THE MAGAZINE

Security Design Consulting

By Brian Gouin; Reviewed by Susan Gallagher

***** Security Design Consulting. By Brian Gouin; published by Elsevier/Butterworth-Heinemann; available from ASIS, item #1751, 703/519-6200 (phone), www.asisonline.org (Web); 340 pages; $40 (ASIS members), $44 (nonmembers).

The world of security design consulting is a small one—so much so that aspirants and newcomers may have difficulty finding someone to teach them the ropes. Fortunately, one established expert, Brian Gouin, has put the basics on paper.

Gouin offers a step-by-step guide on the nuts and bolts of starting and running a consultancy, including marketing, assessments, proposal writing, service agreements, report writing, and billing. Throughout, Gouin adequately differentiates design consulting from traditional security management consulting. He applies a commonsense approach to the subject matter while stressing the importance of ethics, high technical standards, and meeting client needs.

Gouin describes in realistic detail what it means to own your own business, suggesting some practical considerations worth exploring before embarking on self-employment.

Unlike many reference books, this book is practical and easy to read, guiding the reader to useful resources.

One limitation of the book is that the author does not go beyond his own experience. While he obviously has considerable knowledge in the field, perspectives from other consultants would have enhanced the text, making it a more comprehensive reference.

Overall, the book is an excellent source for knowledgeable industry professionals who would like to start up their own security design consultancies. It is commendable that a professional design consultant has taken the time and effort to write a book for the industry that aims to inform and raise its professional standard.


Susan Gallagher is director of Susan Gallagher Consulting Ltd. in New Zealand, and an independent specialist in security, risk management, training, and security program management for the government and private sectors. She is a member of ASIS International.

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