Live from GSO 2010

Feb. 14, 2008
Atlanta event for security leaders focuses on professional development, ROI

In the security industry today, making the business case for technology expenditures has become almost as important as the technology itself; and managing risk has become just as important as initially identifying it.

There are many tactics and strategies when it comes to global security management, and security directors and practitioners met on Wednesday in Atlanta to discuss them as part of Global Security Operations 2010 (GSO 2010), an event held at the global headquarters of Home Depot.

"It is crucial for security directors at the global level to look at themselves as business stakeholders," said Steve Lasky, publisher and editor of Security Technology & Design magazine, one of the event sponsors. "Enhancing their ability to do that is really job-one for them – and that's the whole premise of this conference."

About 100 security professionals met for the day-long schedule of discussions, educational sessions and networking. Most of the educational sessions were conducted by Ray Bernard, James Connor or Bob Hayes.

Bernard is the principal consultant for Ray Bernard Consulting Services (RBCS), a firm that provides security consulting services for public and private facilities. Bernard has provided pivotal strategic and technical advice in the security and building automation industries for more than 18 years, and he is founder and publisher of The Security Minute 60-second newsletter.

Connor is CEO of security consulting firm N2N Secure and former senior manager of Global Security Systems for Symantec Corp.; and Hayes is executive director of the Security Executive Council (, a cross-industry professional organization of Chief Security Officers and Chief Information Security Officers (CSOs / CISOs) devoted to advancing strategic security practices and solutions.

"There are many security practitioners that have had outstanding results in improving their organization's risk pictures by aligning their security programs with the business," said Bernard. "It is very exciting to be able to share the details of how they went about doing that."

The formal discussions on Wednesday were focused on important security issues such as security leadership; regulations and standards (SOX, HIPAA, GLBA and more); convergence; return on security investment (ROSI) and total cost of ownership (TCO); physical and IT security collaboration; and the role of technology.

"It was very interesting," says Jacques Senechal, a security adviser for Alcan Inc., of Montreal. "In general, it really helps us to form a new vision for security to take to senior management."

Another attendee, Ray Wood, the senior director of loss prevention for Marriott, says he gained new insight into using metrics to deliver a positive message to management: "We have the data to work with – it's just a matter of getting the data in front of the right people," he says. "You have to bring it all together and then get senior management to see the benefits."

The full day of discussion and education continued today with a hands-on technology lab led by the GSO 2010 technology sponsors: Agent Vi; Andrews International; Axis Communications; Intransa; OnSSI; Privaris; Proximex; Plasec; S2 Security Corp.; and Tech Systems. Participants will play integral roles in demonstration scenarios using the sponsors' technological offerings.

"This will demonstrate the cost-effectiveness of interoperability," Lasky says. "It shows the participants that you can take disparate parts and make them work together effectively."

The GSO 2010 Atlanta event is the first of three planned workshops for 2008. Other workshops are scheduled to be held in August and November, and at least one will be a West Coast event held in California. For more information and registration details, visit