This Week Health

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March 14, 2022: Drex DeFord, Executive Healthcare Strategist at CrowdStrike and Holly Russell, Awareness Builder at This Week Health join Bill for the news today. What were their first impressions of the ViVE 2022 conference? Who did inspirational keynote presentations? What kind of non-healthcare attendees did they see? How is a good Focus Group structured? And what are their predictions for HIMSS 2022? In a world where it's already hard to figure out cybersecurity, we now have the Russia and Ukraine situation, which is going to make it even tougher. What is CrowdStrike hearing from health systems? Are they all terrified of getting hacked? What are the best practices? It isn't just the Russians against the Ukrainians now. It’s the Russians against, in some cases, what feels like the rest of the world when it comes to dark web adversaries.

Key Points:

00:00:00 - Intro

00:27:40 - What do back-to-back conferences mean for marketing budgets?

00:28:55 - The Russians were really just using the Ukraine as a kind of a hacking lab and knocking the daylights out of them in preparation for the invasion

00:34:25 - Crowdstrike uses a tool called Expert.AI that actually looks at all of the zero days as they come out. And because of the way they’re built in the cloud, they can see across 16,000 clients around the world.



Today on This Week Health.

We're seeing an increase in activity and a lot of this has been reported in the news or that you've seen it in other ways, even prior to the start of the conflict but the Russians were really using Ukraine as kind of a hacking lab, and were just knocking the daylights out of them in preparation for the invasion. One of the things we always worry about at CrowdStrike in cybersecurity in general is that when you get into a situation like that, that one of those pieces of work that they do breaks out of that lab and affects the rest of the world.

It's Newsday. My name is Bill Russell. I'm a former CIO for a 16 hospital system and creator of This Week Health, 📍 a channel dedicated to keeping health IT staff current and engaged. Special thanks to CrowdStrike, Proofpoint, Clearsense, MEDITECH, Cedars-Sinai Accelerator, Talkdesk and DrFirst who are our Newsday show sponsors for investing in our mission to develop the next generation of health 📍 leaders.

It's Newsday. And today we have a special episode. We have Drex DeFord with CrowdStrike on the line, and we're going to do this in a Brady bunch format. We usually just do whoever's talking gets the screen and the reason we're doing rainy bunch, at least for the start of the show is we have Holly Russell who is my daughter and my camera person and my social media person who was also at the ViVE event. And we're going to spend the first 10, 15 minutes talking about the event. I think it's the news, ? It's what people want to know about. And then we're going to talk a little cybersecurity. We might hit a couple of other topics, but we're going to start at the conference. Drex and Holly. Welcome to the show.

Thanks. I'm always happy to be here. I love hanging out with you guys.

It was fun. It's always fun to have to hang out with Holly at these events. It's interesting cause you, you get another side of the CIOs who are talking to her. And they talked to her, they asked, you know about things, then they talk about their kids and I'm like I've talked to these people for the last five years.

I didn't know they had three kids and I didn't know. So just, just great conversations. Let's start with the basic first impressions of ViVE. Holly, we're gonna, we're gonna give you the floor. First impressions of ViVE. New conference never been done before. What, what are your first impressions?

, it was very unique for me because I've never actually been to a HLTH conference. And so to have CHIME and HLTH partner together, to be able to see HLTH's, I mean, we talked about their marketing constantly. Like it, it was a pretty conference. It looked good.

Who cares what was happening? You took a picture and everybody was like, what was happening there? Graffiti. Yeah, for sure. I mean, it was very cool. That is the best word. I mean, I posted on Twitter, a picture from the first night of a girl in a bubble in a pool dressed in glow sticks dancing. And I got a 5,000 hits on that tweet. I mean, I have 40 followers on Twitter. So that tells you the, like the cool factor.

Yeah, she didn't post that on This Week Health. She posted that on her personal and people were like, oh my gosh, that's, that's amazing. That first night there was a lot of that you were looking at. There was a guy who looked like a peacock who had like the whole light thing going. From that to the individual graphics of each of the speakers, . HLTH has a Holly actually found this out, they have a full-time animator, on their staff that does all that stuff.

And Holly, did I hear this ? I'm pretty sure I heard one of the speakers say something about, they were going to turn all those images into NFTs at the end of the show.

I did not hear that, but that's smart.

So those will go up for sale and that that's another interesting kind of angle on all this.

HLTH knows how to run a conference.

