Launching our new podcast, SINC: The Conversation


SINC’s core focus is providing places and spaces that foster connection and collaboration within the IT community. The launch of our new podcast SINC: The Conversation offers a digital window into the intimate, value-driven discussions that comprise so much of the SINC experience.

What sets The Conversation apart? Episodes are hosted and moderated by the guests themselves—industry experts, innovators, and organizational leaders.

You’ll hear your peers asking the sort of questions you yourself might ask—prompting more meaningful engagement and the valuable insights that come from peers speaking with their contemporaries. This unique format reflects SINC’s overall objective and will serve as a key element of the ongoing dialogues generated by and carried on throughout our other events: our city-based Executive Dinners, regular Roundtables, and yearly regional Forums.

We’re very proud to offer this new channel for bringing you the best in peer thought leadership and quality unsponsored content. Welcome to The Conversation.

Episodes 1 & 2 streaming now:

This two-part conversation with Walter Ferrer (Zenlity) and Reinier Moquete (CyberWarrior) takes diversity beyond lip service, positing its moral accuracy as demonstrative of its integral value to organizational health, business relationships, innovation, and resiliency.

Overheard in Episode 1 of The Conversation…

“It’s sometimes difficult to understand how (military) skill sets translate…
The pressure you experience when responding to a breach—it’s unlike anything else in the tech sector. No one is better positioned to handle that than someone who’s been in-theater.”

Episode One:


  • Translating cultural awareness and fluency into immediate business results
  • The social responsibility of industry
  • Cybersecurity talent gaps
  • Talent gap impact of women, people of color, and military veterans

Episode Two:


  • Action-oriented leadership strategy
  • Cultivating diverse talent during a talent crisis
  • Application, both at an organizational level and throughout the industry

Sneak Preview: Guests coming in October!

  • Deena Swatzie CRISC, PMP®, SVP Cyber Security Strategy & Digital Innovation, Truist (formerly SunTrust)
  • Maria Schwenger, AVP Enterprise Digital Risk, Head of App Security and Data Protection, American Family Insurance
  • Dr. Arlene Espinal, Global Digital/AI Executive, prior VP AI, Analytics & Automation at Mantech, 2021 Top 50 Most Powerful Women in Technology; HITECH Top 100 Global Tech Leader 2020 and 2022

Listen on Apple Podcasts

Listen on Spotify

Fortinet Releases Report: Characterizing Post-COVID “New Normal” Operating Patterns for Organizations

This report commissioned by Darktrace offers a comprehensive look into how the Canadian IT community is anticipating the “new normal.” Based on a survey of over 200 IT leaders and authored by Richard Stiennon (former VP Research at Gartner, founding member of The Analyst Syndicate, and bestselling author of There Will Be Cyberwar), this report looks ahead to anticipate both short-term measures and long-term practice.
Which crisis-derived innovations will stick? How has business strategy already been affected, and how are future projections impacted?

A sample of key findings from this report:

42% of respondents plan to reduce their geographical footprint

63% expect to increase their IT budget overall

66% anticipate increased spending on IT security, specifically

Of these, 34% say would characterize that spending increase as “significant”

The full report identifies specific applications for that increased budget, including areas of focused investment such as secure remote access, zero trust, SD-Branch/SD-Wan, AI and automation, and cloud.

Download the full report to learn more:

  • The degree to which organizations expect needing to hire for specific roles: AI/ML expert, security architect, cloud architect, etc.

  • Pain points surrounding cloud adoption, broken down by specific areas of concern

  • Which operational technology security measures respondents expect to adopt

  • Anticipated methods of increasing IT resilience

  • Anticipated adoption of RPA-enabled services and automation

Download the full report here


Regional Forums Spotlight: Live Peer Roundtables


We’re so grateful to be offering you, our SINC community, 2021 Regional Forums in person as usual this fall and winter. As we anticipate these exciting live conferences, we wanted to share exactly how we’re incorporating your feedback into these events. 

As our internal surveys reflect, the SINC executive community finds immense value in roundtable peer discussion. Last year, when circumstances required us to increase our virtual Roundtable offerings in order to continue providing environments for community and collaboration, participants impressed upon us the benefit of these intense group discussions, even when conducted remotely.

