I’m just learning about cybersecurity and I just realized that data security is really important. I don’t know if everybody knows this. Do CISOs know? I should email all of them and ask.



This week’s episode of CISO/Security Vendor Relationship Podcast features me, David Spark (@dspark), producer of CISO Series, and co-host Mike Johnson. Our guest is Steve Zalewski, deputy CISO, Levi Strauss & Co.

Thanks to this week’s podcast sponsor, DivvyCloud

DivvyCloud provides continuous security and compliance across all CSPs and containers, including AWS, GCP, Azure, Ailibaba, and Kubernetes, providing a comprehensive view of what’s in your cloud, along with the tools and automation you need to manage it today, tomorrow, and into the future as your business grows and changes.

Got feedback? Join the conversation on LinkedIn.

On this week’s episode

Why is everyone talking about this now?

On Quora, the question was asked, “What is the most common unaddressed cybersecurity risk at companies?” Looking through the list, we’ve talked about all of these issues: people (malicious and negligence), program maturity, data privacy, and just basic network. They’re all important, but we discuss which one we believe is least addressed.

There’s got to be a better way to handle this

What happens when a cloud provider breaks a service level agreement or SLA? On a recent episode of Defense in Depth, Taylor Lehmann, CISO, athenahealth said that putting ultimatums in SLAs just doesn’t work in reality. No one really pulls the plug just because a cloud provider fell short on providing a certain level of uptime. We walk through the steps of the SLA. What’s needed? What’s too much? What do you do when something is violated? How do you right the ship and maintain the relationship?

What’s Worse?

What happens when there’s a political motivation to select a vendor?

What do you think of this pitch? and Why is this a bad pitch?

We put a good one and a bad one back to back so you can hear the range of what comes in a CISO’s inbox.

Um… maybe you shouldn’t have done that

As a security vendor, how do you catch yourself if you’re cybersplaining?

Brian Haugli of Sidechannel Security offered the following definition: “When a salesperson or company representative explains in detail how a basic attack, ransomware, BEC, or other threat works to a CISO or current cybersecurity expert in order to push a sale.”

From what I see, it appears that cybersplaining is the norm mostly for those who are very green in cybersecurity. I’ll also say I’ve seen the complete opposite where someone at a much higher level assumes you’re already in their head and agree to the same assumptions they have about cybersecurity as well. This plays out that they’ll state an issue in cybersecurity and conclude with “right?” not waiting for an answer but just assuming you’re on the same page so that they can go on with their rant.

What are ways to check yourself on both sides of the spectrum and what’s the happy medium?