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Methodology and Data Sources: Communicating to the Board on Cyber Security

In the spring of 2016 we began an initiative to organize a group of CxOs to discuss the issue of cyber security. One thing we’ve learned about the topic of security is it’s hard to fake. We’re not security technology experts. As such we decided to focus on business issues. We observed heightened activity around cyber amongst CxOs on social media through our monitoring tools and decided to embark on a project to better understand how CIOs should communicate to boards about cyber.

This post describes the concept in detail. 

Here’s the research note that came out of this effort. 

There were four primary data inputs for this project including:

  1. First we read a bunch of stuff on the Web for background and to educate ourselves.
  2. Data from our Community Data Platform (CDP) – a proprietary SaaS tool that presents highly relevant data from targeted users on social media. We specifically sought CxOs to participate in the research. We organized a panel of 203 top CxOs on social media, monitored their public activity streams and solicited their participation in this research. We also analyzed 143,000 of their tweets to extract relevant context for the study. Screen Shot 2016-06-30 at 9.51.42 PM
  3. We then organized a CrowdChat to talk cyber security with a specific emphasis on how to communicate with the board of directors. We prepared a series of questions and held an open CrowdChat to test the premise and answer our questions. The CrowdChat can be found here. 
  4. We used theCUBE – our live TV and broadcast platform – and specific events as a data extraction mechanism, specifically focusing on CIOs that had experience communicating at the board-level. Key events where we solicited feedback directly from CxOs included Hadoop Summit in Dublin, ServiceNow’s Knowledge ’16 conference, HPE’s Discover 2016 event in Las Vegas, the Nutanix .Next event, Informatica World, SAP’s SAPPHIRE NOW event and the GDS CIO Summit in Denver. We were able to gather insights from prominent executives, including Dr. Robert Gates, the 22nd U.S. Secretary of State and director of Starbucks and formerly of several other publicly traded companies:

We extracted data from 203 CxOs in our social groupd and approximately 20 CIOs and security practitioners on theCUBE. Numerous prominent CxOs agreed to participate in the CrowdChat and in social interacctions. We limited direct data input to CIOs, security practitioners and vetted security experts, including:

  • Dave Schecklman, VP & CIO of Oshkosh Corporation
  • Darrel Popowich, VP of IT at H&R Block of Canada
  • Bart Murphy, CTO for York Risk Services Group
  • Chris Bedi, CIO of ServiceNow
  • Matthias Egelhaff of Siemens AG
  • Link Alander, CIO of Lone Star College
  • Muddu Sudhakar, CTO of Splunk,
  • Will Lasselle, Digital Transformation Expert and Change Agent, MedicFP
  • Grogs Axle, IT Architect
  • Knebel Achim, CISO of Siemens
  • Mark Terenzoni, CEO of SQRRL
  • Dan Stolts, Chief Technology Strategist at Microsoft
  • Michael Schiebel, Security Strategist at Hortonworks
  • Vi Bergquist, CIO of St. Cloud Technical & Community College
  • TJ Laher of Cloudera
  • Mike Kail, Chief Innovation Officer of Cybric
  • Phil Dunn of Oracle
  • Dennis Spalding, CISO at Insight
  • David Gee, former financial services CIO
  • Aldo Ceccarelli, CIO and Enterprise Architect
  • Justin Andrusk, Security Lead at Sherwin Williams
  • Stephen Landry, CIO at Seton Hall University
  • Teresa Devine, former VP, CIO & CISO at Asbury Automotive Group
  • Oliver Bussmann, Group CIO at UBS, Michael Kail, CIO at Cybric

To all who participated, thank you for the collaboration and helping your peers.






Keep in Touch

Thanks to Alex Myerson and Ken Shifman on production, podcasts and media workflows for Breaking Analysis. Special thanks to Kristen Martin and Cheryl Knight who help us keep our community informed and get the word out. And to Rob Hof, our EiC at SiliconANGLE.

Remember we publish each week on theCUBE Research and SiliconANGLE. These episodes are all available as podcasts wherever you listen.

Email | DM @dvellante on Twitter | Comment on our LinkedIn posts.

Also, check out this ETR Tutorial we created, which explains the spending methodology in more detail.

Note: ETR is a separate company from theCUBE Research and SiliconANGLE. If you would like to cite or republish any of the company’s data, or inquire about its services, please contact ETR at or

All statements made regarding companies or securities are strictly beliefs, points of view and opinions held by SiliconANGLE Media, Enterprise Technology Research, other guests on theCUBE and guest writers. Such statements are not recommendations by these individuals to buy, sell or hold any security. The content presented does not constitute investment advice and should not be used as the basis for any investment decision. You and only you are responsible for your investment decisions.

Disclosure: Many of the companies cited in Breaking Analysis are sponsors of theCUBE and/or clients of theCUBE Research. None of these firms or other companies have any editorial control over or advanced viewing of what’s published in Breaking Analysis.

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