ISE® Success Stories

Tony Spurlin
ISE® North America People's Choice Award Winner 2005
ISE® Southeast Project Award Winner 2016

One of the things you find in the industry is that the information security and risk teams rarely get much positive recognition. They are usually the folks that come in to tell people to create stronger passwords or write application code more securely. Things people do not necessarily want to do. So, when you have an opportunity to present a project that your team is implementing that benefits not only your company, but could be implemented to benefit other companies, it really drives a proactive, positive message out to the security organization. I want to take that opportunity every chance I can get. The ISE® Award recognition really boosted my team’s moral and motivation, it was great for them to be recognized.

I also enjoyed the opportunity to get out and talk with people about what we are trying to accomplish as a group of security professionals. It’s an opportunity to be able to share a concept that my team and I incubated, and hope that it is something that may help better someone’s life by having heard it or by knowing that they can call me and get the details.  For me, I have to have a higher purpose, not just a job. It has to be helping people.  That is why I am in security.

The relationships that we develop through the ISE® Awards programs are different than your average relationship -- they are much deeper.  The ISE® Awards format makes you feel welcome and comfortable.  The way the entire T.E.N. team works so hard to create this atmosphere really allows you to relax, remove your defenses, open your mind, collaborate, share ideas and learn from each other.

Getting the actual ISE® Award is great, but for me it is more about the journey than the destination. The fact that you are meeting with 250 other senior level executives, security leaders from around the country and different market circles really make this setting unique. You are able to listen to ideas and share yours and share your concerns. That is really the power that we get from the actual ISE® Program. We receive good quality briefings from manufacturers, vendors, and other executives who are facing the same challenges and problems.