CTO Insights November Newsletter

Welcome to this latest CTO Insights November newsletter, it has been a hectic time recently so please excuse the extended gap between editions. I’m sure you are keen to know what’s been catching my attention since we last spoke? 

Something new

Welcome to this latest CTO Insights November newsletter, it has been a hectic time recently so please excuse the extended gap between editions. I’m sure you are keen to know what’s been catching my attention since we last spoke

As a CTO I’m always looking for new crazy ideas to share information, and here’s one of them, our new CTO Insights videos! This series of videos sees me chat with an industry expert about a particular topic. First is Jon Hope, Senior Technologist at Sophos. Jon joined me for a wide ranging chat about the current state of cyber security and what the future holds. 

The overall chat is around 30 minutes, but to make life a little easier I’ve broken it down into bite size 5 minute videos. 

The first two of these (alongside the longer version) are available for you now. 

In part one we discuss the recently released Sophos Ransomware Threat report and what it means for CTO/CISOs and whether paying ransoms is ever the right thing to do. 

You’ll find part one here. 

In part two, we discuss the inevitability of attacks, how attacks have modified into double and triple “dip” attacks and what to do about them. We also discuss incident response plans and why it’s essential to have them.  

I’d love your feedback on the format and what topics you’d like me to cover in future videos. 

Looking after your security team

Back in mid-September I attended a Future of Cybersecurity event in Manchester. There was the usual mix of vendors and presentations. But two in particularly caught my attention as they discussed Cybersecurity wellbeing. The sessions shared a couple of troubling facts.  

  • Gartner reported 25% of Cyber Security Leaders will change careers by 2025 due to burnout. 
  • Forrester reported that of IT security staff 66% of them felt they were suffering stress and of those a further 50% were taking medication to help. 

Those statistics are not things we can accept, and we cannot shrug our shoulders and hope it gets better. Even from the most basic of business views, it is untenable as over stressed staff are more likely to make mistakes and when it comes to cybersecurity it is mistakes that threat actors prey on.  

How do we remove stress from our team? I imagine there is no easy answer and I’m not going to try to give one, but I did find a couple of good tips in this Watchguard Blog. 

End user education – Education can help reduce threats and incidents and therefore the burden on your security teams. 

Automation – Automate repetitive and time-consuming tasks so the team can stay focused on the priority areas. 

Consolidation – Reducing the amount of technology vendors in your security suite, this can help both reduce risks caused by gaps between tools and also improve operations by allowing more to be achieved within a single platform. 

There’s a couple of other additions I’d consider. 

Managed Services and AI – Managed solutions such as MDR can help greatly reduce the burden on security teams, providing them with experienced security team on hand 24×7. It’s also worth looking at how vendors are using AI to reduce time consuming tasks and help prioritise risk and threats. 

Security Culture – Build as positive a security culture as you can, make sure both your staff and your security teams feel that they are taken seriously, listened too and supported and if the worst happens, there will be no scapegoating. Security is too complex to expect perfection, so let’s not apply pressure by thinking that it is. 

Your Copilot to the future 

Welcome to this latest CTO Insights November newsletter, it has been a hectic time recently so please excuse the extended gap between editions. I’m sure you are keen to know what’s been catching my attention since we last spoke

Back in October I attended Microsoft’s Envision conference in London. Which brought out the Microsoft “big guns” none bigger than CEO Satya Nadella (Seen here with UK CEO Clare Barclay). The event was focused on Microsoft’s Copilot technology. Copilot is the product name for its integration of generative AI throughout its Cloud Platforms. This ranges from the generally accessible Bing Chat service, which provides you with GPT 4 powered integration with its search engine, through to its subscription add on services like integrating data sets for building learning model and its soon to be available Security Copilot. 

Copilot is interesting, as it is likley to be the first fully enterprise managed, large scale AI that many businesses will see. It will be baked into everyday tasks, from content creation to summarising long documents and Teams meetings. It is this, in a common everyday application like Microsoft 365, which is likley to bring business AI to the masses. I’m fascinated to see how this will be adopted and were it will lead to both innovation and better understanding of risks. We recently did a Tech Takeaways Episode – Exploring the Horizon with Microsoft Copilot discussing a little more about Copilot and its potential impact. 

I’d be interested to hear from others about your thoughts and plans for Copilot, so do please share them. 

That’s all for this edition of the newsletter, I have a couple of week’s of travel coming up, with a little holiday in Denmark before setting off to London for BlackHat Europe, so if you are going to be at the event, let me know. 

Look out for the next CTO Insight Newsletter coming soon.  

CTO Insights Newsletter: Intro

Welcome to the Gardner CTO Insights Newsletter

Welcome to our new CTO Newsletter, straight from the desk of our CTO, Paul Stringfellow, to yours. We aim to bring you concise summaries, expert opinions, and thought-provoking articles covering emerging technologies, industry trends, and best practices. And to provide you with a go-to source for the latest updates in enterprise IT.

Why a newsletter and why now?

Gardner Systems has been going through some rapid changes this year and one of those has been the evolution of roles for some of our team. This has included Paul’s move to CTO. Paul is well placed amongst the Gardner team with his experience and a broad range of industry contacts to help Gardner stay on the leading edge of technology and our customers understand how technology can help them in these challenging business times.

One of the things he has been keen to do is start to develop our CTO and IT leader community. This newsletter is part of that move, finding a way to efficiently keep our customers informed of technology trends, innovations, and best practices, as well as ways to engage and keep in touch.

What it will include?

As a CTO, your role demands staying on top of the latest technological advancements that can drive digital transformation, enhance operational efficiency, and enable business growth. Whether it’s cloud computing, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, data analytics, or any other crucial aspect of enterprise technology we want to provide you with insights and analysis that can help you make informed decisions, identify opportunities, and overcome challenges.

An Intro to our CTO

Many of you would have met Paul during his time at Gardner’s. But for those that haven’t here’s a little about our new CTO. Paul studied Computing at Liverpool John Moore’s University. He got his first IT role at a pharmaceutical company in Liverpool, where he first met the Gardner Systems Team. He joined Gardner’s not long after and has worked across the business, from technical support to systems architect and today as CTO.

Paul has been one of the public faces of Gardner for some time, presenting at many of our events as well as at local and national business community and vendor events. In recent years, Paul’s experience also attracted U.S. IT analyst firm GigaOm with whom he now consults and carries out research, mainly focused on people-centric and data-centric security. These offer further Insights and relationships that can Paul can use to bring more value to Gardner customers.

These are exciting times at Gardner and Paul and the team is looking forward to continuing to offer great service to our customers, but also to be a local trusted source of advice and help for anyone who needs it. We hope you’ll find our newsletter a useful and valuable resource to help you in your role as a local IT leader. Alongside our newsletter, Gardner offers a range of other resources that can help you, including events and the Tech Takeaways podcast.

Also, If you’d like to meet with Paul to understand more about his role and what is happening at Gardner’s, book a call with him here.

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