Yeah. There's a little bit of this, look it was first time for this conference and so there's some bumps and bruises that go along, but it definitely was a beautiful show, . From just walking in and like wow factor. It was a lot of cool stuff going on. . But I feel like with the structure of the conference was very much the structure of every other conference, . It was an opening keynote and then there were breakout sessions and then there was a mid day motivational speaker or something, and then there were breakout sessions and then there was like a closing keynote.

And then there was a reception at the end of the day. If those are the traditional conference monkey bars that we play on at every conference. And it doesn't matter if you're going to the pineapple conference or the truck conference or the whatever healthcare conference, they always kind of structured the same.

I feel like we took this nice, really beautiful blanket and we just draped it across those monkey bars. And that feels weird to me. . I feel like there's gotta be a new model for these conferences. Because it is, there are so many great stories. Digital health is amazing. The startup group, the way the floor was laid out, there was, everybody was the same size.

There was no show off booths, all of that kind of stuff. Like that was all I thought very impressed really made me want to talk to everybody in all the boosts, because there was no intimidation factor there, but we've got to come up with some other way to like restructure the monkey bars part of this so that it actually sort of suits the rest of the cool conference. But, but I mean, I think it went really, really well.

All . So your first impressions were a nice dress on the same prom date. I don't know. I don't know what the analogy is.

I don't think we can use that one though.

I, and I understand what you're saying. Going off of what you both talked about, the conference look good. The energy was good. The speakers were the speakers we want to hear from. And there was a notch above you would hear from people who are doing things really adjacent and close to healthcare, as well as people who are in healthcare. So you heard from some health system CEOs. But you also heard from some startups that are actually making a dent.

You heard generally health systems tied to startups, talking about how those startups are doing things within their health systems. So the, the general sessions were interesting and I have to confess, I only went to a couple, but they were, they were interesting and they were engaging. And so that was, that was good.

I think Drex here's where I'm going to agree with you. CHIME tried to keep the CHIME spring forum format. And all of it. I mean, the focus groups, the morning session, the breakout, all that stuff. They tried to keep all of that intact while a another conference was going on adjacent to it. And the thing is, it was probably over-scheduled.

Yeah. There was a lot of conflict, ? You had to make decisions.

Yeah. Well, I mean, I had to make decisions at HIMSS as well, always. But this was different. Things were competing with the general session. I don't think things should compete with the general.

At least HIMSS does that. Well, I mean, there's, there's certain times where it's like, hey, you should all make your way to this spot here at this time because whoever's going to speak. Hillary Clinton's going to speak, Michael Phelps is going to speak. So you have, you have that aspect. I think it was over-scheduled. I hosted you hosted a focus group. And the focus groups are interesting to me. I don't know if you can say anything negative about them because you're a, a CHIME foundation member. So I'll save you from that. But it's interesting cause we had let's see, at least I'd say nine people signed up and only six people showed up.

Now another person walked in the room, but generally, I think that's nine and six. I don't know if that's the norm, and that's what we should expect that at least six of the people aren't going to show up. But back when I was attending them, that felt about , like 25% of the people didn't show up. I don't know. It's I think people still like the focus groups.

Yeah. I mean I had, sounds like I'm bragging on myself, but you know, one of the folks who were in our focus group told me after the fact that like, of all the things that they went to, that was probably the thing that they enjoyed the most.

Now I run my focus groups, like group therapy sessions, because I know having been a CIO for 30 years, that what people really want as much as anything. I always love focus groups, especially when they were just, if the, if the sponsor of the focus group would just actually put something on the table and then stand back out of the way and let us have our own knock-down, drag-out fight our own therapy session.

That those were the best ones. I learned from other people in the room and like came up with ideas that I should do when I get home. And so that was like a really practical piece of the event, as opposed to a lot of the keynotes which are very idealistic and motivated, but they don't give me a thing to go do.

. They just make me think big thoughts. And so I think the focus groups are great and even if they were smaller and I think ours was a little smaller too probably 25% or so of our folks didn't show up. But we had, we had started a great conversation.

Of course this is after two years of not being together for some of these people, they needed that therapy and some of them just needed to vent with other people who understood and were in the same room for the first time.