In fact, over 92% of our community characterize peer roundtables as providing information specifically valuable to their organization.

And, when asked to evaluate the value of specific event session types, Roundtables came in second only to the live Forum conferences themselves.

You’ve clearly communicated how useful you find these conversations. In response, we’ve dedicated multiple session slots within each of this year’s live regional forums to Roundtables, spread out over the conference to allow you to maximize your participation.

In addition, you communicated two key elements: the usefulness of drawing on the experience of peers in other industries, as well as the value of more similar sessions among peers in the same industry–what one respondent termed “birds-of-a-feather” sessions. To meet both these needs, one Roundtable session at each forum will be devoted to grouping by vertical.

Below, you’ll find feedback from past Roundtable attendees plus an advance look at the 2021 Roundtable topics: a comprehensive list addressing what you’ve identified as the most relevant current challenges. Don’t miss this unique opportunity for in-depth, in-person peer engagement. You’ll hear use cases, analyze cautionary tales, and learn from success stories, gaining firsthand strategies and insights pertinent to your organizational goals.

Executive Talkback: Your peers describe Forum Roundtables

  • “For me, the best events at large IT conferences are the birds-of-a-feather sessions, and SINC allows for that level of discussion.”
  • “The dialogue with my peers is most valuable. I absolutely love this format, with lots of conversation, moderator-led but participant-engaged.”
  • “Overall experience was one of value and purpose—the very diverse crowd offered the best perspective possible, which is an absolute must for success. The vast amount of common ground and goals contributed to a very valuable networking experience.”
  • “Lots of good peer conversations.”
  • “Made some incredible connections that I have maintained post-event..”
  • “So impressed with the networking opportunities— people were easily engageable and willing to discuss issues and solutions not even on the agenda. I learned a lot from the executive leaders AND vendors as well as the attendees…”
  • “Great to hear peers’ thoughts and positions on current items, and to take things off the record to understand projects, initiatives, and associated challenges.”
  • “Networking was phenomenal…SINC staff is amazing. I’ve never been to a conference with this level of organization and attention to detail. Your team did an incredible job!”

2021 Live Forum Roundtable Topics

  • Managing Up: Board/Directors relationship management

  • Managing a Virtual Workforce

  • InfoSec Roadmaps: How much planning and protection is enough?

  • On Prem vs. Cloud: If it ain’t broke, should we still fix it?

  • Ransomware & Securing Your Environment

  • Cyber Gaps: Every organization is now a technology organization

  • Business Strategy and the changing role of the CIO

  • Empathy in the Workplace: What have we learned from COVID-19?

  • What worked for your company, actually, practically, and testifiably?

  • What’s your strategy behind the tech or product – why this solution over that one?

Find the forum for your region and take your seat at the Roundtable!

Find Your Regional Forum


Recap: “Move fast, don’t break things!” Securing Multi-Cloud Remote Work


Frederico Hakamine – Group Technical Marketing Manager, Okta

Ben Sabrin – VP Advanced Server Access, Okta

Host: Daniel Zierk, SINC USA

Now available on-demand, last week’s webinar offered a detailed look at efficiently securing multi-cloud remote work, with an in-the-field look at the specific use cases of clients Zoom and jetBlue. Putting identity to work for you—partnering Okta with AWS, for example—generates the ability to ‘move fast’ in adopting new IT systems/tech without creating new problems. Toward the end of the session, Frederico and Ben presented attendees with a detailed action plan outlining key maturity curve milestones and designed to be functionally useful regardless of chosen vendor.

If you missed the session and want to maximize your on-demand viewing, here’s an event recap with key takeaways and timestamps for conversation highlights. 

Digitization and remote work accelerated IT 

Acceleration and digital transformation are not news, but the scope of impact is exceptional: last year’s events resulted in a sixfold acceleration of digital offerings. Projects were executed up 20 times faster (when comparing expectation with delivery). The growing permanence of remote work is just one example of how trends that began as “COVID fixes” are transforming into normal business operations. 

Acceleration drastically expanded the threat surface

We saw an increase in third-party relationships, different vendors with different levels of access and security.
Compounding issues also made things more breakable: technical debt, SaaS self-service, on-prem, and the war for talent.
Within this context, stolen credentials are an integral part of the vast majority of threat chains. 

