Bernard: The event is about much more than technology. The Security Leadership topics of Day 1 include effectively influencing management and other security stakeholders who are involved in the planning and decision-making that affects security. But it also goes beyond that to take a close look at what “aligning security with the business” really means, as well as how to align the business with security. It has to work in both directions. A natural topic is organizational resilience, which is something that most leading companies have been working to establish, or at least have been closely examining. Years ago resilience efforts were confined to the supply chain. Today business leaders realize that the entire organization can be strengthened in ways that are critical given the impacts of today’s economic and political environments.
Connor: We cover ROI and metrics very specifically, and show real-world examples. Most practitioners don’t get sufficient credit for all that they do. So we look at simple ways to communicate that value. The attendees are accomplished security directors and managers, so there is also a significant information sharing component.
Bernard: “Technology Command” means taking command of — really getting in the driver’s seat on — technology planning, procurement and deployment.
Connor: Many companies restrict security technology purchasing to traditional construction project practices, while IT takes an approach more suited to complex technology, and that approach is really more like what we should be using for our own networked systems. We can’t get the kind of results that we need today by using a decades-old approach to the integrator relationship. It is not only possible but necessary to define and manage security technology projects that run more smoothly and get better results with less time and effort spent in the process.
Q: Why is “Preparation” a part of the GSO 2015 event?
Connor: It is only a two-day event, and we’re covering a lot of ground. So before the event we give the attendees some new ways of looking at their security program and their relationship with the business. These are the perspectives from which we take up the subjects we address in the workshop sessions. It starts some “background thinking” going for the attendees, and gets everyone all on the same page for the start of the event. That helps us to accomplish a lot more in the short time that we have.
Bernard: We also want to hear from the attendees in advance, relating to the various subjects that we’re covering. This lets us gather benchmarking information to share with the group. It also enables us to tailor what we’re doing during the event to really align with the challenges and concerns that the attendees are bringing to the table. That’s why so many of the attendees have said, “This is an event like no other industry event.”
Connor: Many of the attendees have commented that they got a lot of very applicable ideas that they can take back with them to apply right away. That’s the whole idea—to help advance security programs without increasing the burden on the practitioner.
Bernard: This year we also have some session leaders who are past event attendees, who will be explaining their successes in applying the ideas that they got at previous GSO events. It’s a highly interactive event that’s intended to help practitioners take their security programs to a new and easily sustainable level.