2020 in the CISO Community

Year in Review Infographic
A Look Back at the CISO Journey

2020 was one for the record books in all kinds of ways. One bright spot for CISOs was the opportunity to demonstrate their value as risk management thinkers and strategic business leaders. Here is a look at the journey the Evanta CISO Community took this year.

CISOs told us in our proprietary Leadership Perspectives Survey that they started the year focused on these 3 critical priorities:


By March, the focus shifted to COVID, securing remote work, and supporting business continuity. These were the top concerns at the start of the pandemic, according to our Community Pulse survey -- 

31% of CISOs said there was little disruption to business operations

35% expected standard business operations to return to normal in 3 to 6 months

47% predicted a significant impact on business revenue

Our CISO communities got together virtually and discussed these topics with their peers:


In May town hall discussions, two leaders offered their thoughts on crisis response:

There is a joke going around that COVID-19 has done more for your digital transformation than anything else. Look, no plan survives first contact. We need to be adaptive and flexible. We’ve been engaging where we had a plan and focusing on resilience.

Healthcare CISO
Boston CISO Community

There is additional risk that our executive teams need to understand. It is important to me to get the message right. Security needs to be some of the strongest leaders in the company. We had one network before – now, thanks to remote work, we have hundreds of networks to watch.

Food Service CISO
Southern California CISO Community


By summer, CISOs recognized this was a sustained period of uncertainty, according to our Pulse Survey.

27% cited keeping the business running as their primary business concern

36% were spending the majority of their time on leadership strategy

39% expected standard business operations to return to normal in 6 to 12 months

Security leaders began to return to their top 3 critical priorities in the fall:


In October, CISOs discussed how they could maintain their teams’ high performance and influence on the business:

We have focused on flexibility and ensuring that when it comes to the time spent working, it is quality not quantity, that counts. The mental and physical well-being of our teams is more important than ever, and we must do what we can to provide them with what is needed to navigate these uncertain times in a way that allows them to be successful.

Retail Industry CISO
Southern California CISO Community

Information security leaders are key players in business outcomes. They provide risk analysis, due diligence on mergers and acquisitions, and have policies in place that reduce the risks of data breaches.  Business leaders will increasingly look to Information Security leaders to maximize the information and use it to fuel business ideas and projects.

Entertainment Industry CISO
Philadelphia CISO Community


As long hours, business uncertainty, and security threats continued, CISOs discussed how to stay energized and focused on their critical priorities. By rising to the challenges, CISOs have accelerated digital transformation initiatives and positioned themselves and their teams as business enablers.

Moving into 2021, here are 3 predictions about what CISOs will focus on next year:


by CISOs, for CISOs

7,582 security leaders participated in 204 Evanta CISO discussions this year. 
Keep the conversations going in 2021.