Yeah. For sure. Misery loves company or whatever, the analogy 📍 📍

We'll get to our show in just a minute. As you've probably heard, we've launched a new show TownHall on our Community channel. This Week Health community. And it airs on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I'll be taking a back seat to some of these people who are on the front lines. TownHall is hosted by an array of talented healthcare leaders who are facing today's challenges head-on. We're going to hear from professionals and their networks on hot button issues, technical deep dives, and the tactical challenges that healthcare faces. We have some great hosts on this. We have Charles Boicey and Angelique Russell, Data Scientist, Craig richard v ille, Lee Milligan, Reid, Stephan, who are all CIOs. We have Jake Lancaster and Brett Oliver who are CMIOs and Matt Sickles, a Cybersecurity first responder. I'd love to have you listen to these episodes. You can subscribe on our Community channel. This Week Health Community, wherever you find and listen to podcasts. Now let's get to the show. 📍 📍

Holly you went to a session. What sessions did you go to and what were your thoughts.

I actually got to attend the Mediant health league of women series for CHIME members, which I'm not actually a CHIME member, but I have some friends at CHIME.

So they were nice enough to let me in. A little humble brag. But it was really cool because one of the things that also happened this week that most people know about it is a women's history month is happening. And then international women's day happened as well. And so it was just a chance to hear, they started by just talking about history and who are your idols in women history. And we got to hear from Heather Nelson, who is the CIO for Boston children's. Karen Marie Wilding who's the Chief Value officer from Nemours children's health. And then Theresa Meadows, who is from Cook's Childrens, the CIO. And it was really interesting to hear from each of them, not only their inspiration, but also we got a little bit into their background.

And for me as someone who's relatively new to the healthcare industry, and I'm still relatively young and figuring out what I want to do with my life. It's very inspirational for me to sit there and hear from Theresa Meadows who was doing one thing over here and you're like,

how did you end up, I mean, she's a nurse. How did she end up? And hearing some of her story of how she just kind of was like, I'm gonna go get this and really jumped into the world of information technology with no intention of going into it and but even people like Sarah Richardson is another one who her background is crazy, where I'm sitting there I'm like yeah. I have a background as a manager in retail. I have a background in makeup and special effects. I have a background of biblical history but I'm really excited for health IT and see myself with dreams of that as my career in the future. And so it was really cool to sit and see these women speak and be like, I could be one of those women.

And it was also just amazing to be in the room and to be counted among them as a peer. I was just phenomenal as well. And then also I got to see Grace Vinton who is HIT with Grace on Twitter. She's just a health IT influencer at this point. So I was fan girling a little bit. I got a selfie with her and so it was just cool for me to see these women being awesome.

Yeah. Hi T with Grace. I think is what she calls it. Yeah. Yeah, it was for me as a father, I was. I was so excited for the fact that she's sitting at the table with with Donna Roach and, and and Sarah Richardson and Tressa Springmann. It sounds like this is great and they're all sitting around and they're excited to talk to her and share, and then she gets to listen to I'm like, this is, fantastic.

And that's, that's the kind of thing that the members of CHIME do well is they bring people together and they adopt them and say, hey how can I help? How can I push things forward?

Very much that fraternity sorority feeling CHIME has always been for me a critical part of it. The realization that when I had a problem, I could always send an email to like 20 people. And like 19 of them are going to answer away. They just want to help each other lift each other up so.

When people hear that, they think, oh, they responded to you cause you're Drex. But no,

They would when I was a nobody, I would send 20 emails out and I would still get 19 replies cause I was, I was in, I was a CHIME member, so yeah. Yeah.

And I, and my experience was the same thing. When I first came into healthcare, I was like who do I go? And they're like, well, just ask these people. I'm like their competitors. They're like, nah, you're not thinking about this. . I'm like, all , I'll give it a try and see what happens.

And everybody got back to me. I'm like, wow, it's just amazing. I'll tell you the other thing I heard that was very positive was the speed dating. Hosted buyers, the 15 minute meetings with the vendors. I think this actually took away from the booth traffic, to be honest with you because you could go into that hosted buyer program and sit down and have a 15 minute conversation with somebody, get the gist of what they're doing.

And there was a, like a start and a stop. . So what we traditionally have to do at, at some conferences is go booth to booth, figure out what they're doing, ask some questions, and then it's hard to get out of there.

You have to tear yourself away.

Yeah. And so interesting model. HLTH has been doing this by the way, since the start. And that's one of their, that's one of their trademarks and it was a pretty well thought out program. I heard from both sides, I heard from the vendor side that they liked it. They got to meet people and have meaningful conversations. And they were able to put the executive at the table. And I heard from the health systems that they liked it as well because of the structure. The structure made it make it, made it easier. To be honest with you, what, what, what would you guess 4,000 people? 3000 people? 5,000?

