Security Executive Council launches research arm

The Security Executive Council announced this week that it will be launching its own research wing, the Security Leadership Research Institute, which will focus on providing independent research on a variety of topics that effect security chiefs.

According to Kathleen Kotwica, executive vice president and chief knowledge strategist with the SEC, the council decided to formally develop a research arm due to the volume of questions the organization receives from security practitioners regarding various challenges they face.

“We decided we really needed to develop a research arm of the council,” she said. “The council does research all the time, but we wanted to devote some energy around some (of these questions) and to do that we had to open up opportunities beyond our current membership.”

Kotwica added that while there is some good research being done with regards to many contemporary security challenges, much of it is either hard to find or is mostly unhelpful to security executives.

“We’re doing a lot of reinventing the wheel as far as cataloging what security is and what people are doing,” Kotwica said. “This whole initiative is to help security practitioners.”

Among some of the topics to be covered by the SLRI include risk analysis, identification and mitigation, resiliency, cyber defense, and other core security disciplines, according to Lynn Mattice, chairman of the SEC board of advisors.

Kotwica said that security executives that want to join the SLRI can do so currently free of charge. SLRI members, who are required to meet certain qualifications and participate in a certain number of surveys, will receive the results of research of which they were a part.

SLRI research will be made available to SEC members and some of the research will also be published by the SEC through its Leadership store, but for a charge due to the amount of work involved, according to Kotwica. Some research results will also be made available to the public though executive summaries.

Mattice added that the SEC will only be doing endowed research and not sponsored research, due to the varying effects sponsored research tends to have on results.

“We won’t take sponsored research because we think that from what we’ve seen, there is a high risk of sponsored research only trying to validate the outcome that they (want) to validate. Whereas, in endowed research, the results are the results,” he said.

For more information about the SLRI, visit