Johann van der Merwe

Johann van der Merwe is a Security Architect with over 12 years of dedicated information security design and implementation experience. Johann's experience span local & international projects, cross-industries & broad technology domains.

Johann's focus is on Security Architecture and Engineering that aims to design and build systems that remain dependable in the face of security threats.

Johann has the ability to lead security teams and the delivery of complex security projects in often challenging environments. These projects typically require a deep technical understanding combined with business acumen, leadership and project management skills.

Johann's industry involvement includes representing South Africa at the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) meetings on the development of the latest versions of the two major information security standards globally (namely ISO 27001:2013 and ISO 27002:2013).

Johann received his BSc, MSc and PhD degrees in Electronic Engineering (focusing on information security) from the University of KwaZulu-Natal. His research for his MSc and PhD degrees has been published in prominent local and international journals and conference proceedings. He is also a frequent public speaker on the latest information security challenges.

Specialities: Leading a security practice, leading security strategy development, leading security transformations, security function/organisation/capability establishment, security programme/project management, security project rescue/turnaround, enterprise security architecture, solution architecture and design, security engineering, complex technology implementations, deep technical security assessments & security analytics / threat detection.

Industries: Financial Services, Telecommunications, Mining, Energy, Retail, Aviation, Public Services, Revenue, R&D, Defense, Manufacturing, Physical Security Services, Technology Services, Media & Entertainment.



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Abbreviated CV

Johann van der Merwe was born in Bloemfontein, South Africa (1981).


PhD degree in Electronic Engineering: University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa (2010).

MSc degree in Electronic Engineering: University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa (2005).

BSc degree in Electronic Engineering: University of Natal, Durban, South Africa (2003).

Matric Certificate (High School): Grey College, Bloemfontein, South Africa (1999).

Career Overview:

Security Architect - Telic Consulting, Telic Consulting (2015, April - current). 

Senior Manager - Security Practice Lead, Accenture (2013, September - 2015, March). 

Group Head of Information Security (Chief Information Security Officer), De Beers Group of Companies (2011, January - 2013, August). 

Senior Manager and Information Security Competency Leader, Advisory, PricewaterhouseCoopers (2008, December - 2010, December). 

Manager and Information Security Consultant, Security & Privacy Services, Enterprise Risk Services, Deloitte & Touche (2006, July - 2008, November).

Information Security Researcher and PhD Candidate, Meraka Institute , CSIR (2006, January - June).

Information Security Researcher, Programmer and Engineer,  ARMSCOR & UKZN (2004-2005).

Research Activities

Johann van der Merwe obtained his MSc and PhD degrees in Electronic Engineering within the communications research group at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. Johann performed information security and communication technology research and development under contract with ARMSCOR, the Armaments Corporation of South Africa. The research and development focused on the security of mobile ad hoc networks (MANETs) and distributed communication systems. Within the information and communication technology security field Johann considered the following areas:

Reference List

During his research Johann has captured some academic security references into a database. These are in general good publications mostly in the security fields listed above. The bibtex file containing most of  the references can be downloaded here.


M.Sc. in Electronic Engineering Thesis

Key Management in Mobile Ad Hoc Networks, Master of Science in Elecronic Engineering, UKZN, final version here.

The examiners for Johann's MSc Eng were were as follows:

Prof. Dr. Srdjan Capkun, ETH Zurich, Switzerland.

Prof. Dr. Hongjun Xu, UKZN, South Africa.

Ph.D. in Electronic Engineering Thesis

Security Mechanisms for Distributed Communication Systems, Doctor of Philosophy in Electronic Engineering, UKZN, final version here.

The examiners for Johann's PhD were as follows:

Prof. Dr. Srdjan Capkun, ETH Zurich, Switzerland.

Prof. Dr. Mukesh Singhal, The University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky, USA. Currently Chancellor's Professor, School of Engineering, University of California, Merced.

Prof. Dr. Fambirai Takawira, Head of School, Electrical and Information Engineering, Wits University, South Africa. Former Dean of Engineering, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.

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