I would probably guess around 5,000 and I mean, obviously not in the CHIME, all in CHIME the CHIME track, but I mean just overall the conference. Yeah. Around 5,000, I think they were registered up around Russ Branzell, if I remember they were registered up around 4,500 or something before the conference started. And so that I'm saying 5,000, because that allows for 500 walk-ins on the day of the conference that didn't register in advance. So yes.

So what kind of people did you meet there? I mean, health generally attracts a different crowd than CHIME would. And we saw all of our friends were there. Well, not all of them. We saw some of our friends there. Some will be there next week. And we'll talk about that in a minute here, but so HLTH attracts money, so venture and private equity. Some of the investment arms I saw Aaron Martin, Providence Ventures.

I saw Cedars-Sinai ventures was there. I'm not sure I saw Ascension ventures, but I saw a couple of people from Ascension. So I'm assuming Ascension ventures was there. So the venture arms in the health systems were there as well. You have life sciences there, you have pharma there, you have payers there.

. And when I talked to Russ, one of the things he noted was you know, this is, the reason they like this partnership is we CHIME, we're not going to the HLTH conference. We had a small contingent. There was a couple of CIO's there. Not, not really a lot, but he said HLTH is becoming more cohesive, .

It requires a partnership between all of those players and he liked this partnership to bring all those players into the same room. Did you talk to anybody outside of healthcare that you were like that was an interesting conversation?

I went to the, there were sort of a set of kiosks there that had really early stage startup companies and as an independent consultant, I worked with a lot of startups. And so I really like dig that energy that I get from, from those kinds of people. So I spend a lot of time over there talking to people who just have amazing ideas and the way they think about things and mostly just the energy that they have and the commitment that they have to, the thing that they're working on is really exciting.

So I, I get real charged up over there. I actually had another follow on meeting at breakfast this morning with one of those. And then I saw other folks there too from like Amazon Health. And so there's CVS, ? So there are folks who, and you and I have talked about this on the show bill, but there are folks that we don't think of as traditional healthcare players who were there too who were also making Mainstage presentations and, and having a lot of conversations with with health systems.

So I think that HLTH conference kind of creates the situation where these alliances between. venture firms that are tied to health systems. And venture firms that are on their own too. Cause I saw some of those there. Non-traditional healthcare providers, traditional healthcare providers and all the startups that have all kinds of amazing ideas in a blender for a few days. It's a pretty good way to get the lay of the land in a pretty small amount of space, ?

Yeah. I think we're going to have to call this a successful start. It was a successful foundation to build on moving into Nashville, I think, which is their next conference.

And then they come back to Miami the following year. So I think they have a three-year agreement that they're going to do this, and I think they will learn a ton. Here's the exit question. HIMSS. Predictions for HIMSS. Holly, I've never done this to you. I'm going to put you on the spot. I've done this to you so many times. I'm going to put you on the spot. What do you, how are you thinking about HIMSS? You've been to a HIMSS before. Actually you were at a pretty large HIMSS.

Yeah, I was at the one that was 64,000, which I think was their biggest one.

Yeah. So no one expects it to be anywhere near 64,000. So what, what do you expect this week? Do you have any expectations of this week?

I've started seeing some of the vendors are posting their floor plans for their spots. And so I'm expecting to be blown away by what they can do with their little square.

And they do the two decker thing and aids. I mean, I've already seen images of some of them and their digital images obviously. They're not real yet but I'm expected to be blown away by some of those, because what they can do with a little patch of area in a conference center is crazy. But I think it's, it's going to be interesting.

We'll see a handful of the CIO as we saw this week, but I think I'm going to be surprised by the CIOs that we do see there because they're not the ones that went to ViVE where I kind of expected all the CIOs to be there this week because they have the CHIME connection. But we are starting to hear from some CIOs that are going to be there. So it'll be interesting to see who we get to have conversations with.

I agree. Drex, any, any expectations going into HIMSS or any predictions on this?

I think with the ViVE conference being butted up against it, it definitely takes some of the wind out of their sails because some significant number of executives came to the ViVE conference, and they're not going to go to two conferences back to back just because of the amount of time. The other part that's going to take some wind out of their sales is that there's still a lot of health systems that I talked to that aren't traveling yet. Or they're only traveling for like emergency kinds of things.

