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Security 20 MIN

CISO Edge Post Event Report – Leading Sustained Change & Secure Digital Execution, July 2019

While we all try to reinvent as a “Digital Business” and compete via experience and technology, we must remember that without trust there is no digital business; without effective security foundations, there is no good experience.

We’re facing broader challenges around legacy, shadow IT, cloud and app sprawl – and our Heads of Security are leading bigger strategies, programs and change than ever before.

These technical execs not only deliver security, compliance and trust, but now must also deal with the perception of cyber, politics, and managing multiple stakeholders to bring everyone along on that journey.

ADAPT’s annual CISO Edge event focuses on evolving the traditional role of security manager to a modern business executive. Content delves into the leadership and commercial skills to deliver in that elevated position: how to manage up and top-down, how to build high performing teams and culture, and to write and execute the strategy.

We hosted CSOs and CISOs responsible for 1.5 million staff and 45% of Australia’s GDP.

To guide them the agenda brought the former CIO of the US Navy and deputy CIO for the US DoD, local leaders from Westpac, Qantas, NAB and the NBN, the NSW Government, David Spark, Forrester, SEEK and Standard Chartered Bank Singapore.

Thanks to all who attended and collaborated for such an inspiring day.


Compliance, awareness, skills, people, culture, detection, visibility – sounds a bit like buzzword bingo – we asked the top of the mind challenges you face when it comes to managing, implementing and succeeding with your security initiatives.

Clearly things are not getting any easier, complexity is increasing while your ability to attract and retain staff to fulfil and overcome these challenges is declining

At the same time, regulatory expectations and requirements are increasing while our customers, employees, leadership and board members are increasingly struggling with new tools, processes and policies.

At every level of Australian organisations, security comes up as a leading technology priority. 90% CIOs attending ADAPT CIO Edge event earlier this year ranked security as their number one technology priority as compared to 78% CDOs and digital leaders attending ADAPT Digital Edge event.

ADAPT finds that this disconnect drives adjacent perceptions, which can have wider organisational ramifications.

When we switch tables to awareness, we are really seeing significant differences with digital leaders believing we are doing a pretty good job, whereas CISOs and CIOs tend to rate awareness across the organisation as average to terrible.

We need to take an organisation-wide approach to awareness and prioritisation, stop addressing security as siloed parts of the business to align perceptions with reality across all parts of the leadership team.

So what is keeping CISOs awake at night?

Brand damage has jumped to the top of the list as the key driver for security strategy, investments and initiatives

Major fines, breaches and nefarious data use have really helped drive this:

BA/Facebook/Marriot/ANU/Revenue NSW/Symantec/Australian catholic university – to name a few

Data privacy rates as the second-highest driver. This lines up nicely with brands as they kind of go hand in hand together – clearly, any data breach and/or loss of information will damage brand value.

Financial loss  at the corporate level remains important, again aligning very closely to the other two i.e; brand damage and data privacy, which independently or together can have significant financial impact on the company, its business and its officers

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We measure success and failure of IT and IT/Business aligned initiatives, the way we have always measured

ADAPT researches and analyses thousands of c-suite data points every year, and based on our analysis, it is clear the way data is accessed, managed and attacked is changing.

ADAPT is conducting Australia’s most comprehensive ongoing study of cloud migration.

Cloud migrations are not just increasing, they are accelerating with the expectation amongst CISO Edge attendees being that  67% of workloads will be housed in one form of cloud or another.

The good news is that in terms of overall cloud private/public/hybrid; CISO Edge attendees are very closely aligned with their CIO counterparts attending our CIO Edge event earlier this year, as illustrated here.

Disconcertingly, there is a significant disconnect between CISOs and CIOs when it comes to public cloud, with CISOs expecting 24% of workloads in the cloud versus 36% for CIOs.

ADAPT Research & Advisory clients can access this exclusive content

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ADAPT Research & Advisory clients can access this exclusive content

Start your journey today

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We recently saw a 6TB hack at Citrix – this was made possible by weak passwords. Security is everyone’s responsibility.

These sort of incidences occur not because our people don’t care, or they are inept. It is more often case of what they don’t know.

It is our responsibility as IT and Security leaders to raise awareness of the implications of employee and customer actions.

We scratch our heads at the “mistakes” people make, yet over half of all attendees at ADAPT CISO Edge event admitted they conducted security awareness programs less than once or twice a year.

Australian consumers lost over $489 million due to Cyber scams in 2018 and this amount is increasing exponentially annually, up 44% year-over-year from 2017.

Security leaders need to make the conversation and awareness programs much more about the “what’s in it for you” rather than “what’s in it for the company”. Start to drive a whole of life approach to how you help train and empower your teams, security does not and should not stop at the company gates.

Three biggest factors that cause CISO stress, and how to tackle them

ADAPT hosted over 100 of Australia’s top security at its CISO event in July this year and what they revealed is of tremendous value to any organisation that is tackling or trying to tackle security in a digitally connected world.

Event Presentations


ADAPT host a community of 2,000 executives annually across our 6 national Edge events and 60 private executive lunches, where we share ideas and debate ways to gain advantage through personal and organisational success.

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