This month, as graduates move the tassel from one side of the cap to the other, I’m reminded of my undergraduate education in history and English at the University of Maryland (go Terps!). I became fascinated by the new beginnings that emerge after devastating tragedies. For example, the bubonic plague – known as the “Black Death” – killed one third of Europe’s population and brought an end to feudalism in England and France; with a reduced workforce, serfs were able to command better terms and wages, otherwise the land, without anyone to care for it, became worthless. Similarly, the Spanish flu (a misnomer, by the way) ended World War I, and in its wake, brought about the Roaring Twenties in the U.S., where the economy soared, and Americans rushed to savor all the joys that life could give.

The facts of my previous studies seem to make sense only in the present, when I find myself wondering how we will emerge from the coronavirus pandemic. The future of work and the future of retail, hospitality, and travel have become so intertwined, it’s hard to predict what the new normal will be. How will the customer experience, which has largely been dependent on employee engagement across various in-person and digital touchpoints, be affected by a WFH workforce? Will consumers hold on to newfound expectations for mobile ordering, payment, and contactless delivery? What job opportunities will arise for the tens of thousands of workers who have been furloughed or laid off? How will we use technology to embrace this new reality?

Time will tell. Fortunately, RH-ISAC members do have the opportunity to hear from peers and colleagues about what lessons they have learned, particularly how today’s decisions will impact the future. At our CISO Roundtable Discussion earlier this week, more than 30 CISOs joined the call to share and listen to companies that have been opened and helped those working on their reopening plan.

We are also gearing up for our Virtual Regional Intelligence Workshop series. We are transitioning to a new virtual format so that participants can still take advantage of the great discussions, insights and networking that exemplify our events while staying safe. Our first workshop, hosted by Safelite Group and sponsored by SpyCloud, will be held on June 4 from 10 – 4 PM ET for those in and around Ohio.

There are also opportunities to gain new insights through our working groups and practitioner-led Tradecraft Tuesday series:

  • Security Operations Working Group: Last month, Adam Hirsch, senior vice president of information security, shared his seven-year journey of building his security operations within PVH. Read about it here on our blog. This month, Ken Loisch, director of information security and compliance for Conair Corp., will share his story.
  • Franchise Working Group: Chris Zell, vice president and head of information security for The Wendy’s Companies, will present on how his company handles security operations with their franchises.
  • Tradecraft Tuesday: Over the past two months, practitioners have shared how they are using open source tools and resources within their operations.

In addition to being the conduit of tremendous threat information sharing, the RH-ISAC is also a community where senior executives, operations managers and analysts share what they know with other.

So, if you are an RH-ISAC member, make sure you are taking full advantage of what the RH-ISAC has to offer. Email Director of Programs Amy Tate to find out the right RH-ISAC working group for you. If you are not an RH-ISAC member, find out if you qualify for our 90-day complimentary membership to see for yourself the power of this community.

As always, the RH-ISAC community inspires me with your openness and willingness to help others. I guess that’s why we’re all in the people business!

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