Leadership, Security Staff Acquisition & Development, Threat Management

1,000 CISOs strong: How cross-company collaboration strengthens enterprise cybersecurity

Female manager having a meeting with her team in office boardroom.

More than 1,000 chief information security officers (CISOs) have joined the Cybersecurity Collaboration Forum and the Cybersecurity Collaborative, two organizations dedicated to fostering communication, cooperation and information-sharing among top cybersecurity executives across a wide range of industries in the United States.

"This membership milestone speaks to the value of peer-sourced intelligence as a tool to navigate the ever-changing threat landscape," said Parham Eftekhari, Executive Vice President of CISO Collaboration at parent company CyberRisk Alliance (CRA), in a statement July 19. CRA is also the parent company of SC Media.

Building local communities

The Cybersecurity Collaboration Forum includes 16 local communities ranging from Boston to San Antonio to Seattle. Each CISO community hosts several regional meetings per year, including CyberRisk CISO Dinners and one-day CyberRisk Leadership Exchange conferences, as well as periodic virtual events, to privately share and discuss knowledge, current threats and best practices.

One recent CyberRisk Leadership Exchange featured a CISO chronicling how his company responded rapidly to a ransomware assault and managed to rebuild most important systems within seven hours, with no business lost. Another exchange hosted discussions of how to handle AI, fend off unexpected attacks from nation-state threat actors, and find the right security-vendor partner.

All 16 of the Cybersecurity Collaboration Forum communities will host CyberRisk CISO Dinners between now and the end of September. The next CyberRisk Leadership Exchanges will be in San Antonio, Los Angeles, Chicago and Detroit in October.

"The conversations with my peers, all within the context of a no-pressure sales discussion, allows me to exchange ideas and learn from great vendors at great venues," said Mark Eggleston, CISO at Corporation Service Company.

The Cybersecurity Collaboration Forum also offers training and leadership brand-building to its members. Prospective members can request more information here.

Peer-created knowledge

Its sister organization, the Cybersecurity Collaborative, offers tools, advice, and threat intelligence to CISOs at member organizations. Its working groups of CISOs devise reports, protocols and templates for the use of members, with task forces focusing on operational technology, privacy and data regionalization, risk assessments and security metrics.

The Cybersecurity Collaborative hosts online virtual briefings that are open to the public, and the group also offers podcasts and a 12-week cybersecurity leadership program. Interested parties can inquire about membership here.

"If you are building your program, should absolutely look to the Cybersecurity Collaborative," said Yolanda Smith, CISO of Sweetgreen. "They saved me time and money I would have otherwise paid to consultants."

Between them, the Cybersecurity Collaboration Forum and Cybersecurity Collaborative will host more than 100 events, working groups and discussions in 2023. Both organizations are developing further educational and research efforts to address issues surrounding artificial intelligence, cloud security, regulatory compliance and engagement with non-technical executives.

"We all face similar problems securing our companies from an evolving and growing cyber-threat landscape," said Sheldon Cuffie, CISO at American Family Insurance. "Learning from peers in other industries helps me develop pragmatic solutions that my company and our customers can benefit from."

Paul Wagenseil

Paul Wagenseil is a custom content strategist for CyberRisk Alliance, leading creation of content developed from CRA research and aligned to the most critical topics of interest for the cybersecurity community. He previously held editor roles focused on the security market at Tom’s Guide, Laptop Magazine, TechNewsDaily.com and SecurityNewsDaily.com.

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