In 2016, Timothy McCreight, CPP, made two important changes to his résumé. In March, he joined Above Security, A Hitachi Group Company, as director of advisory services. In September, he was elected to the ASIS Board of Directors.
At Above Security, McCreight leads a team of senior information security professionals as they earn positions of trust with clients and help grow their information security programs. He also helps senior executives understand the risks facing their people, property, and information while demonstrating the positive effect a security program can have for their organizations.
A native of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, McCreight began his career in hotel security and then joined the provincial telephone company. Both positions gave him opportunities to learn about physical security, but he never lost interest in computers. Returning to college to study computer programming and network design led to his appointment as chief information security officer for the Government of Alberta. Despite starting Alberta's program from scratch, his team won Best Information Security Team just three years later. "Having exposure to both disciplines provided me with greater insight into concepts such as Enterprise Security Risk Management and the business principles of a holistic security program," he says.
The importance of paying attention to the "people part of security management" was ingrained in McCreight early in his career. During an investigation, he discovered that an employee was siphoning off money earmarked for charity to support a spouse's drug habit. Once exposed, the employee was let go. But McCreight provided the employee with counseling and access to a lawyer, which enabled the employee to start a new life. "I focused on the investigation," McCreight recalls, "but provided hope to someone in a desperate situation."
As an ASIS member, McCreight has taken advantage of opportunities to expand his security industry knowledge by attending and speaking at conferences, assuming leadership positions, and moving onto the ASIS Board. Impressed with colleagues who had attained the Certified Protection Professional© (CPP), McCreight was motivated to pursue his own certification. "Sitting with these security leaders, hearing their stories, and seeing how they gave new members advice and guidance really drove me to start seeking my CPP," which he attained in 2002.
He cautions others seeking the CPP to first ask two questions: Are you ready to commit a lot of personal time to prepare for the exam? And why do you want to attain the CPP? An honest answer to the second question is essential. "Attaining the CPP is not a ticket to a CSO or VP role, and it won't guarantee a raise or promotion," he asserts. Rather, "the CPP demonstrates a commitment to the security profession that you earn—through study, practice, and experience." This commitment also extends to the values and ethics of ASIS, he adds, and "you need to be able to demonstrate your professionalism as a CPP."
McCreight values keeping up with trends facing the security industry and learning how new threats may affect clients. Being a CPP "has given me more focus on the work I do and how I present myself to my organization and my clients.
Profile by Mary Alice Davidson, Principal, Davidson Communications.