ASIS Foundation, University of Phoenix Release Report on Future Needs for Security Training

The ASIS Foundation and University of Phoenix have released a report that drew from industry literature and roundtable discussions to assess current and rising risks and the competencies that the future security workforce would need to meet those risks.

Called Enterprise Security Risks and Workforce Competencies: Findings from an Industry Roundtable on Security Talent Development,  the report notes that risks identified by roundtable participants included cybersecurity, risks arising from the rise of mobile technology and the distribution of data, globalization, and natural disasters, as well as crime--in particular, workplace violence. 

In addition, the report cites industry challenges that include industry segmentation, an aging workforce, the failure of security to attract qualified people in sufficient numbers, limited resources, the lack of standardized education and certifications for security (especially at the entry level), the need for a broad "whole-brain" approach to security, and the need for more STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathmatics) training for security professionals.

Participants identified fundamental competencies that security professionals would need to master. In addition to STEM knowledge, they cited enterprise risk management, business and financial management, leadership and team-building skills, and strategic thinking. They also recommended that security professionals develop specialized expertise related to their sector.

To better attract candidates to the field, participants said that the industry needs to better define itself and its dynamic career paths and required competencies. The field also needs to define itself and its educational needs as distinct from law enforcement. It also needs to continue and accelerate the trend toward enterprise risk management and convergence of physical and information security.

 “Together with the University of Phoenix, we are identifying future risks, helping to prepare security professionals, and equipping them with the skills to develop mitigation plans and manage risks facing their organizations,” says John A. Petruzzi, Jr., CPP, president of the ASIS Foundation Board of Trustees. “Our work will help position the security industry to identify and resolve the ever-evolving challenges our members encounter on the job.”

The ASIS Foundation and University of Phoenix researchers conducted a scan of existing literature to identify current trends and issues in today’s security industry. The literature review provided context and supporting data for this report and provided the framework for the National Roundtable on Security Talent Development. The purpose of the roundtable was to identify the top risks the security industry would face in the next five years, and to initiate discussion about standard competencies that security professionals would need to demonstrate to protect tomorrow’s enterprises.

Security executives and thought leaders from industry, higher education, and government were among the participants who provided their insights and recommendations, which are summarized in this report.

To complement the research conducted to date, the ASIS Foundation and University of Phoenix are planning to launch a research survey of ASIS International members. The survey results will help to further define enterprise risks and security professional competencies.

For more information, visit




View Recent News (by day)


Beyond Print

SM Online

See all the latest links and resources that supplement the current issue of Security Management magazine.