Challenges and Trends: Security Management Gathered Five Leading Security Professionals Together Earlier This Year to Discuss Challenges and Trends in the Industry. Their Responses Illuminate the Difficult Task Faced by Security Professionals Adapting to a Rapidly Changing Environment

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SM: Thank you all for joining us for the Security Management Executive Roundtable. Let's talk first about challenges facing you as a security professional. What's the biggest challenge you face, and in that context, you may also want to talk about the challenges facing your company and its business sector and how those affect the security agenda.

CHAD CALLAGHAN: Marriott International is in 73 different countries. We have been the target of terrorism on three different occasions, yet we still have to maintain a very friendly, open customer environment, so we're constantly looking at where the bar is between security and an open environment.

GEOFF CRAIGHEAD: Speaking as a contractor with Securitas, one of the biggest challenges to our business is providing professional security services while responding to the corporate need to improve profits and lower contractor costs.

KEVIN O'BRIEN: For our corporate security department, one of the challenges facing us is keeping our goals in lockstep with the business goals. We're a global organization as well, and how do you maintain access around the world where there are different local laws or local accepted customs?

What we find challenging in the banking and the financial world is compliance with the government and regulatory issues with suspicious activity reports. Banking has always been heavily regulated anyway, but it is now on the forefront.

REGIS BECKER: One of the interesting dilemmas that we're facing in manufacturing is the prospect of more security regulation specific to our industry. And I'm somewhat conflicted personally because from a professional standpoint, anytime you are a regulated industry, it is almost job security. It means growth in your profession. It means more people because you have to comply with the regulatory environment. But from my company's and my clients' standpoints, it is not a good thing. So that's one of the sort of internal conflicts and challenges that I'm looking at this year.

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SM: What are the most significant trends that you see shaping the security field?

LEON CHLIMPER: We're seeing a major shift in physical security from a manufacturing standpoint. Whereas before we were protecting assets, now we're protecting the businesses, and that requires a deeper understanding of what the business is. Physical protection is no longer just about assets--it's about protecting the continuity of the business.

CALLAGHAN: In Marriott's world, I think the emergence of crisis management and business continuity and the interfacing of that with safety and security is the most significant trend that we've seen. Obviously, in the past year, there has been a tremendous amount of turmoil around the world, and we've learned that, in the open environment that we're in, really the only way to thrive through those situations is to have good planning in place and good recovery in place as well.

CRAIGHEAD: I agree. It's contingency planning; it's the whole enterprise. Secondly, I'm seeing more market specialization. This is particularly so in the industries that are becoming more regulated by the government; we, as contractors dealing with these industries, really need to know what we're talking about. Clients are definitely asking for more and they need someone to be talking with them who really understands their business.

And, if I can just mention one other trend; guidelines. There have been six ASIS guidelines written now. There are another three in the works. It is going to be very helpful to the security industry with regard to training in the future.

O'BRIEN: One of the trends that we see in our industry, and it is going to affect everyone at this table and the industry you are involved in, is identity theft, specifically the physical security side. That's because more and more, it's not just about IT security; the data is actually lost when they are trying to get the files or some sort of media from the banks to a government agency or to a storage facility. …