The Art of the Possible

A Post Summit Wrap up


An invitation-only body of senior risk, resilience and security executives attended the first annual Executive Summit Series on November 12, 2018 at The Boeing Company in Arlington, VA.  The theme was focused on the future state of risk and security in a complex global environment. For this community it was the ‘art of the possible”.

It was intentionally designed to augment the networking and discussions taking place at the Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC) global conference, as well as a natural complement to the International Security Foundation (ISF) and International Security Management Association (ISMA).

 As the Summit began, Judge William Webster (former head of the FBI and CIA under Presidents Carter and Reagan) and Martin Faga, former CEO of MITRE Corporation from the Board of Executive Summit Series (ESS) academic partner, the Center for Cyber and Homeland Security were introduced.   

It was followed by a newly launched and innovative case study series. This series is meant to capture insights from the experiences of leaders in managing their programs. The ESS will begin to archive these for ESS attendees to leverage as well as tracking the knowledge of our industry over time.

Featured case studies included:

  • The development of a self-service risk reporting platform. This would include visibility of services designed to mitigate operational constraints and corporate risk. Dave Martin, Vice President of Global Threat and Incident Management at ADP presented.

  • Embedding security into the culture of any enterprise is a challenging task that requires a deep understanding of the organization and its people. Utilizing a broad range of creative education and awareness tools to engage and entrust all personnel was addressed by Kelly Brey, Director of Security Culture and Training for Splunk, Inc.

  • When a CSO takes over from another CSO, a new vision sometimes is cast, and in many cases, a re-evaluation of how  programs are structured to deliver on the mission is needed. Bob Casey, CSO of Eli Lilly, walked us through his process including the tools he used to engage the culture and deliver an extreme makeover.

  • Many times, we rely on what has been and have difficulty imagining what is possible. John Goldener, Senior Manager of Enterprise Risk Management at TE Connectivity, walked us through the hidden costs and constraints that may keep a world class company from having world class security and how to effectively align Security with the Business.

After the case studies we were able to hear from William (Bill) Evanina, Director of the Counterintelligence (CI) and Security Center. NCSC blends CI and security expertise to lead and support  these activities across the U.S. Government, the Intelligence Community and U.S. private sector entities at risk of intelligence collection, penetration or attack by nation states and other adversaries.

Evanina provided a road map on how to view our government’s serious examination of the threats to our homeland and what each of us can individually do to assist.

A global perspective on transnational organized crime and how it is impacting our world as well as our businesses, was examined by a panel composed of:

  • John Lombardi, National Intelligence Manager for Transnational Crime, Office of the Director of National Intelligence

  • Pablo Pelaez, Europol Senior Representative to the United States

  • Pedro Rodrigues, Europol Senior Representative to the United States

The panel described an accelerated growth in these groups committing crime, which has doubled over the last 5 years. Technology and the internet have created a new business model for these criminal enterprises that was described as Crime-as-a-Service.

Although counterfeiting is the largest in the amount of dollars (in the trillions), extortion and theft were also described as massive.

Many of these crimes go unreported, and, thus, the defense is constrained. This was a compelling follow-up to Evanina and underlined the increased collaboration needed, worldwide, between private and public organizations to combat this threat.

Based on these presentations, it was generally concluded that the vast body of our leaders were data starved. That is, each of their challenges was related to collecting the right data, organizing it into useful information, assessing its merits for urgency and, finally, informing the actionable response necessary to engage, disrupt and recover from incidents or from our operational dysfunctions.

This set the stage for the panel called The Opportunities and Risks of Deploying Emerging Technology: Building the Innovation Platform. The former head of security for, now CSO of ASG|ADT, and a panel of technology leaders, including the public sector head of Watson AI and Data Platform from IBM, provided an overview of the assumptions we have made based on the construction industry mind-set we inherited 50 years ago. These assumptions have ensured that many of us are ensnared with legacy systems and ballooning budgets. More importantly, our value proposition has suffered without a technology platform that can consume increasing amounts of data that, if managed correctly, would provide business intelligence around our people, process and tools as well as our risk. The starting point would be an investment-grade audit that would pinpoint gaps in performance and the foundation for a path to value. Machine learning can be applied in the here and now. But the platform for understanding the data and how it will be applied is lacking.

The final panel was a candid discussion among five CSOs on the good, bad and ugly that has occurred throughout their careers. Leadership and culture became the touchstone learnings that came out of this session. Wisdom is listening, understanding and acting decisively knowing full well that you rarely have the complete picture. This allows you to tweak or change course as the data is measured and refined. Organizational strength from diversity of thought, experience and racial/gender background was commonly referred to as a leadership mandate.

The session ended with a commitment to reengaging throughout the year on increasing the number of case studies that are available to the community, and gathering at leadership events throughout the year up to an including next year’s Executive Summit Series on November 18, 2019 jump starting OSAC week once again.