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Virtual Roundtable: Cybersecurity Talent Frameworks for the CIO

As global cyber threats intensify, security expectations from customers, employees, and boards remain a top priority. As a result, CIOs must implement strategies that protect their organizations and provide the ability to respond to the attacks that get past their defences.

Implementing and operating a comprehensive cybersecurity program requires security expertise and capacity. Unfortunately, the acquisition and retention of increasingly scarce technical talent remain a challenge for most organizations. With a global estimate of 3.5 million unfilled cybersecurity positions, CIOs must consider new frameworks to accomplish their security objectives.

To mitigate the supply versus demand problem, organizations should think of security talent as an ecosystem that doesn't rely on key individuals. This approach focuses on outcomes to ensure that cybersecurity improvements persist and grow over time.

With these principles in mind, The IT Media Group brought together 14 cross-industry IT executives for a virtual roundtable entitled 'Cybersecurity Talent Frameworks for the CIO.' The session provided an opportunity to discuss the challenges and approaches IT executives implement in a rapidly changing world.

Jeff Ishii, Chief Technologist at The IT Media Group, moderated the roundtable. Also participating were executives from the session sponsor, ActZero, President and Chief Operating Officer Chris Finan, and Chief Security Officer Adam Mansour.

The interactive session included a combination of live polling and panel discussion about the challenges and best practices for the following topic areas:

1. Improving organizational cybersecurity maturity

  • Focus areas that make the organization better
  • Elements of a flexible maturity model

2. Using data to drive the security program

  • Measuring security investment efficacy
  • Linking KPIs to business outcomes

3. Optimizing the talent pool

  • Balancing priorities and focus
  • Retention and engagement strategies

4. AI and ML in practice

  • Pre-requisites to effective usage
  • Ideal places to add AI and ML

IT leaders described reporting approaches and scorecard requirements from their boards. In addition, panellists provided tactics to increase security awareness and how to improve cyber-attack protection. "Connecting with peers about risk management is always beneficial," said Adam Mansour. "CIOs worry about building proper cyber security expertise within IT. Most organizations turn to outsourcing to solve that challenge." Mansour described the fundamentals that drive success, "We realize value by leveraging security engineering, data science, threat hunting and AI-enabled tools to provide effective detection and response for the enterprise."

Chris Finan observed, "I enjoyed hearing the views from the senior information technology executives across industries. Despite their diverse backgrounds, they expressed similar concerns about talent management, board communication, and their enterprises' risks." Participants provided dozens of mitigation strategies during the roundtable to address their challenges. Finan added, "We pride ourselves on delivering positive outcomes and ensuring that organizations can measure those outcomes within their business context. We communicate with data so that our customers always understand what we're delivering."

All participants will receive a strategic insights report containing more than 100 tactics and best practices discussed during the roundtable.

Session highlights

Improving Organizational Cybersecurity Maturity


Optimizing the Talent Pool


Using Data to Drive the Security Program


AI & ML in Practice


Post session interviews

Chris Finan, President & COO, ActZero

Adam Mansour, CSO, ActZero

The IT Media Group's CIO roundtables are among the most successful event programs for IT executives, bringing together scores of senior-level peers for thoughtful private discussions around the top issues facing enterprise IT. For a better understanding of these events, please visit our Video section.

The IT Media Group is an award-winning producer of events and content for senior IT executives. Based in Toronto, our leadership team includes some of the most experienced and well-respected media, technology and business professionals serving the IT executive community.