Governing Body Spotlight

Governing Body Member of the DACH CISO Community

David King


Omnicom Media Group

David King has been in IT for over 30 years and started life in programming, operations and desktop support, but progressed through network engineering, IT management, and finally into security. 

While he has over 20 years of IT management experience, he continues to educate himself and completed a bachelor's degree through the Open University in 2013 and a master's degree in cybersecurity in 2016. He specialised in data classification and digital forensics for his dissertation, and he remains passionate about managing and protecting data.

David likes skiing, motorbikes, wine, beer and keeping fit. He has lived just south of Munich since October 2018.

Learn more about the DACH CISO community here.

Give us a brief overview of the path that led to your current role.

It was back in about 2014, while managing our data centre presence, that we first started getting audited. I then suggested that we needed someone in security to bring more focus and work with our clients and the auditors. Turns out that someone was me!

What is one of your guiding leadership principles?

My guiding leadership principle is to be open and listen. It's an old cliché, but we have two ears and one mouth and should use them in that ratio. The other principle would be to get to know your team and take a real interest in what makes them tick. Not everyone is a techie, though some are!

What is the greatest challenge your particular C-level role is facing today, and how are you addressing it?

The greatest challenge, that I see, is making people aware that technology can't fix everything. I think there is an expectation, especially within the corporate environment, that tools and technology will block everything bad. What they forget is we can only control the tools we use and implement, and not the tools that they may choose to use. We see attacks coming through WhatsApp, LinkedIn, and other social media tools. People need to be aware that approaches through these media may not always be genuine, and so we are constantly reminding them, educating them, giving them examples, showing what good and bad look like.

What is the key to success for someone just starting out as a CISO?

If you'd have asked me that 10 years ago, my answer would have been simple -- get to know the receptionist, facilities and the post room staff. They know what is really going on. Today, though, the key to success is to building relationships with other C-levels throughout the organisation and through people who are widely respected. For me, I have been in close collaboration with regional CIOs and CFOs, as well as the Legal and Privacy teams. 

How do you measure success as a leader?

I measure success as a leader by increased engagement. Leaning on my previous answer, the Legal team and Privacy teams now involve us very early in every pitch or contract review, so we have an opportunity to get to know the expectations and the business' obligations. And when the board comes to you for help, advice or guidance, you know you've won!

What is the value of being a member of the Evanta community?

I can't remember how long I've been a member, but hearing what success looks like and the way it was achieved helps inspire and drive us all forward. No two backgrounds are ever the same. Everyone has a different story and a different perspective, and we can learn from each and everyone in the community. We just need to use our ears, open our minds, and free our imagination.

Evanta Governing Body members share their insights and leadership perspectives to shape the agendas and topics that address the top priorities impacting business leaders today.

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