81% of breaches are caused by stolen or weak credentials.

Key drive at Okta seeks to minimize the attack surface by eliminating unnecessary credentials—reducing by amount and by location.
To accomplish this, access must be consistent, simple, and with minimal hurdles for user.

Discussion Highlights

  • Strategy behind excellent user experience  [ 11:45 ]
  • Good security should be invisible  [ 13:32 ]
  • Keep builders happy—both to maintain security and retain talent  [ 13:58 ] 

    “In the age of the cloud most of your users are builders. And when you put the wrong controls in front of builders, you create opportunities for builders to find a way to circumvent the illustrious controls you’ve put in place.” – Ben Sabrin

  • Extending identity across the AWS stack  [ 19:33 ] 

    Securing using access gateway allows you to secure more traditional apps without having to change code on those systems.” – FH

  • Solving compelling events  [ 21:00 ] 

    Such as DevOps automation, privileged access, retiring legacy on-prem services, new or in-process compliance initiatives

  • Specific business value outcomes  [ 22:04 ] 
  • Client use cases: Zoom, jetBlue  [ 23:45 ] 

    “Most people don’t understand Zoom used to run mostly in their own data centers…When Covid happened, they literally couldn’t buy racks of servers fast enough—more importantly, they couldn’t fly anywhere to meet the equipment to install and kickstart the machines…” – Ben Sabrin

  • Baseline step-by-step action plan with key milestones  [ 27:20 ]

Watch this Session On-Demand

View All Upcoming Webinars


Feedback Focus: Peer Response to 2021 SINC Virtual Roundtables


Here at SINC, we’re very pleased to have resumed in-person engagement and grateful for the ability to safely reconnect with our IT executive community through our signature live events.

Our city-centric Executive Dinners remain wildly popular, and while we eagerly anticipate our annual regional Forums this coming fall and winter, our virtual Roundtables (vRTs) remain an excellent source for quality networking and valuable peer conversation.

Roundtables resemble our Executive Dinners in several key ways, such as the free and open peer dialogue they allow (albeit without the first-class dining experience!)

Similarly, seating is limited for these intimate closed-door engagements to ensure genuine dialogue and foster in-depth discussion. You can expect up to about 20 executive attendees, as well as a guest vendor who’ll provide additional perspective on the topic at hand and hear community insights directly from you and your peers.

As with any SINC event, vRTs focus on open, vibrant dialogue: high-caliber exchange of ideas, strategy comparison, use cases, etc. Our executive community attendees consistently rate these events as high-value, and typically become regular Roundtable participants.

In our survey of nearly 200 IT executives who attended a 2021 virtual Roundtable:

  • 98.7% stated they would definitely attend more vRTs in future
  • 93% reported gaining information specifically valuable to their organization—value further evidenced by:
  • The 64% of executive participants who reported they/their organization had actively reached out for followup engagement with a vendor participant

In fact, executive attendees ranked Roundtables second only to live conference forums for informational opportunity, outranking both webinars and industry reports.

Below, direct peer feedback from this year’s virtual Roundtables:

Topic: Deep Learning: Not Just AI, with Deep Instinct

  • “Great session. Would like to share with my team.”
  • “I was not aware a tool in this space was available–have shared with our CISO for him to look into…”
  • “Interesting platform, more proactive than our recent acquisition. Wish we’d seen this presentation months ago.”

Topic: Supercharged Trends in Digital Transformation with Equinix

  • “Great to hear feedback from peers and Equinix on what other hybrid-to-full cloud work is underway.”
  • “Useful best practice insights from colleagues.”
  • “Good info from others about their cloud transition experience—great discussion on scenarios and examples.”

Topic: The Digital Employee Experience, with Nexthink

  • “Valuable takeaways regarding remote worker users.”
  • “Biggest takeaway for me was expanding my imagination to what is possible—very helpful!”
  • “Very interested in DEX-potential opportunity to expand the insight into employee experience.”

As closed-door peer conversations, vRTs are never available as on-demand recordings. Don’t miss your chance to participate—register today!

Current vRTs include conversations with Equinix, RingCentral, and RICOH.
Upcoming vRTs featuring Fortinet, AttackIQ, Rimini Street, and more.

Roundtable Registration

See all upcoming Roundtables

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