ISE® Success Stories

Michael Dierickx
Returning ISE® Key Player

At least five or six years ago, I first heard the names of T.E.N. and ISE® Programs amongst my executive peers and even vendors, which drew me to look into what these events are all about and register to attend. Over the years I have found that the reason I continue to take part in T.E.N.’s events is because of how they deliver so many significant benefits. The information provided—such as how other information security teams are securing their companies; what their security infrastructures look like; and the products they create and use—is highly beneficial to what I bring back to my own work within my company. The programs really bring together executives who are using real technology to solve real-world problems that we face. Many other events tend to be extremely broad in their content, making it difficult to take home and apply directly to our own strategy. With T.E.N.’s events, executives like me gain specific insights and information that we can apply almost immediately to our current work.

One aspect that I find particularly beneficial about the Executive Forums in ISE® Programs is that we can hear from other executives about the pain points and difficulties they face. Knowing the challenges they face leads to learning about the products and methods they used to amend them and how successful (or unsuccessful) those options were. For a large enterprise like Panasonic, hearing about what other executives have used in their work helps us either strengthen our own infrastructure or avoid mistakes or unsuccessful attempts others have made.

Attending T.E.N.’s ISE® events has also been an excellent way to expand my network. I have connected with quite a few “security rockstars” at these events, or individuals representing very large, notable enterprises. It has been significantly beneficial to exchange information with these experienced professionals. Having those kinds of connections is a resource that is worth its weight in gold, and T.E.N.’s events make that possible—not just for me, but for everyone in the industry.

I believe that T.E.N.’s other events outside of their major ISE® Programs are also key in drawing executives together for collaboration—in a comfortable environment. The ISE® Private Dinners, ISE® VIP Receptions, and so on put security professionals in a setting that isn’t quite so aggressively sales oriented when solutions providers are involved. The environments at these events are more relaxed, allowing executives and vendors alike to interact and share thoughts and ideas, rather than push products or sales. I enjoy taking part in the events for exactly that reason.

With many other security events that involve vendors in their programs, executives return to their offices to juggle hundreds of cold calls and emails from the providers who were in attendance. However, even though vendors are present at T.E.N. events, nothing ever feels like a sales pitch or a push to buy a product. In my experience, I have never had a vendor present at an ISE® Program solicit me for anything if it did not exactly fit my company’s current needs. The team provides us with questionnaires after events that we fill out in regards to these vendors, and I believe that really helps filter out the providers who don’t match up with us. The only calls I receive after the events are from vendors who know we were interested and can, without a doubt, use their solutions.

I would highly recommend that you nominate yourself or a colleague to the ISE® Awards, because it is a great benefit and boost in your self-esteem to be recognized as either a significant leader in security or for deploying a security program to solve a major problem. Rarely in this industry do you hear a lot about the successes of an executive or security team, because the disasters and breaches always take precedence. Security is not easy—we are often under-budgeted and understaffed despite organizations counting on their teams to resolve major problems, so when we hear that someone is able to succeed in spite of the challenges our teams face, it is incredibly motivating. I think everyone in this industry should take the chance to attend T.E.N.’s ISE® Programs and events to see that work in action whenever you can.

I believe the T.E.N. team truly cares about each executive who attends their events. We aren’t just a name on a guest list or a random invite to connect us with a vendor. Executives can feel truly wanted and valued at these events for their experiences. It never feels like a waste of time to participate, because we know we are not only benefitting from, but also contributing to the pool of knowledge. T.E.N.’s efforts foster a sense of synergistic cooperation amongst all executives who take the time to attend and contribute.