So I think that's going to take some numbers out and so HIMSS have these contracts long in advance. They'll have a giant vendor floor. There will be lots of super cool booths. I wonder how many people are ultimately going to be walking around those floors. And if it's going to feel really weird, because there aren't nearly as many people there as Holly, you and I, and Bill are used to seeing when we go to a pre-pandemic HIMSS conference. So Bill, what do you think about numbers? Like what do you, what makes this a successful conference?

So we could, we could try to pretend like we don't know what the numbers are. Are you a sponsor of them or no?

We took a relatively conservative approach this year. And we are going to be in a kiosk in the Medigate booth inside of the cybersecurity pavilion. So we, we took a pretty small footprint just to see what was going to happen.

And that's smart. But the thing is they send out some numbers to the sponsors and I've seen some of those numbers. So I'm sort of cheating here. But I, I will say this 60,000 is not even that no one anywhere sniffing that. . So that was, that was the good old days. That's what we're gonna refer to it as. I'm going to call this thing a success if they get anywhere near 15,000, And the reason I'll call it a success is because I think they're below that now, and it's going to be a stretch for them to get the 15,000.

And if they do, I think you can call it a viable, strong conference. Something to build on going into next year. What I'm afraid for them is that it's gonna be less than 10. And then it becomes hard to call it a success. Here's what I heard. I heard, I only know two CIOs that were at the ViVE event that are going to the HIMS event and they're going to receive an award or to speak, .

They were already committed, but they wanted to go to CHIME to see their peers and to have conversations. So only two. I only know of a handful that are going cause we reached out for interviews that we're going to connect with at the HIMSS conference. And to be honest with you, it was always hard to wrangle the CIO's at the HIMSS conference.

It was easier because you had CHIME before it. And so you could see them all and sort of, they gathered at that moment. I'm not sure that gathering happens. I know last year. They tried to do a CIO event. I don't know if there is one for this year. So very few CIos but what I heard, some of the CIOs saying is we're sending a team.

There's going to be representation from a lot of the health systems that we saw this week but it's not going to be the CIO. It'll be either their staff or it'll be people from their medical community or others. So, I mean, that's, I mean, that's their saving grace. They could sort of carve out something that's a little different than a than ViVE and maybe, maybe make it, I don't know. I, I throw all those things out. Any comments on that?

Oh man, it's, it's so hard to tell what's really gonna happen, but if there's sort of a division of labor like that, I don't know if that's the term, but if you wind up with sort of senior executives going to ViVE and CHIME and you wind up with directors and managers kind of rolling into the HIMSS conference I think that still makes it viable.

I think it doesn't make it a 65,000 person conference maybe ever again, but you know, it definitely there's, there's a model there that I think, that could work, especially if they really focus on practical solutions. The teams that are coming to hands are really there to talk to a lot of vendors because they come preloaded with some specific problems that they're trying to solve, and they want to see what the solution sets are offered by various vendors and that kind of thing. I think it can still be, it could still be a conference that holds.

If you made me CEO of HIMSS tomorrow, I would focus on education. . So it's an education opportunity for every one of your CIOs. I'd still have a real conversation with the CIO and say, Hey, I understand you're going to ViVE. That's great. Why don't you send some of your staff? We have some great breakout sessions and HIMSS has always done that really well. And I'll tell you that felt absent this week at ViVE. That's not what this conference wasn't about education per se. It was about collaboration and networking and that thing. So they have that going for them. The other thing they have going for them and the reason I went to HIMSS all those years for me it was highly efficient. . If I was doing an RFP, I could talk to the senior executives from a lot of companies very quickly. And I could go to my existing vendors. And what I generally did is I had a presentation that I gave them at HIMSS, and I said, all , here's strategically where we're going. Here's how we're thinking. Here's what we're going to need from you in the coming year. So forth. Then we had a short conversation and then I'd go to the next one and do the same thing. So I would give everyone sort of a level set on what we were doing as a health system, so that and again, I could do that in a day and a half, and it was very efficient.

With lots of people, lots of people . Cause they're all there at one place. It makes it super efficient.

Yeah. Again, ViVE did really well. They limited people to a space. It was a, I forget what the size of the space was when it was a very unassuming space that people had was the largest space. Whereas if you walk through some of these things, it's like a baseball field and a stadium and they have bleachers.

