ISE® Success Stories

Mike Towers
ISE® Northeast Executive Award Winner 2015
ISE® North America Executive: Healthcare Award Winner 2015

My first encounter with the ISE® Programs was around the end of 2013, when a few of my peers were involved with one of the events. However, I was first nominated in 2015. A handful of associates in my industry network decided to recognize my work in security—a truly high honor. The fact that my own peers crafted and evaluated the nomination rather than an unfamiliar industry panel made the experience all the more unique and valuable.

The most valuable portion of the Executive Forum portion of the events, in my experience, comes from the roundtable discussions. Sitting down with a group of your security peers from various industries to discuss case studies, incidents, and projects is an excellent method of gaining new insights, information, and strategy that can be taken home and applied to the work within your own team. Sharing ideas, working together on discussions, and celebrating the successes of everyone involved helps all of us grow and develop our security strategy and shines a positive light on our future in the industry.

I also want to commend the vendor interactions at ISE® Programs. Unlike many negative vendor experiences in the office such as cold calls or emails, when you meet these solutions providers in person at the ISE® Programs, it is in a relaxed situation meant for collaborative discussion on what problems exist, and how they can fix them. Executives also have the opportunity to encounter new or upcoming solutions providers. Often we don’t connect with these new companies because they do not have the same opportunities for exposure as the popular or seasoned vendors. But at ISE® Programs, they’re on the same floor space as the others, giving executives like me the chance to see what they have to offer.

Being a part of the ISE® Awards Gala and winning the ISE® Executive of the Year Award more than once has absolutely been a morale boost—not just for me, but for my team. Any recognition that I have received at the ISE® Programs is by association also recognition for their work. A leader is, after all, only as good as their team—and their dedication to what we do has helped me become a better security professional.

The ISE® Awards Gala is also great opportunity for exposure. The event and winners are always well-publicized, and any rewards I received have also led to valuable new introductions to new executives and providers that expanded my career network. I think it is one of the best occasions to improve the morale of your team by submitting a nomination for an ISE® Award, whether it’s for the Project or Executive category. I believe anyone who feels they have something of value to share with the industry should submit their nomination to not only earn that recognition but also help build up the industry with your own contributions.

It is a great thing to see a company like T.E.N. that wants to work together with executives and professionals to help the information security industry improve. Security is a very unique industry, because in order to best protect our companies, we really need to work collaboratively to generate the best results. T.E.N. acknowledges how valuable that interaction is, and helps bring us all together at their ISE® Programs. We as security executives truly appreciate the hard work being put into these ISE® Programs to help this industry, and I always look forward to participating in these events whenever I can.