Memorable Moments from EMEA CISO Communities in 2022

Community Blog
Written by Liam McGlynn

JANUARY 5, 2023

As 2022 brought yet another year of business disruption, CISOs from Evanta’s European communities came together on forty-eight occasions to make connections, share stories, and exchange ideas about the mission critical priorities facing their field, ranging from cloud security to measuring and communicating risk. 

CISOs gathered in-person across Europe during Executive Summits and Inner Circle Dinners, and they stayed connected throughout the year during a number of virtual programs. Here is what some community members had to say about their experiences:

The best in-person event of the year. The number of CISOs from different corporate backgrounds was awesome.”

– Benedikt Heintel
CISO, Viega

Fantastic opportunity to meet new professionals and build relationships.”

– Flavio Aggio
CISO, World Health Organization

Great to have the opportunity again to talk directly with each other, very great and open sphere.”

– Kay Behnke
CISO, Genmab

CISO Top Priorities

Insights from Evanta’s annual Leadership Perspective Survey helped to shape the agendas and influence key discussion topics throughout the year. Our CISO community members' top priorities were:

  • Measuring & Communicating Risk
  • Cloud Security/Strategy/Architecture, etc.
  • Security Awareness
  • Third-Party Risk Management
  • User Access/IAM

Highly-Rated Presentations

This year, CISOs from Evanta’s European communities came together at six Executive Summits, and here are some of the most popular sessions:

Breakout Session: CISOs, How Are You Feeling Today?
In this session, Deborah Saffer, Global Deputy CISO, Cushman & Wakefield, Simon Hodgkinson, Board Advisor, Various Organisations and Steven Trippier, Group CISO, Anglian Water Services explored the impact of the CISO role on mental health and emotional wellbeing, as well as tactics to support one another. Sharing examples of crises and their emotional impact, Deborah, Simon and Steven looked at the human side of cybersecurity, identifying key strategies to support each other.

Executive Boardroom: Surviving the “Golden Age” of Ransomware
This session on the “golden age” for ransomware was led by Michael von der Horst, Managing Director CyberSecurity, Cisco Systems; Markus J. Krauss, Head of Cisco Cloud Security - EMEA Central & Northern Europe, Germany and UK/I, Cisco Secure; Florian Brandner, Teamhead Information Security, Puma and Hendrik Hartje, CISO, Coca-Cola European Partners Deutschland. This session focussed on key lessons from recent high-profile ransomware attacks, emerging and evolving trends among threat actors and their targets, and innovative ways to reduce risk and improve resilience.

Executive Boardroom: Streamlining Security Operations in 2022
In this session, Ofir Har-Chen, COO,; Charl Brits, Head of IT Network & Security, Laing O'Rourke and Don Gibson, Head of Cyber, Department for International Trade discussed how CISOs can make their SOCs run more effectively in order to enhance their security posture and ultimately evolve their security strategy around their workforce. Ofir, Charl and Don explored strategies to improve data retention through automation and efficient processes, as well as dealing with complex supply chain attacks, insider threats and vulnerabilities. 

Executive Boardroom: Overcoming Hurdles to Cloud Migration
In this session, Vincent Bertin, CIO, Groupe SOS; Sabina Stoilova, IT Director, EMEA, ITW and Amaël Chamayou, CISO, TERREAL discussed how CISOs can streamline IT processes in conjunction with the business motivations for migrating their company's digital assets to the cloud. They explored how CISOs can justify the business case for cloud migration and align it with wider company objectives, as well as methods to enhance cross-functional collaboration, strengthening existing IT infrastructure and security.

Highly-Rated Virtual Gatherings

Evanta also hosted a number of Town Halls and Boardrooms virtually across our European CISO communities. Here are a few of the most popular sessions:

France CIO & CISO Virtual Boardroom: Embracing Zero Trust to Strengthen the Security Posture
This session was led by Eric Vedel, Director, CISO Advisory – EMEAR, Cisco Secure; Julien Moreau, Cybersecurity Specialist, Cisco Duo, Cisco Systems; Fernando Ruiz, VP, CIO France, Coca-Cola European Partners and Stephane Lenco, CISO, Thales. Participants shared strategies to manage additional complexity caused by Zero Trust Networks, and they discovered how their Zero Trust investment can support the next steps towards SASE.

Benelux CISO Virtual Town Hall: Optimising the Workforce for Cyber Crisis Resilience — An Interactive Simulation
In this interactive session, Paul Bentham, Chief Product Officer, Immersive Labs; Matt Broomhall, CISO, Lloyd's of London and Simon Goldsmith, Director of Information Security, OVO analysed organisation-wide decision-making skills using a realistic cyber crisis. Simulating the effects of decisions on crisis management and response in real-time, security leaders discussed common pitfalls where the human response process fails, as well as effective methods to overcome these.

UK & Ireland CISO Virtual Town Hall: Exploring Identity & Access Management Maturity
In this session, Joe Diamond, Vice President, Product Strategy – EMEA, Okta; Manish Chandela, Group CISO, Unipart Group Limited; Mick Ebsworth, Director Information Security, Co-op and Simon Langley, CISO, ASDA led a discussion around some of the most important considerations in charting the path towards a modern identity strategy. Security leaders in attendance explored key steps for moving off legacy identity solutions (and from on-premises to the cloud), as well as shadow IT, managing third-party access and the role of active directory.

Most Popular Content

Outside of gathering, CISO community members have access to executive insights and peer-driven content. Here is a look at what they were reading and listening to this year.

What’s in Store for 2023?

We have already confirmed several dates for CISO Inner Circle Dinners and Executive Summits for European CISO communities, and more gatherings will be announced soon. Be sure to join your local CISO community to never miss an opportunity to connect with like-minded peers on mission critical topics!


Liam McGlynn headshot

Liam McGlynn

Content Coordinator at Evanta, a Gartner Company