From Feb. 6-8, the SecurityInfoWatch.com team, along with representatives of our sister publications Security Technology & Design and Security Dealer, attended the SIA-organized Corporate Security Roundtable held at the Omni Hotel in beautiful (but not sunny) San Diego.
The event mixed integrators, end users and manufacturers in a small conference that created real discussion of the top trends affecting corporate security today, from the role of IT in security, to convergence between physical and information security departments, to new technology in digital surveillance, and return on investment.
The conference kicked off on Monday morning -- after a social function surrounding the Super Bowl the night before -- with a presentation from keynote speaker Greg Akers, senior vice president and chief technology officer for Cisco Systems. Aker's speech set the tone for the next two days, creating a dialog about where physical security meets cyber security. Other highlights included Tuesday's presentation from Francis D'Addario, who heads up Starbucks Coffee Company's security and loss prevention operations. D'Addario's presentation on how Starbucks was creating ROI from its security operations was inspiring (they've had some dramatic successes) and his ability to link quality assurance to supply chain security demonstrates the kinds of partnerships that all security departments will need to implement in the future.
Other hotly discussed sections included the Open Space Forum, which created collaborative discussions on the different needs of the industry, pulling end users, integrator/dealers and manufacturers into small group discussions to help each group become aware of the needs each had in security.
Intel's Allen Rude was another of the conference's most valuable participants, discussing how Intel created an integrated, global security system using IP networks. From how to handle video over the network to archiving of alarm and video data, to dealing with "last day at office" scenarios, Rude and his team have implemented a state-of-the-art system that most security directors and integrators could only dream about. Based on the experiences his team had in creating an advanced system, and having faced the challenges of networking devices that operate on different platforms, Rude also reminded the audience of the importance that standards will play in the security industry. It's safe to say that if Intel's highly technical, IT and electronics savvy staff had challenges with standards and open access, we can only imagine what the rest of the industry is facing.
These highlighted presentations only touch the surface of the gravity of discussion and information available at the Corporate Security Roundtable; be assured that all of the sessions served as a valuable education experience for those attending.
POTENT QUOTES from the 2005 Corporate Security Roundtable
"Security starts with the CEO, down to the individual contributor level ... It's mandatory." --Greg Akers quoting Cisco Systems President/CEO John Chambers
"The cyber world and the physical world are intertwined and we cannot think of them separately." --Greg Akers, Cisco Systems
"In a good integrated system, security systems have to add value to the business element." --Ben Butchko, former senior security engineer with Exxon, now president of Butchko Security Solutions
"There is no such thing as 'security through obscurity' in the world of cyber crime." --Patrick Gray, director of X-force Operations for Internet Security Systems (ISS)
"Compliance and protection are not the same thing." --David Furnas, former senior enterprise security engineer for Delta Dental of California, now a security consultant
"Plug-n-play can ruin [manufacturers'] margins." --John Sullivan, managing partner, Alphapoint
"Service will determine who can survive." Mark Scaparro, HID Corporation
"Open standards will prevail, but eventually, because of open access, customers are going to choose full network solutions." --William Crowell, security consultant and former deputy director of the National Security Agency (NSA)
"We will still have homicides. We will still have losses. We will still have events and incidents beyond our control." --Francis D'Addario, Starbucks Coffee Company, commenting on the limits of security success