For Joseph C. Nelson, CPP, a self-described “lifelong learner,” the achievement of his Certified Protection Professional credential seemed a natural progression in his security management career. “Being a CPP has kept me seeking not only to learn more but to contribute more,” says Nelson, who earned his CPP designation in 1990.
Unlike many security management professionals working in the field today, Nelson began his career while a student completing an internship at Northeastern University. His career advanced as he accepted successive roles in security management at several high-tech firms including IBM, Lotus Development, and Digital Equipment Corporation. Prior to accepting his current position as assistant vice president for State Street Corporation, Nelson also served as security director for global security programs for CMGI, Teradyne, and Iron Mountain physical security.
“As a security professional, I have the capacity to make a direct, tangible difference in people’s lives,” observes Nelson. In fact, Nelson fondly reflects on a special ceremony held to recognize the work of his security personnel who saved the life of an employee during a medical emergency. “This moment was the direct result of risk analysis, careful process implementation, and security personnel training.”
The analysis of risk is Nelson’s core area of expertise. A typical day’s work often combines in-house data analysis and organization with field security risk and compliance assessments. Nelson uses multiple governance, risk, and compliance databases, including incident reporting and exception management systems to assess risk for his internal and external clients.
“I work to provide a balanced view of risk and probability,” states Nelson. “Through in-depth analysis and assessment, I am able to define and translate risks so that an organization has the necessary information to develop an overall security plan and to create a solid business case for investment.”
His long-term ASIS membership and board certification have both motivated and sustained Nelson’s quest for new knowledge. That’s key, he says, because “improved knowledge translates to better practices for my organization and our customers."