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ASIS News for November 2020

GSX+ Breaks New Ground

The concept was daunting at first. How to take Global Security Exchange (GSX), a major security conference held in a bustling convention center full of approximately 20,000 people, and put it into a virtual format that would be enlightening, engaging, and entertaining—all in just a few months’ time.

But the ASIS community rose to the challenge to create GSX+, full of keynote speeches from security leaders, education sessions from subject matter experts, and networking opportunities, with a few celebrity guest appearances thrown in for good measure. And thousands of security professionals from more than 80 countries tuned in.

“The COVID-19 interruption to our event was a significant obstacle to contend with. And I know I can speak for everyone when I say that GSX+ provided security professionals with all the benefits of our regularly scheduled event,” said John Petruzzi, Jr., CPP, president-elect of the ASIS International Global Board of Directors.

GSX+ kicked off with a strong opening keynote by Juan Manuel Santos, former president of Colombia, who helped broker an unprecedented peace deal—a move that earned him the Nobel Peace Prize.

In his remarks, which covered the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent economic impacts, climate change, and more, Santos discussed the need to hold onto hope.

“Never succumb to fear, because fear is the mother of all negative and destructive systems,” Santos said. “And never forget in times of difficulty and uncertainty, like the times we are living, we must find guidance in our values and our principles. They will show us the way. That’s what we did in Colombia to end the last war in the Western Hemisphere with the strongest guerilla.”

ASIS International President Godfried Hendriks, CPP, shared how he was preparing for GSX+ and his admiration for the security community, which has come together as never before during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I have never been more proud to be an ASIS member. Watching how our members came together to share information and insights with one another on a regular basis throughout 2020 is a testament to the power of our network,” Hendriks said. “From the beginning of this pandemic, our network immediately embraced technology that would better connect our members locally, nationally, regionally, and globally. It has been quite inspiring to see firsthand how our network has come together more than ever before.”

On Tuesday, leaders from Solvay Group—a multinational chemical company operating across 60 countries—discussed the long-term effects 2020 may have on the business and how security is playing a role in ensuring the organization’s future preparedness and risk management strategy.

French criminologist and national security expert Alain Bauer also stressed the need to reinvest in security apparatuses to prepare for future threats, including the next pandemic.

Later in the week, retired four-star U.S. Army General Stanley McChrystal shared the leadership lessons he learned when facing al Qaeda in Iraq while he led counterterrorism efforts at the Joint Special Operations Command.

“When we think about leaders creating an organization, what they’re doing is creating an environment or an ecosystem in which the people in the organization—the junior leaders and even the most junior people—can do that which only they can actually do, which is accomplish the mission,” McChrystal said in his keynote address. “It’s a different role for the leader; it’s a little less ego-based…but the reality is it’s the most effective way to build an organization that’s fast and adaptable. It creates leaders that help create more leaders, and leaders that help to create success.”

On Thursday, GSX+ sessions focused on cybersecurity and how innovation is changing the security threat landscape. In her keynote address, Keren Elazari, CISSP, former hacker and security researcher, shared how hackers can act as the immune system for the Internet—encouraging security professionals to address vulnerabilities in their systems.

In a Game Changer session, hacker and Snyk Application Security Advocate Alyssa Miller explained how bad actors can leverage increasingly accessible deep learning neural networks to manipulate media—potentially impacting organizations’ reputations and futures.

GSX 2021 is scheduled to take place 27–29 September 2021 in Orlando, Florida, USA. Find out more about GSX and GSX+ at GSX.org.

ASIS Joins the Resilience Alliance

In September, ASIS International joined Airmic, the Business Continuity Institute (BCI), and the Institute of Workplace and Facilities Management in the creation of the Resilience Alliance—a working partnership to develop and promote resilience around the globe.

With the goal of pooling together the collective specialties of these four member organizations, the Resilience Alliance will address the implications of changes and sudden disruptions, such as those faced by organizations around the world in 2020. The alliance also aims to develop and promote a common understanding of what is meant by the term “resilience.”

The Resilience Alliance will undertake joint communication and thought leadership initiatives, including research projects on resilience best practices that can be adopted by organizations everywhere. Members will be encouraged to share their professional knowledge, supporting collaboration in a complex, connected, and high-velocity world.

The member organizations are collaborating because:

  • Organizational resilience is most effectively delivered when operational and professional silos are broken down.

  • There is no single discipline that can claim to cover all aspects of resilience.

  • Resilience is delivered by multidisciplinary specialists working together towards a common purpose.

  • Risk management, workplace and facilities, security, and business continuity professionals all play a key role in developing resilience.

  • Collaboration by professionals makes good business sense.

“Resilience plays a significant role in the security profession as a whole, particularly as it relates to crisis management and business continuity challenges,” says Peter J. O’Neil, CAE, CEO, ASIS International. “The ability to prepare for and adapt to changing conditions and withstand and recover rapidly from disruptions is a major role of security professionals worldwide. We are excited to join the Resilience Alliance and look forward to developing future tools and resources for our profession (and others) to strengthen organizations across the globe.”

Resilience Alliance leadership will rotate among member organizations on a yearly basis, beginning with the BCI. Stay tuned for Resilience Alliance outputs in the coming months.

ASIS Foundation COVID Support Grants

New grants launched by the ASIS Foundation look to support the professional development of individuals who have been directly impacted by COVID-19.

Beginning in November, the foundation will distribute up to $100,000 in grants, as needed, for security professionals facing hardship due to COVID-19. The funds will support their efforts to renew their ASIS membership or to prepare for an ASIS board certification exam.

Individuals who have experienced financial hardship due to illness or job loss from COVID-19 can apply for a grant by completing the online ASIS Foundation COVID Support Grant application. Learn more at asisfoundation.org.

Supported by generous donations from ASIS members, chapters, and organizations, the ASIS Foundation makes a difference in the security industry through research, grants, and scholarships for security professionals.

Interested in supporting this grant program? All ASIS members are invited to “check the box” and make a tax-deductible contribution to the ASIS Foundation during their membership renewal process. The foundation raised $26,000 during the week of GSX+, with the goal of raising an additional $50,000 by the end of 2020.

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