FS-ISAC Celebrates the Life of Cybersecurity Leader Steven Katz

Katz served as the world's first Chief Information Security Officer and played a pivotal role in the founding of FS-ISAC

Reston, VA, December 13, 2023 – FS-ISAC, the member-driven, not-for-profit organization that advances cybersecurity and resilience in the global financial system, celebrates the life of Steven Katz, the “World’s First Chief Information Security Officer” and dear friend and mentor to many. Katz passed away in hospice care on 2 December, 2023, in Long Island, New York.

“Steve was a shining example of cybersecurity leadership and a pivotal figure in championing what is now the modern standard on how financial institutions manage cyber risk. He helped create the model of sharing cyber intelligence and best practices between security leaders across the industry, which evolved into the global organization FS-ISAC is today,” said Steven Silberstein, Chief Executive Officer, FS-ISAC. "It could not have been done without Steve, and we are ever thankful for his contributions. He was not only a pioneer in our industry, but also a mentor to so many of today's leaders. He will be deeply missed.”

Known as the father of cybersecurity, Steve was instrumental in the early formation of FS-ISAC. He recognized that collaboration within the financial services sector improves the entire global economy and worked to establish industry standards and behaviors for information sharing by global cybersecurity professionals, government agencies, service providers, and more. 

“Steve was a great mentor and a dear friend, and his loss is deeply felt by the entire financial services industry,” said Jim Routh, former CISO at American Express, Aetna, MassMutual, and former FS-ISAC board member. “He represents the spirit of the financial services community, and we will carry his guidance, lessons, and encouragement for decades to come.”

“Steve was a great mentor to me and my leadership team. He took the time to learn about our current focus and strategy with a willingness to provide relevant, timely and amazing guidance,” said Laura Deaner, Chief Information Security Officer and Vice President, Northwestern Mutual and FS-ISAC Board Member. “For me personally, I appreciated his mentorship as a CISO and his contributions to the greater cyber and risk management industry, including his leadership with FS-ISAC. I will miss his positivity and appreciate his guidance and oversight.” 

Steve was recognized across the industry as one of the originators of cyber intelligence sharing and a key progenitor of the ethos of mutual defense that permeates FS-ISAC’s trusted global community. The entire FS-ISAC community extends its condolences to the Katz family and loved ones. 


FS-ISAC is the member-driven, not-for-profit organization that advances cybersecurity and resilience in the global financial system, protecting the financial institutions and the people they serve. Founded in 1999, the organization’s real-time information sharing network amplifies the intelligence, knowledge, and practices of its members for the financial sector’s collective security and defenses. Member financial firms represent $100 trillion in assets in 75 countries.

Contacts for Media