I'm lost for a block to get past somebody's booth, as opposed to the ViVE conference where everybody had, like whatever they had a 45 by 45 booth or something, it wasn't.

Yeah. Holly, I would love to have a conversation with you about what this means for marketing teams and marketing budgets. But that is a conversation for another time because those are the people I feel for the most now. Because they had to pick between one of the two and it was very hard decisions. They had Omicron sitting out there too. It's like, oh my gosh, I don't want to tie up whatever. And then I don't want to spend a hundred thousand dollars on two events. I know. Where do I place my bets? That this was a for marketing teams, this was difficult to say the least. Holly, thank you for your time. Really appreciate it.

Yeah thank you. Drex always good to see you.

All , Drex. I want to, I want to talk a little cybersecurity with you in the time we have remaining we have the conflict. If you live in the United States or a war, if you live in the Ukraine that's going on now, and I want to understand from your perspective, are we seeing an increase in activity as a result of this, or is it just the normal level of activity?

We're, we're seeing an increase in activity and a lot of this has been reported in the news, or that you've seen it in, in other ways even prior to the start of the conflict but the Russians were really using Ukraine as kind of a hacking lab, and were just a you know, knocking the daylights out of them in preparation for the invasion. One of the things we always worry about at CrowdStrike in cybersecurity in general is that when you get into a situation like that, that one of those pieces of work that they do breaks out of that lab and affects the rest of the world.

We had ?? a few years ago, and it was kind of from exactly the same sort of thing, where it was a hack in the Ukraine where the malware got out and and took lots and lots of folks down all over the US but, but all over the world too. The other part of this, that winds up being really concerning is that the hackers, the bad guys, the crime syndicates and others have decided that they are going to take sides in all of this.

So this isn't just the Russians against the Ukrainians now. This is the Russians against, in some cases, what feels like the rest of the world when it comes to dark web adversaries who have decided that they're going to, they're going to get involved in this. And so they have, and so we have a lot of unconfirmed reports of things that are happening in Russia.

That may be the result of these adversaries taking out their frustrations on the Russians and on Russian infrastructure. That's another thing that always makes me worry that something's going to break out of that that has unintended consequences. Conflicts always have impacts that were never intended and I'm afraid I always, I that's the thing I worry about, I always worry about and so far so good. I feel like we haven't had a lot of those. I think there's probably more probing and exploration that we see now. I mean, it feels like we have new zero days every day. There's just a lot of things that are sort of coming together to make this a really a tough time for, for cyber security pros.

We even have Russian adversary groups that we know that are in Russia that have decided so for example, e-crime, e-crime syndicates who are based in Russia, but have decided that they are not going to take Russian side. So even those groups in some cases are splintering apart.

It makes for a lot of chaos, ? So in a world where it's already hard to figure it out and manage your protections as best as you can. We have a really interesting situation in the world now that for at least the near term is going to make it even tougher.

Yeah, this isn't simple. It's not simple. There's probably Russian families that are divided. I think we look at it from afar ansd think oh, they're a unified country thinking the same way. But my guess is you have households divided. You can even have Russian crime syndicates. They like to make money. I don't know, maybe they can make money during war, but they were doing pretty well prior to that with ransomware. We saw some instances of, I might get this wrong, but wiperware is that what it's called?

Yeah. That may look a lot like ransomware, but actually it's just intended to just break your machine.

Yeah. It's just, it's just, I mean, the intention is destruction not money. And the crime syndicates have to be looking at that going well, that doesn't do us any good.

I mean, that's that's like a waste of a waste of a hack from their perspective. They ruined the economy that they, they lived in. Talk to me about health systems So you work with health systems every day. They seem to be on a heightened. They are absolutely on a heightened state of alert. I didn't want to make it sound like they weren't. I saw one CISO at the event and it really looked like he had been in a dark hole for the last six months. I mean, seriously, looked completely wiped. And I, I was actually kind of surprised he was there and and he essentially told me, he goes, this has been the hardest six months of my life.

Cause I'm trying to secure this X number of hospitals. And it's been a bunch of travel. It's been a bunch of on high alerts. So you're, you're doing more like huddles every day. So the pandemic, we were doing huddles because we were responding to things very rapidly. He goes, security has been in that mode for almost two years now.

Yeah. A lot of burnout.

A lot of burnout and not enough staff to cover it. I guess from a health system standpoint, what are you hearing and what are best practices? I mean, they have to be concerned about burnout. They have to be concerned also about getting hacked.

