ISE® Success Stories

Scott Pettigrew
ISE® Central Executive Award Finalist 2014
ISE® North America Executive Award: Health Care Finalist 2014
ISE® Central People's Choice Award Winner 2015
ISE® Central Executive Award Winner Finalist 2015
ISE® Central Executive of the Year Award Winner 2016
ISE® Central People's Choice Award Winner 2016
ISE® North America Executive Award: Health Care Finalist 2016

When I joined the HMS team eight years ago, I wanted to give HMS a competitive advantage and show that we were a cut above the rest in our security practices. A few years ago, for my initial T.E.N. Success Story, I had only been a finalist at the ISE® Awards. But since then, I have continued to participate in the programs and have been a winner of both the ISE® Executive and People’s Choice Awards—more than once. Career-wise, that has really skyrocketed my credibility as a security professional both within my organization and externally. I have been given several opportunities and significant recognition, all of which give me a sense of real accomplishment in my career.

Furthermore, in the years that I’ve been with HMS and have participated in the ISE® Awards, we have filled a trophy case with our ISE® Awards—my Executive and People’s Choice Awards, combined with HMS’ Project awards, have given us over three dozen in total. That speaks volumes for our work, and gave the company motive to push me and my team out in front of our customers and potential customers to successfully sell what our company can do. Security is a large factor in our work, and our accolades with the ISE® Awards has given us the exact competitive advantage I’ve striven to provide at HMS.

I always find it beneficial to my career when I can connect and talk with other security executives, especially if they are a part of our customer network. By attending ISE® Programs and the ISE® Private Dinners, not only am I able to have discussions with other professionals, but my team can participate as well, and that can really help develop their personal networks of customers, advisors, and peers. Nobody has all-encompassing knowledge of information security, and those professionals who work in various industries all have different perspectives on security. I think it’s extremely important that we always strive to see information security from these other angles and learn all that we can, and the ISE® Programs and events can make that happen—even when we touch upon similar topics or projects, they are always unique in some manner, be it execution, details, or otherwise; and it either teaches you better ways to approach issues or reinforces that your current methods are on the right track. T.E.N. provides us with a constant learning experience that my team and I thoroughly enjoy and benefit from.

CSOs, CISOs, and other top-position professionals in security know all too well about the countless emails and dozens of voicemails we comb through from solutions providers. It is necessary that we have relationships with vendors, but often difficult to sort through the outreach we receive to uncover the providers who align with our goals and can significantly improve our security. But I’ve found that at the ISE® Programs, there is an opportunity to bypass the emails and phone calls and speak face-to-face with a representative. That’s a valuable method of meeting with the right vendors who we can really connect with. Furthermore, that experience is never pushed or forced—I’m able to speak with a representative, shake their hand, and talk about their solutions without feeling as if I’m forced into any deals or hard pitches. That is a good feeling to have when you walk onto a show floor, no matter how big or small, and is just another great side to what the ISE® Programs and other T.E.N. events have to offer.

As security executives, sometimes it’s hard for us to attend events when we must find a balance between work and home life, but I will tell you this: it’s absolutely worth it to try and make it to T.E.N.’s events. It’s worth it to build those vital connections in the industry; it’s worth talking to your peers about what your teams are doing and what issues you’re facing; and it’s worth it to establish a relationship with T.E.N. and the vendors who sponsor and host these programs. By attending the ISE® Programs, ISE® Private Dinners, and their other events, you can build a strong, effective security network and knowledgebase to tackle whatever challenges security throws at you. The time you put into attending and contributing to their events will provide benefits tenfold.

If you know about the ISE® Awards and either have the credibility as an executive or a successful project as a team, you’d be crazy not to put yourself out there by submitting a nomination. You do have to put some thought into the nomination and craft something solid if you want to win; but overall, it’s not a time-consuming process and you have so many benefits to reap. I have told friends, peers, and companies I know about the ISE® Awards and recommended they submit nominations because I am confident that the rewards they could receive for being a part would be a huge boost in their morale and increase their credibility—as they have already done for me.

I plan on staying involved with T.E.N. and the ISE® Programs for years to come. I think the world of T.E.N.’s CEO and President, Marci McCarthy, and the entire T.E.N. team for how hard they work to make these programs fresh, solid, and professional. If I don’t submit a nomination to the ISE® Awards, I would love to still participate as a judge, speaker, or otherwise—just as long as I can attend and take part. I support what T.E.N. is doing for the executives who dedicate their careers to developing and strengthening this industry; and I hope to see T.E.N. and the ISE® Programs continue to grow and elevate information security to new heights.