No Size Fits All

Mike Howard, General Manager of Global Security for Microsoft, discusses the challenges of securing a huge corporate campus


A strong, positive relationship with the local police acts as a force multiplier. “We’ve carved out a space for law enforcement so they can come by anytime to use the operations center or to sync with our guard force supervisors,” Howard says. “We encourage police to rove around as part of their usual duty, so that gives security an additional presence.”

Howard also emphasizes the importance of employee buy-in to security requirements. “Over the last three years, we’ve made a big push on security education and awareness,” he says. “And we’ve noticed that the behavior of our employees has really changed. Employees will now challenge someone tailgating behind them through an access point.” Success in such training not only enhances security but empowers employees, which plays right into the culture that Microsoft and Howard work so hard to foster.

Cardinal Health: Careful Control on Open Grounds

The greater Columbus, Ohio, area has become a nesting place for several U.S. companies, including Wendy’s, Limited Brands, Ashland Inc., and Nationwide. But a slightly less recognizable name — Cardinal Health — is actually the largest company in Ohio based on annual revenues of more than $91 billion.

Cardinal Health’s more than 60-acre corporate campus sits in Dublin, on the border of Interstate 270, the outer belt that runs around Columbus. Two large buildings totaling approximately 600,000 square feet house the global headquarters’ 2,600 employees.

Cardinal Health is a two-pronged business. On one hand, it is a manufacturer of clinical and medical devices, including IV pumps, automated medication dispensing equipment, patient identification systems, ventilators, gloves and gowns. The other side of the business is healthcare supply chain services, providing pharmaceutical and medical product distribution to retail pharmacies, hospitals, physician offices and surgeries. The company states that one-third of all distributed pharmaceutical, laboratory and medical products flow through the Cardinal Health supply chain.

Corporate headquarters does not face the same challenges as Cardinal Health’s distribution centers and manufacturing facilities, says Greg Halvacs, the company’s CSO. “Although our number-one priority is safeguarding our employees, our mission is a little different in that we focus more of our attention at headquarters on intellectual property, customer information and privacy matters.

Halvacs notes that one of the senior management once told him that headquarters felt like Fort Knox. Halvacs replied, “If that’s your perception, that’s great.” While an open and friendly campus environment is important to Cardinal Health, it’s equally important that employees, executives and visitors recognize a strong security presence. “We pride ourselves on the fact that we are customer service-oriented, yet we can address any security-related issue that may arise,” Halvacs says.

Cardinal Health’s campus isn’t surrounded by fences, but the highway and the also-bordering Emerald Parkway provide a sort of natural barrier. All facility entrances are carefully controlled, Halvacs notes.

“We have cameras and a control center,” Halvacs says, “and we also have electronic turnstiles that require everyone entering through the lobby to card-in. This means everyone in the facility has to be authorized before they are granted access. On many campuses, you’re allowed to walk up and show a badge to a guard or receptionist, but how can they know if that badge is activated or even authentic? With turnstiles, we have positive ID of everyone coming into our space through a central point.”

In addition, Halvacs says, “no one can drive onto the property without being greeted by a security officer.” There are guard gates at all vehicle entrances, and visitors must sign in and head to the main lobby, where they are entered into a visitor system and greeted by an escort before being allowed into the facility.

The Cardinal Health security officers have a soft but professional look that is designed to blend well into the corporate culture. Security officers are provided a mix-and-match wardrobe — sweater vest, polo, long-sleeve shirt — that gives them the authority and continuity of the Security logo without the hard appearance of uniforms.