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Virtual Breakfast Series: Cybersecurity in today’s new normal


Cyber security was already of crucial importance to nearly all businesses in 2019. But with the onset of COVID-19 in early 2020, businesses of all sizes suddenly were at even greater risk of disruption. The rapid changes brought on by the pandemic and economic shift have added a new layer of concerns and threats. Ransomware attacks, fraud and growing regulatory and privacy requirements continue their steady march to impact organizations across the globe. 

This virtual event featured a distinguished panel of experts, including security experts Frank Dickson and Craig Robinson of International Data Corporation (IDC) and Chief Information Security Officer Brian Blakely of Cosant Cyber Security, who shared valuable insight and strategies to prevent a widespread digital shutdown happening at your company.

Covering the global perspective on cybersecurity and some of the bigger cybersecurity trends, nationally regarded security expert Frank Dickson of International Data Corporation kicked off the virtual discussion stating that cyber security is a “derivative function,” a valuable part of any company’s overall IT strategy to better enable success.

“The digital innovation, essentially how IT structures are changing with improved awareness of security risk and compliance is crucial to effectively building a trust paradigm,” Dickson said. “Whether we like it or not, COVID prompted a digital transformation across the globe and forced many companies to make massive changes to their operations. COVID changed everything.”

“We think of cyber security as a technology issue,” said Mark Kirstein, vice president of customer success at Cosant Cyber Security. “But when it comes to malware and training, that’s an employee issue.” 

All expert panelists agreed that cyber security measures, incident response plans and protocols should start long before any sort of technology is implemented within an organization. 

IDC Program Director Craig Robinson added, “Without a doubt, ‘Security by design’ has to be a part of any company’s DNA.”

“Having greater cyber security measures is one of the biggest ramifications of COVID,” Dickson added.

Even before COVID hit, many proactive organizations quickly strategized to build resiliency and to enable greater agility.

“Forward-thinking companies immediately implemented technology to lessen the downturn curve and to create an advantage for their organizations,” Dickson said. “Unfortunately, not all CEOs took the same aggressive approach.”

“One good thing that has resulted from COVID is a heightened sense of awareness,” Brian Blakely, chief information security officer at Cosant Cyber Security. “The notion of a secure cyber security perimeter used to be firewalls. Now, the perimeter has shifted to the end users’ fingertips. The fear and uncertainty has created an awareness, but the perimeter has indeed shifted.”

Moderated by Cosant Cyber Security’s Vice President of Customer Success Mark Kirstein, it was a fascinating discussion and well worth a listen.


Vice President, Security & Trust
International Data Corporation

Program Director, Security Services
International Data Corporation

Chief Information Security Officer




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