Charles Burns, head of global security and engagement at Uber, opened day two of ISC West with a keynote titled, “How Uber is Scaling Enterprise Risk Management at the Speed of Global Transportation.”

In his keynote, Burns addressed how the tech company has looked at risk management in the past four years and in the context of COVID-19.

Burns emphasized that Uber is not a taxi company, a transportation company or a delivery company, but a tech company that helps get things from two different points. The company has multiple lines of business, including Uber Eats, Uber Freight, Uber Health and ATG, Uber’s Advanced Technology Group.

“[People I talk to are] kind of shocked at the things that we’re involved with,” he said.

Burns mentioned Uber’s past data breaches and fines for discrimination and pointed out much has changed since he entered the company four years ago.

“We wanted to change that culture,” he said. “We wanted to have more integrity and accountability.”

Now, Uber has a commitment to fighting social justice issues, with Dara Khosrowshahi, Uber CEO, making 14 commitments to gender, racial and driver equity at the company.

“It makes me very proud to be part of Uber while we try to fight these social issues that are going on today,” Burns said.

On the security front, Uber’s security needs are both physical and digital: the company works to stop phishing attempts daily; they often are the target of cyber attacks; they work with law enforcement to ensure the safety of Uber customers, which include the driver and the rider or eater.

“It’s very dynamic and complex,” Burns said in regards to Uber’s security threat landscape.

Additionally, Uber must protect its employees from cyber attacks as they work from home and ensure that payments, acquisitions and third-party companies are secure.

Burns said Uber has three lines of effort: legal & regulatory response, which involves sharing data with law enforcement to help solve crimes and following the Electronic Communications and Privacy Act (ECPA); engaging with law enforcement and security to address competitive disadvantages and threats to its business operations; and crime prevention to be a leader in public safety initiatives.

Burns also touched on Uber’s global security, which includes the physical safety of frontline personnel; physical and verbal altercations; verbal and written threats; and continuing to operate during natural disasters. 

“There’s always someone trying to do something,” he said.

Burns concluded his presentation with a statement on the technological advances made despite the challenges of today.

“COVID-19 has brought our industry closer together to look at new avenues,” he said.

The session can be viewed on the ISC West virtual event engagement hub, and begins day two of ISC West. From Oct. 5-7, ISC West will offer more than 25 SIA Education@ISC sessions, nine virtual vendor solutions sessions, networking events, discussion group chats and demonstrations from exhibitors in the Exhibitor Tech Center. Every day will conclude with a networking event at 5 p.m.

To attend ISC West sessions or to see recorded sessions you may have missed, visit

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