Analyst graphic

Who would have ever thought after 15 years of running the IT Security Analyst & CISO Forum, we’d be doing it remotely and it would work! This year, we had 5 companies including Qualys, KnowBe4, Corelight, OneLogin and Edgescan meet with 11 of the world’s top IT security analysts in 45-minute remote briefing sessions – effectively, having a year’s worth of meetings all in over two days. They also had a chance to pose their questions to over 15 CISOs from UK companies on the third day of the event.

There’s no doubt about it, it was an exhausting couple of days for the vendors but a wonderful use of their time, especially as all these companies had exciting news to impart to the analysts. The feedback was hugely positive from both sides.  Many of the analysts who attended have almost never missed one of our events, such as Scott Crawford from 451, Richard Steinnon from IT Harvest, Mike Rothman from Securosis, Fran Howarth from Bloor and Derek Brink from Aberdeen. Plus, we were delighted to have other outstanding analysts join us, including Fernando Montenegro from 451, Mark Child from IDC, Jarad Carleton from Frost & Sullivan, Warwick Ashford (our good friend from previous years as a journalist at Computer Weekly) now at Kuppinger Cole, Eric Parizo at Omdium, Brian Kime at Forrester and Teresa Cottam, a dear friend who has been growing hugely successful firm, at Omnisperience. 

In the good old days, our Forums would have been two long, crazy days, filled with meetings where vendors would meet analysts and CISOs, network over lunch or drinks events and we’d make sure we balanced all the hard work with some fun! Typically, we would stay in fabulous London hotels, enjoying a couple of evenings together in the trendy restaurant of the moment, with great food and wine. Yes, that bit was sadly lacking but amazingly, everyone still enjoyed getting together over zoom. 

Even on day three, incredibly, the 17 CISOs we invited to join us at the CISO roundtable with the vendors and the analysts all turned up!! So, you see – there is always a silver lining to every situation, because normally we have CISOs drop out because of time constraints or sudden unforeseen events that mean they have to cancel. 

However, we were delighted to have CISOs from: 

Legal & General 

GSK 

Trafigura 

Canon Europe 

IBM 

APM 

Transferwise 

ArQit 

Deloitte 

HSBC 

Cigna 

Butterfield Group 

Cabinet Office 

I guess in writing this blog (and thinking back to how worried I was about running this event because I thought it was just going to be far too challenging), the lesson I’ve learned is that you can’t be put off by what’s going on around us and that we all have to try out new things.  And, if and when they do go wrong over zoom, the wonderful thing is that most people are terribly patient and forgiving.  That’s got to be a good thing and as I grow older (and hopefully a little wiser with experience), I realise you need to have faith in the people around you and give up worrying about the stuff that you just can’t control. Our event still went ahead – the team behind the scenes who’d never done it before Nicole Sigrist and Jade Eskenzi did a sterling job to make it go smoothly – so everything does work out in the end, even with some of the wobbly bits to test us! 

You see, relationships can still be forged over zoom and successful events can still be had for all involved. Thank you to all the analysts, CISOs who gave us their time and of course the cybersecurity vendors who had the faith in Eskenzi to participate in our event. 

So now we’ve cut our teeth on our first Zoom IT Security Analyst & CISO Forum, we’re ready to go head-first into our next one! It’s planned for the end of June, where I’m determined to find a way to make it even better –  if that sounds exciting to you, please get in touch!