Yeah. I am lucky enough to be able to talk to CISOs and CIOs every day. And there's a lot, as I said, a lot of burnout in the teams now. They feel like it is relentless and they see no light at the end of the tunnel. For a lot of them, like you said, they have been in this mode since the beginning of the pandemic, they'd done black backflips to support the mission. They skirted around their own policies to be able to get things done and then had to go back and sort of recover from those things. And then there, there are just zero day announcements every day. Some of them are really critical, like stop everything that you're doing and go patch your stuff now.

That means I have to work really closely with the IT operations team. The CTO and others in health systems to stop what they're doing so that they can take care of cyber security, patching, and other sorts of things. I mean, we have a tool called Expert.AI that actually looks at all of the zero days as they come out and because of the way that we're built in the cloud, and we can see across 16,000 clients around the world, we can see where particular kinds of exploits are being tried. And so we can use that expert AI capability to be able to actually tell teams like, These are the ones you really need to focus on because people are actually trying to do something with that, as opposed to somebody zero days that are there an interesting, but aren't necessarily being exploited yet.

So this is just in the spirit of like everything can't be an emergency, but everything feels like it's an emergency now. What are we going to do to help those teams prioritize their work and maybe take some pressure off. We definitely want to do. The other best practice I think is just ask for help.

Work with your leadership, work with your board. It is hard to build all of the capabilities that you need to build inside of a health system today. So ask for help. In our case, it would be us coming with something like Falcon, complete taking the whole enterprise detection and response capability for end points off your hand so you can work on all the other stuff that you need to work on. But asking for help, I don't necessarily mean like with your cybersecurity vendors, but from all your vendors and back to our earlier conversation about all those folks in CHIME and other organizations you can belong to. Ask for help from them too.

There's a lot of experience out there. You don't have to do it all by yourself. And yeah, again, kind of in the group therapy, misery loves company. Asking for help from friends will make the big difference.

That's great, great counseling from years of, experience and wisdom. I noticed you're in a hotel, so this, yeah this back-to-back conference thing is not not easy for, for people is it?

Well, no, I mean, I think this is part of the reason that you're going to see some change in attendance to the HIMSS conference. And certainly we don't think if you're in a health system, you probably don't spend a lot of time thinking about your vendor partners also being put under a lot of pressure. Not only from a cybersecurity perspective and making sure that those vendors are secure and doing all the things that they need to do. Remember they've got teams too, and they're trying to protect products and IP, their teams are also working over time. They're doing a lot of the same things that they're doing that that health systems are doing.

And because you're so interconnected with many of those vendors, they're trying to prevent a breach that would cause you to have to report. . So think about your vendor partners too, and where they're at, but when it comes to the kind of these two week conferences yeah, for us going from one conference to the next, I mean, I live in Seattle, I flew to Miami for the ViVE conference.

I'm just going to stay over a couple extra days and then rent a car and drive to Orlando because it was way better than spending six hours on the flight back and then six hours flying back out here. It just didn't make any sense. . And there are a lot of folks who are in that situation. Anytime the conferences are in the corner of the country, somewhere, somebody falls into that same bucket that I'm in this time.

Yeah. I was talking to somebody and they said at the time the decision was made, Omicron was still pretty prevalent. And their headquarters is in a very conservative part of the country and their leadership decided, Hey, we're not going to participate in either of the conferences.

And you can understand how that, how that happened, how that decision was made. But I talked to another vendor and they're like, Hey, our sales team is really struggling. I'm like tell me about it. I mean, what's the challenge? They said there's no office to go to place to go to so you say, Hey we want you to do this.

They have to really rethink how they interact with some of their partners. And now for those who are already connected there's sales organizations where you have existing clients and whatever, and you can just keep working with them. But there's others that are saying, Hey, we hired some people and said, yeah, here's your target clients.

And they're like, they're burning out really quick cause they can't get into any of them. Because there's nothing to, nothing to hang on to. I mean, you and I can pick up the phone and call 20 to 30 people tomorrow. But you know, somebody coming out of college, who's saying, yeah, I want to make a go of it signs on with CrowdStrike. They're gonna have to rely on you pretty heavy to get in to talk to anybody.

