We just wrapped up Amplify 2019, Apptega’s cybersecurity conference at The Garage at Tech Square in Midtown Atlanta. With over 100 attendees, we had members of the Apptega cybersecurity community come in from all over the country to participate in our inaugural event. We were so over-subscribed, we had to change the venue two weeks ago to support the larger audience. It’s always a pleasure to get to learn from great leaders in the community and share tips, tricks and tactics that companies are using to effectively secure their organization.
I was excited to get to participate as the MC and keep the program running throughout the day. We kicked off the event with a great keynote by Armistead Whitney, our CEO. During this session, Armistead shared some insights on the market and why companies are taking a closer look at the people, processes and tools needed to effectively manage their cybersecurity programs. He also announced several exciting new initiatives and product capabilities that are going to make organizing cybersecurity programs easier.
The most exciting announcement was around the imminent release of Intelligent Framework Mapping. Based on customer feedback, the Apptega development team did a great job incorporating this important new automation capability, while maintaining Apptega’s easy to use interface. Now, Apptega customers can map multiple frameworks together and drive efficiencies by consolidating all their efforts and effectively show their progress against multiple industry frameworks. If you are tasked with SOC 2 compliance and are also trying to meet NIST 800-53 controls, you can now map those together and show your progress against both programs. Do you want to add GDPR or ISO 27001 and see how you stack up? Just map those frameworks too! Watching Armistead show a demonstration of this new feature got the audience super excited.
In addition to Intelligent Framework Mapping, Armistead highlighted some other great features that are now available. Apptega customers can now choose from 10+ Identity Providers in which to integrate Single Sign-On authentication. This feature will make it super easy for corporate users to securely login to Apptega with their existing corporate credentials. Additional reporting, template libraries other core capabilities were also highlighted.
After the keynote, the conference shifted focus from Apptega to providing great industry content focused on the challenges of managing a cybersecurity program. First up, Jay Ferro, the CIO of Quikrete moderated a panel of industry experts talking about balancing business goals and necessary security controls. Brandon Van Orden, CIO of Cousins Properties, Steve Dotson, VP Information Security at Pindrop Security and Mike Molloy, Sr. Consultant at ClearView Consulting all provided some great insight.
The Apptega team took a very innovative approach for the next section of the event. They create three “CyberJam Sessions” and had the attendees separate into three groups and rotate across three different sessions. In addition to an Apptega product deep dive, Jay Ferro and Billy Norwood from Sunset Cybersecurity hosted a great session on “Presenting Cybersecurity to the Board.” Jackie Groark, from VeriStor and Todd Jennings from ClearView moderated a fascinating session on how companies are dealing with the bloat of cybersecurity technologies. The best advice I heard in that session was the importance of doing the basic things well and not try to over-complicate it. A bunch of fancy multi-layer network security software isn’t going to protect the organization if basics like end-user education keep the front door wide open.
We wrapped up the session with a couple of interesting customer spotlights, Desiree Davis from LeapCredit and Ray Elquist from Pillsbury Law. Both customers shared their experiences and how Apptega was helping them to effectively mature their program. They can now effectively communicate their status and compliance to their respective boards and executive committees. Both spotlight sessions reinforced the importance of customer success and how each customer gained huge benefits by leveraging the Apptega Customer Success team to ensure they were getting the most from the platform.
It is always fun to spend time with Apptega’s customers and partners and hear the enthusiasm they have for where Apptega is going. Learning about how Apptega is making it easier for our customers to protect their company assets gets us excited to bring the next round of capabilities to market. I’m really looking forward to seeing these new capabilities get implemented and integrated into our customer’s processes. I’m also counting down the days until we see each other again at Apptega’s Amplify 2020.