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New & Notable

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Toronto and Calgary IT execs share security insights

Twenty-seven CIOs and CISOs in Toronto and Calgary took a deep dive into security recently at two CIO Master Series roundtables hosted by The IT Media Group, a Canadian leader in producing events for IT executives. The sponsor for both sessions was Symantec Canada.

On May 16 in Toronto, the discussion revolved around “Securing Information in a Mobile World”. BYOD was a top-of-mind concern for all participants at the table, and it was clear that everyone struggles with this issue. Responses differ greatly from company to company and industry to industry. Some, like the financial services industry, are focussed on tight control of the IT environment, with an emphasis on locking and blocking. Other industries, perhaps less sensitive to security breaches, are opting for a more user-centric approach, with as much accommodation of user needs as possible while maintaining a fairly robust security posture. [See also: Why BYOD has CIOs pining for a security blanket].

Clearly, there is still a lot of uncertainty around how best to maintain an adequate level of security in the face of such factors as proliferating personal devices and demanding yet unaware users.

“Symantec has a vast intelligence network and we produce an Internet security threat report every year,” said Anuja Sharma, the company’s Director, Technical Sales, and a participant in the Toronto roundtable. “We’ve found that people do not tend to give the same importance to security on the device because often they forget that there’s sensitive information on it. They think, ‘If I lose my phone, I lose $600 worth of equipment.’ They treat their laptop differently. People backup their laptop much more than they backup their phone.”

The topic of the Calgary roundtable, held June 5, was “Securing Information in an Unsecure World”. It looked at security from a broader perspective, with a follow-up roundtable on mobility planned for the fall.

Among the issues discussed were security funding challenges, the effectiveness of penetration testing, policy creation, risk management and brand protection, industry cooperation around security, challenges in hiring qualified personnel, the use of contractors, security in the Cloud, and the always interesting, ‘What keeps you up at night?’

Both roundtables produced lively and highly informative discussions and there was near unanimous interest in attending further IT Media Group roundtables focussed on security. Qualified IT executives who would like to attend future events are invited to become a VIP member to receive early notification and invitations.

About CIO Master Series Roundtables

The IT Media Group’s CIO Master Series roundtables provide the ideal format for frank and open discussion among IT executive peers, allowing them to explore issues in depth, with a judicious amount of expert facilitation. These sessions are designed specifically for small groups of IT leaders, enabling them to take away practicable new approaches, validate their own thoughts, brainstorm ideas, and share their successes and their pain.

About The IT Media Group

The IT Media Group serves the IT industry by creating great resources and connections for CIOs while providing neutral forums through which they can speak with vendor executives and subject-matter experts in a non-sales environment. Our leadership team includes media personalities John Pickett and Dave Carey, who have been high-profile supporters and champions of the Canadian CIO community for nearly two decades, and Nasheen Liu, a marketing expert with a wealth of experience in first-tier IT firms.

 

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