I mean when you think about the way sales organizations are mostly designed and a lot of this is just experience that I've had at CrowdStrike. You have sort of sales development reps who are the just out of college, have a marketing degree or a sales degree, and they get a bunch of names and phone numbers and they're they're just dialing, they're just trying to get through to somebody. Then you sort of have another tier of a real solution managers, . Sales managers, who are assigned to specific clients and they, they work with them. And so, and then you have sort of like the management part of the team.

But it's, interesting. Salespeople are very social animals by their nature. And so they like to be out there. They like to be out there. They like to go to conferences. They like to go to dinners. They like to they like to be on, they don't call it carrying a bag for nothing.

. They, they like to go out and visit clients and visit prospects and and get things done. And so having them them locked down for a couple of years has really I think changed the model for a lot of them. We've been fortunate enough to be incredibly successful over the course of the pandemic, but a lot of that is certainly tied to the space that we're in and the volume of crime, e-crime, that, and other things that have sort of happened over the last couple of years, but our sales teams have been very successful with it.

It doesn't mean they're not chomping at the bit to go. So I think as the variance, hopefully sort of slide out and the pandemic is certainly not over, but it starting to feel like there's some fade to it. I think you'll see more people go to more conferences. So this, you'll see more people on the road. And all that I'm looking forward to it. But I know that a lot of our sales team folks, not just at CrowdStrike, but kind of across the board are looking forward to packing their bag and getting back out on the road again.

Absolutely. I always keep an eye on the CrowdStrike stock price and I don't know what happened, but it went up a lot today so.

We've had our earnings call. Thank you. We had an earnings call yesterday and we did really well. I mean, it's been a great spent a great time for me to be at CrowdStrike and to come to CrowdStrike. I was an independent consultant that worked with CrowdStrike before I actually joined the team about a year ago.

And realistically I showed up to a bonfire that was already burning and I just had maybe some extra gasoline to throw on the bonfire. The product. I mean, now I'm very salesy, . But I don't mean to be. I love the product. I love the way it works. I like the way that it's just easy to use and fast to deploy and all those kinds of things. And so I think that's where customers love to.

We're wired the same way. It's like, if somebody goes, Hey, I got this great job. I'm gonna pay you a lot of money. And you look at the product and you go yeah, no, I'm not going to rep that.

As an independent consultant, in the beginning, when they first explained to me how CrowdStrike worked, how, how the product works, the Falcon sensor and thread graph built in the cloud and all of that. And I mean, at the beginning I was super skeptical.

I was like, this has to be just a bunch of marketing stuff. But the more I got into it and then started talking to customers, healthcare customers and banking customers and others who are using. And they were just like, yes. So I became a believer pretty quickly, and I feel like we've got momentum now. A lot of people don't ask us who CrowdStrike is anymore. . We're having a whole different conversation.

And I've not met a disgruntled CrowdStrike customer yet. So they are all referenceable. It is really kind of interesting. I have no problem when I say I've, I've heard CrowdStrike's really good.

And somebody in the room will say oh yeah, CrowdStrike's is amazing. Very, very low overhead across your network and whatnot. And thing you get back is just exceptional. And now you have the complete package, which is. We, we outsourced it, it's a form of outsourcing and we outsource our, our detect and respond pretty, pretty early on in my tenure at St. Joe's because we just couldn't hire the people.

That's all we see. I mean the people problem is a big part of the issue now, and it's not just the people problem, but even if you can hire them be of the level of expertise that you need to do. Some of the things that I know our key team can do is pretty drastic. And so we don't really think of it as outsourcing. We think of as just sort of like taking this thing that we're really good at, and maybe they're not, and we just sort of augment their team so that their team can go do all the other things.

I mean cybersecurity, those teams have so much stuff tro do. So unbelievable. Much stuff to do that if you can take something off their plate, it's a good thing for all of us.

Well, Drex, we will see each other on Monday. Looking forward to it.

What a great discussion. If you know someone that might benefit from our channel, from these kinds of discussions, please forward them a note, perhaps your team, your staff. I know if I were a CIO today, I would have every one of my team members listening to show just like this one. It's conference level value every week. They can subscribe on our website They can also subscribe wherever they listen to podcasts. Apple, Google, Overcast. You get the picture. We are everywhere. Go ahead. Subscribe today. We want to thank our news day sponsors who are investing in our mission to develop the next generation of health leaders. Those are CrowdStrike, Proofpoint, 📍 Clearsense, MEDITECH, Cedars-Sinai Accelerator, Talkdesk and DrFirst. Thanks for listening. That's all for now.


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