agriculture acquired us.
What is your favourite food or recipe?
I am a foodie, I like good restaurants and even more staying home cooking with my wife. What to choose? Foie gras, lamb, Italian food… and BBQ, cooking outside with family and friends during the summertime!