Google Brent Phillips and you’ll find next to nothing. His peers describe him as modest to a fault, more focused on the work at hand than on building international acclaim. In a world of leaders who demonstrate purpose on a national, industrywide stage, Phillips has time and again demonstrated leadership on an organizational, managerial level.
The recently appointed chief security officer for Deutsche Bank was global chief information security officer for Aegon, parent company of such insurers as Transamerica, when he was nominated by partners at Tanium in the most glowing possible terms. Prior to Aegon, Phillips was global CISO at Zurich Insurance.
“Transforming the security strategy of entrenched global companies is a huge undertaking and, in the time I have known him, Brent has done this twice,” wrote Tanium vice president Ben Caudill. “In both cases, he built credibility with highly diverse business units, and united them under a common vision.”
His peers point to Phillips’ personal philosophy of what it means to be a leader: Good CISOs excel at technology but the role is about more than that: creating an effective security organization is about leading people, empowering them to make decisions and being change agents in their own right. As he puts it, “the team solves problems, not the leader.”
“The transcontinental attack surfaces of Zurich and Aegon are huge and massively complex, but Brent led his teams to craft architectures and operational frameworks that elevated the security postures of the two companies to state-of-the-art deployments. The transformations are huge. At Aegon, he’s evolved the entire landscape; from a security standpoint, it’s essentially a different company. Even for a security industry veteran like myself, what Brent has achieved is remarkable,” he wrote.