Forescout – Cybersecurity Woman of the Year, Ellen Sundra

Additional Info

Job title of nominated professional (or team name)Chief Customer Officer
Company (where nominated professional or team is working)Forescout
Company size (employees)1,000 to 4,999
CountryUnited States
Headquarters RegionNorth America


Ellen’s primary role as Chief Customer Officer is to help improve the security of enterprise organizations’ networks. As such, she works on the ground with customers to obtain feedback from them directly, which has been critical for her in helping address and improve the security of systems and networks in government, commercial and critical infrastructure-focused organizations worldwide.

Using lessons learned from meeting with Forescout customers, Ellen and her team developed best practices to improve their work with customers and support the larger cybersecurity community. These practices involve educating and providing optimal guidance to customers on how they can mitigate risks brought on by the billions of network-connected devices, including IoT and operational technology (OT). As a result of these initiatives, Ellen and her team improved the customer journey process and customer service satisfaction score (CSAT) by 10% within two quarters.

As a woman in a male-dominated space, Ellen knows the value her viewpoints and strategies bring to the table as a result of thinking differently than many of her managerial peers. She has this same mindset when building successful teams at Forescout, which led to her promotion into management. Ellen’s awareness that unique skills and perspectives enable different people to thrive in different roles positively shapes Forescout’s workplace environment.

Ellen is an exemplary role model for women looking to join the cybersecurity community because she cares deeply about the industry and individual success of women within the field. Ellen is a continual learner and extremely supportive of other women in cybersecurity. As such, whenever there’s an opportunity for her to attend a session at a conference led by another female in the field, Ellen provides support. Her personal and professional influence is one that will continue to impact and progress the world of cybersecurity and technology as a whole.



-Ellen’s leadership mindset empowers her team to become comfortable in who they are. She believes the first step to succeeding as a woman in the cybersecurity field is by recognizing individualism and not conforming to others’ leadership styles. When Forescout first created its Women’s Network, Ellen was quick to advocate for the group– encouraging her colleagues, including her male teammates, to join the network and support women in the space. Similarly, Ellen seeks out strong female candidates for her team and Forescout’s internship program. She enjoys working with and mentoring younger professionals and sharing her experience with them as they grow in their careers. When working with others in the field, Ellen helps build confidence in areas such communication and presentation–critical skills in cybersecurity when relaying complex information to larger audiences.

-What sets Ellen apart from other CCOs is the role she plays in supporting the entire technical journey of Forescout’s customers. Whereas other CCOs play only a small part in the customer journey, Ellen understands the importance of leaders participating in the entire process and in educating customers from the beginning of the sales cycle. Her collaborative leadership style allows her to support customers throughout their buying journey and ensure they have the right training to solve their cybersecurity problems in the best manner possible. This even includes working with her stakeholders and customers to help them feel comfortable with technical concepts.

- Ellen and her team improved the customer journey process and customer service satisfaction score (CSAT) by 10% within two quarters. Through completely revamping their service offerings and establishing customer onboarding packages, Ellen and team improved new customer time-to-value (onboarding process) from 9+ months to under three months. Forescout’s Gross Dollar Retention (GDR) of 94%, further exemplifies the rate in which customers value their offerings and services.