Lessons Learned: Five COVID-19 Takeaways From CISOs


The cybersecurity world has seen significant immediate and long-term shifts in its priorities and IT and strategies due to COVID-19. As the world begins to slowly open back up, we reached out to a few CISOs and thought leaders to get their perspective on what’s happening.  Here’s what they had to say:


Immediate Considerations and Long-term Opportunities

“The impact of disruption as the longer-term effects is a reflection on the pre-COVID maturity state of that CISO’s practice and the organization they support, in general. If CISOs were forcing their team to go in and look at the big, blinky lights on the screen, they were probably screwed as a result of COVID. But if they had adopted virtual SOCs to where the team can operate from anywhere remotely, and virtually with the same kind of collaboration, the same kind of handoff, and operational tempo, the quarantine had minimal impact. For organizations who were immature, they probably had the most difficult adjustment and the heaviest lifting to adjusting to a new normal.”

– CISO, Global Financial Services Institution


If You Could Go Back in Time

 “If there was one thing we could have done before quarantine to streamline the transition to an entirely remote workforce? Thankfully, this wasn’t a concern for my team. We were already working on an integration of Zoom. Due to the nature of our manufacturing, were able to pivot before this was a big issue here in the US. We moved all employees based in China and Singapore remote in JANUARY 2020. We prepared and used Office365, OneDrive, and quickly put a BYOD strategy in place. We were prepared for remote and were not holding ourselves back in a digital world. So far, so good.”

– Global CISO, Medical Device Company


Unexpected Benefits

 “Projects that normally would take 6-12 months are being completed in 3-4 weeks. Approvals are streamlined, and there is more focus on efficiency.”

“I would definitely say there has been increased productivity. Along with the virtual lunches and happy hours, it has created unique opportunities to connect with my teams all over the world in a new way.”

– CISO, Multinational Telecommunications Company


Transitioning Back to Normal

“While I feel that my immediate team will go back to business as usual, I feel that organizations overall, will embrace more flexibility in working differently. My organization sold multiple office buildings and consolidated operations within months of the lockdown. The benefits of working in a hybrid scenario were recognized from the start.”

Director of Information Security, Utilities Company



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