Last week, we brought together a dozen senior security executives from some of our most strategic customers for our inaugural customer advisory board (CAB) meeting. The purpose of this meeting was to gather thought leaders across diverse industries — oil and gas, media and entertainment, financial services, and technology — with the goal of better understanding emerging trends as well as important issues facing our customers when it comes to security. The outcome was even better than we expected: insightful discussions, lively debate, and invaluable feedback to help us shape OpenDNS’s roadmap moving forward.

Following the discussion with this group of strategic leaders, I’d like to share a few takeaways on what these collective minds forecasted for the security landscape:

  • There is no silver bullet when it comes to strategic security.

The overwhelming consensus was that having an open platform that can easily integrate with multiple security partners is a tremendous asset for customers due to the evolving security landscape. Flexible, open APIs help create a central management and/or visibility point that can greatly improve a company’s security posture. One customer expressed excitement with our FireEye integration by saying that the visibility FireEye provides into packets combined with OpenDNS’s ability to show DNS queries enables a unique and powerful level of insight into their network.

  • The challenge of managing personally identifiable information (PII) continues to shift.

Private customer information continues to move organically toward cloud services. One of our customers also shared that many of his employees actually live where they work for months at a time — a uniquely challenging infrastructure in which there is no work/home boundary. With these lines blurring, coupled with so much confidential information moving to the cloud, the need for fast-changing and innovative security solutions around PII is very real.

  • Protection outside of the perimeter IS possible.

With the eroding network perimeter, companies are seeking ways to extend their security beyond the walls of their enterprise, and this challenge is one of the many reasons these top-tier customers choose OpenDNS. They want to maintain high visibility into their network activity while simultaneously providing enterprise-class malware protection, all without adding latency to their systems or impacting the productivity of their employees. And for many, it needs to happen both inside and outside of their network perimeter.

OpenDNS was fortunate to bring together an incredibly accomplished group of CAB attendees. In addition to sharing their knowledge, experiences, and suggestions with our executive team, these leaders were kind enough to spend some time mingling with OpenDNS employees across all departments. Two of them even joined our senior director of product management for a company-wide “fireside chat.”

The best validation for the CAB event’s success was the feedback from attendees themselves. A senior security executive at one of the world’s largest oil and gas companies told us that, “attending the OpenDNS CAB meeting turned out to be extremely profitable use of my time. The hosts and attendees all had plenty of experience and expertise in information security which made for very meaningful discussions and presentations. I am definitely interested in attending future CAB events for the networking and the useful information shared.”

In closing, the creation of a customer advisory program is one of the many steps we’ve taken over the past few months to enhance our communication with customers and increase the value that they receive from a partnership in security with OpenDNS. As always, if there’s anything we can do to make your experience with us a great one, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me.

On behalf of our team here at OpenDNS, we’d like to wish you have a happy, healthy, and secure holiday season!

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