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President's Perspective: ASIS 2014

06 October 2014

The 60th Annual ASIS International

Seminar and Exhibits

October President's Perspective Column

by Rich Widup, CPP

There was a lot to take in at the 60th Annual ASIS International Seminar and Exhibits. If you were there—and I hope that you were—you know
that between the great educational sessions, vibrant exhibit floor, and fun networking opportunities, you filled both your brain and your network of new friends, colleagues, and customers. It always takes me a while to assimilate all I learned.

One thing that immediately struck me as I walked through the Georgia World Convention Center was the diversity of the attendees. One young woman I met is head of security for an international charity group with workers in hazardous locations around the world. She comes not from a law enforcement or military background; rather, she has expertise in science as well as human resources, and impressed her organization with her ability to quickly pick up new information and to use her process-rich scientific background to implement what she was learning from other members of ASIS and the CSO Roundtable across her organization.

She attended with a young man who is the chief technology officer of the non-profit group, so that he could take full advantage of the (ISC)² sessions while she attended the ASIS and CSO Roundtable sessions. Then, back at the office, they would compare notes, discuss ways to enhance security across the organization, and exchange new contacts.

I expect that the cross-pollination between the groups will help to enrich all of us, and I know that more ASIS members are starting to attend the (ISC)² sessions—and vice versa. That’s a critical step, because it’s important for everyone in the security space to have a solid understanding of the basics of physical and IT security. Those conversations are starting to happen, and it’s exciting to watch.

There was another interesting trend I heard about at Seminar. Senior security executives are beginning to take on new and important compliance responsibilities. I’ve preached a lot about the importance of developing better business skills, and this new level of responsibility only underscores the need to have a strong understanding of business. It shows that companies recognize security as a vital part of the business and are embracing the notion that security can provide value as well as mitigate risks.

I’d be interested in knowing what trends you noticed at Seminar. This important four-day event isn’t just for education, networking, and learning about new products and services; it’s a time to see what our peers are doing, how they’re evolving, and how the industry is growing. If you have some ideas you’d like to share, please let me know, and I can mention them in future notes.

Thanks for coming to Seminar. It highlights your commitment to being a true professional in the security industry. I hope to see you at other upcoming ASIS events in Singapore, Dubai, and Frankfurt; and of course, in Anaheim next year.

Thanks for all you do.

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