No Size Fits All

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

But more important than their appearance is their training. “Our officers are full-time firefighters and part-time security officers,” Halvacs says. “I like this model, because the majority of our issues are safety-related events. As in any large and heavily populated location, trips and slip-and-falls all are possible events.”

Staffing security officers with life-safety training bolsters a perception that officers are present not only to deter crime, but to positively assist employees and visitors, helping to maintain the open security balance. “A clear indication that the system works is the fact that I receive thank you e-mails and letters monthly from our employees saying that one of our officers went above and beyond the call of duty to help them, which is a great feeling,” Halvacs says.

Shifting Concerns from Sector to Sector

When a security executive leaves one company to take a new role in another, he or she must learn the mission, goals and culture of the new company in order to appropriately secure its corporate campus. Transitions between business sectors require even more forethought.

Do not be fooled into thinking that corporate campus security concerns will be the same across sectors. While it is true that executives are not often housed with manufacturing, infrastructure or high-risk operational functions, the business of the company will still impact the risks the corporate campus will face. The fact that a chemical company’s global headquarters does not handle hazardous material on site does not mean that eco-terrorists will not target that facility. The fact that a health insurance company does not manage claims at corporate headquarters will not discourage a disgruntled policyholder from threatening damage to corporate offices.

Work with local law enforcement and federal agencies where possible to keep current on the threats to your sector and to your brand, because the name on your building may be the only incentive a criminal needs.

Marleah Blades is senior editor for the Security Executive Council (SEC). Prior to joining the SEC she served for six years as managing editor of Security Technology & Design magazine. The Security Executive Council is a member organization for senior security and risk executives from corporations and government agencies responsible for corporate and/or IT security programs. For more information, visit