Governing Body Spotlight

Governing Body Member of the Chicago CISO Community

Jeff Deakins


The Marmon Group

Jeff is a dynamic IT leader with over 20 years of experience specializing in process digitization (RPA, AI), data analytics, and information security. In his current role, he oversees all security operations for Marmon Holdings, including developing Marmon’s strategic security roadmap and being an advisor to the various Marmon subsidiaries.

Jeff holds four degrees, including an MSCIS from Northwestern University and an MBA from Arizona State University.  

Learn more about leaders in the Chicago CISO community here.

Give us a brief overview of the path that led to your current role.

Over my career, I have worked in almost every function, including sales, HR, IT, Finance, etc. Given IT security's broad reach across the organization, this became a natural fit as it has helped me get up to speed on the risks and challenges that the various departments face. 

While part of my primary role is to manage and advise on cyber risk, I enjoy finding opportunities to be both more secure and help employees be more efficient at the same time.

What is one of your guiding leadership principles?

As a leader, I think it is essential to understand the needs and welfare of those around me and to figure out ways to help them. Whether this help comes by finding somebody a mentor, getting them training, or supporting them through a mental health crisis, I think connecting as humans is one of the most important things a leader can do.

With disruption being a key theme of recent years, where do you see the CISO role going in the next 1-2 years?

Currently, there is a reasonably high turnover rate in the CISO position, and I suspect that this will continue to be the case over the next several years. With that being said, executive teams now view cyber risk as one of their top priorities, making discussions around budget and resources a much easier conversation. This will also continue to raise the importance of this position, which will make it closer to on par with some of the other C-level roles.

What advice would you give to someone just starting out as a CISO?

As most people in this position will tell you, this can be a stressful role given everything happening in the world. Taking care of your health, including proper exercise and diet, is essential for managing that stress and allowing you to operate at the top of your game.

Tell us 3 fun facts about yourself.

  1. Several years ago, I had the opportunity to visit Antarctica for several weeks, which was breathtaking.
  2. Last year, I was a volunteer lighthouse keeper for a week.
  3. I learned to swim by joining the boys’ swim team in high school.



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