***** Mapping Security: The Corporate Security Sourcebook for Today’s Global Economy. By Tom Patterson and Scott Gleeson Blue; published by Addison-Wesley Professional and Symantec Press, www.awprofessional.com (Web); 432 pages; $34.99.
In today’s business environment, meeting customer expectations is critical to staying competitive. And as companies increasingly place operations such as IT design and customer service offshore in the interest of cutting costs, new security concerns arise. In Mapping Security: The Corporate Security Sourcebook for Today’s Global Economy, authors Tom Patterson and Scott Gleeson Blue offer a holistic view of what today’s chief security officers must consider when protecting corporate interests during partnerships with foreign companies. As the title promises, Patterson and Blue draw a map toward these goals, via a three-pronged method: a risk-management approach to global security practices; a practical method for sizing country risk and developing a risk profile; and an inventory of best practices for managing legal, technological and cultural issues as they apply to security.
According to Patterson and Blue, security professionals must become more proactive planners by literally mapping security within core business operations. Patterson and Blue stress the importance of the CSO taking both a geographical and industry perspective when considering countries’ security standards, laws, and regulations.
Mapping Security continues by discussing security’s integration into operations, resulting in enhanced processes, improved efficiencies, and risk reduction to employees and assets. Leveraging technology not only improves security, Patterson and Blue explain, but it also ultimately improves operational effectiveness in supply chain management, human resources, finance, and customer relationship management. In fact, the authors consider technology as an opportunity to create virtual relationships among core processes and functional areas while applying appropriate controls.
One quibble involves the authors’ endorsement of developing a “dashboard” to monitor how your global security program is being managed. The components of the dashboard are almost exclusively technology based, giving short shrift to manual processes.
A unique feature of Mapping Security is the use of a Mapping Security Index (MSI), a formula that boils down various risk elements into a numerical risk score for each of the 31 countries analyzed in the book. The MSI score is practical and helpful, but readers should augment it with other global risk-management intelligence. Although these geographic profiles are limited, the authors offer enlightening “on the ground” tips and describe key regulations.
This book is a must-have reference guide for CSOs conducting business outside of U.S. borders. The authors articulate a realistic framework for assessing and baselining current operations, technology, regulation, and cultural considerations for offshore operational integration.
Patterson’s and Blue’s emphasis throughout the book is placed on understanding the host country’s hard (standards) and soft (cultural) requirements well before landing your foreign organization on their soil. Finally, the book offers a rich appendix of local security resources by country that can be added to the security toolbox, providing solid information sources for any security professional to use in their own company.
Reviewer: Steven Adler is the business risk manager with Uniprise, a healthcare insurance firm in Hartford, Connecticut. He holds a master’s in business management from the Lally School of Management & Technology at Rensselaer. He is a member of ASIS International’s Business Practices Council.