The Chicago Journal

Defender of the Digital Realm: Charan Akiri Bags the International Achievers Award

Charan Akiri
Photo Credit: Charan Akiri

Charan Akiri, a cybersecurity expert and independent researcher based out of Nashville, Tennessee, USA, with 13 years of unparalleled expertise, was honored with the distinguished “International Achievers Award” by the Indian Achievers Forum (IAF) on August 21, 2023. He was conferred the accolade during the 64th Summit and National Awards in New Delhi. Charan attended the ceremony virtually along with fellow awardees who were executives, entrepreneurs, and top professionals, along with invited government officials from several countries. The summit spotlighted “Achieving SDGs through CSR in developing economies: the role of G20 nations.”

The IAF recognized Charan “In recognition of outstanding professional achievement and contribution in nation building.” Specifically, his exemplary work in cybersecurity, which has impacted renowned organizations such as ESPN, Asurion, and most recently, Reddit, was celebrated. Charan’s profound contributions have consistently safeguarded vast swathes of digital landscapes, including detecting critical vulnerabilities in Salesforce servers in a recent leak that made the news. This discovery had ramifications spanning U.S. government bodies, global businesses, banks, medical institutions, energy providers, and insurance firms. Charan proactively contacted the affected organizations, including major healthcare giants and even the Vermont Department of Health in the USA, his groundbreaking work was also featured in the Times of India, Chennai Times (morning dailies) spotlighted his important role in the leaks. 

Expressing gratitude, Charan Akiri remarked, “It is an immense honor to be recognized by the Indian Achievers Forum. My journey in cybersecurity has always been about safeguarding digital identities and important company data and advancing the standards of data protection. This award is not just a testament to my endeavors but also to the countless professionals and collaborators who constantly strive to elevate the realm of cybersecurity.”

He further elucidated, “The ever-evolving challenges of cybersecurity require collective efforts. Initiatives such as the Purple Book Community’s new software security maturity model that I am currently working to release, along with leading CISOs from all across the U.S., aim to bring industry leaders together to tackle these challenges. It’s heartening to be a part of such impactful initiatives.”

The Indian Achievers’ Forum, with its legacy of recognizing and honoring commendable achievements, focuses on how triumphant individuals and groups can enhance India’s socio-economic fabric. Charan’s award underscores his pivotal role in “Immense Professional Achievement and Contribution to Nation Building,” particularly in the domain of cybersecurity.

Having begun his career 13 years ago, Charan’s cybersecurity journey has been nothing short of remarkable. His roles at companies like ESPN, Asurion, and Reddit have been instrumental in shaping their cybersecurity frameworks. Outside his professional engagements, Charan has been a beacon in the community, co-authoring the influential Purple Book, presenting at conferences such as AppSecCon 2023 and Splunk conf 2023 and publishing insights on cutting-edge topics like Generative A.I. in cybersecurity.

Not just limited to the confines of corporate entities, Charan’s influence has been felt across industries, most notably with his revelation of security flaws within the Salesforce community, which had potential implications for myriad entities. In response, he collaborated with institutions like Washington DC, UHG, Dental Dental, and Schneider Electric Companies to help them fortify their digital infrastructures. His endeavors have been spotlighted by media powerhouses like KrebsonSecurity, Arstechnica, NY Weekly, CEO Weekly, and L.A. Wire, Times of India, underscoring his pivotal role in the cybersecurity domain.