Highlights from the keynote speakers and educational sessions of the ASIS International 54th Annual Seminar and Exhibits.
In September, more than 21,000 people filled the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta to attend the ASIS International 54th Annual Seminar and Exhibits. Keynote speakers enlightened attendees with spirited presentations on politics and the media. More than 170 educational sessions offered insight into a variety of topics. Following are some of the highlights from the seminar and exhibits. (For in-depth coverage of all seminar events including products on display in the more than 2,700 booths, see the November/December issue of ASIS Dynamics.)
President's Reception: A Whale of a Good Time
ASIS International members and their significant others ate, drank, danced, mingled, and networked at Monday evening’s President’s Reception, sponsored by AlliedBarton. The festivities stretched from the World of Coca-Cola across an expansive lawn to the Georgia Aquarium. Wolfgang Puck’s catering division prepared the menu for the event.
The evening got underway as ASIS President Timothy L. Williams, CPP, director of global security for Caterpillar, rolled into the World of Coca-Cola on a golf cart flanked by two mascots: the Coca-Cola polar bear and Georgia’s Aquarium whale shark.
Guests strode around the World of Coca-Cola—a tribute to the classic beverage—and gazed at the oversized Coca-Cola bottles that celebrated world cultures, old and new. The bottles lined the walls leading down to the reception’s main area. Others sipped Coca-Cola products at futuristic soda fountains from five continents as bright balls of vivid lights speckled the floor.
Among the more exotic soft drinks were “Inca” from Peru and “Vegitabeta” from Japan. One choice, “Beverly,” a soft drink from Italy, “has a tonic taste to it,” noted Alexander C. Sparaco, CPP.
Sparaco, president of Baker St. Associates and chair of the Connecticut Chapter, said his involvement with ASIS is based on a simple maxim: “If you sit on the sidelines, then you can’t complain about what happens.”
James Sanders, director of public safety for Advanced Systems Technology, ducked into the Coca-Cola Theater where classic commercials from around the world played on loop. Though not a member, Sanders said he attended the Seminar and Exhibits to expose his company to the security industry and also meet customers in person.
Steve Bucklin, president and CEO of Glenbrook Security Services Inc., expressed his amazement at how large ASIS has become. “I’ve been coming since 1982, and it’s amazing how much the industry has grown,” he said. “It’s neat to see.”
Curtis Baker of Cornell University’s IT Department said he came to the Seminar and Exhibits “to find new technology to integrate into our systems.” He didn’t anticipate, however, that he would receive such personal attention from vendors. He was particularly impressed with the customer service staffs of Lenel Systems and Stanley Security Systems.
“You can’t get that in Ithaca,” said his coworker Ray Price, a crime prevention officer.
The party continued across the lawn between the two buildings and into the Georgia Aquarium. Guests enjoyed cocktails and hors d’oeuvres as whale sharks and beluga whales swam inside their massive tanks in the background. Aquarium staff members were also on hand to help guests understand the denizens of the deep.
In a special VIP area, at the President’s Reception, members of ASIS’s new CSO Roundtable gathered to talk shop, sip drinks, and persuade other senior level security executives to join their program. The Roundtable now includes 111 chief security officers representing many of the world’s most significant companies. The group provides its members with a secure Web site to discuss matters critical to corporate security.
Thomas Tidiks, CPP, group chief security officer for Zurich Insurance Company, called the Roundtable “a tremendous opportunity for networking and for sharing high-level thoughts.” Tidiks, like all CSOs, wrestles with how corporate security executives explain security’s business value to their CEO. The Roundtable gives him the opportunity to talk to other CSOs and learn new strategies to talk about security as a “business enabler.”
The CSO Roundtable is making an impact in the high-stakes world of corporate security. One advocate enjoying the delicacies and camaraderie at the Aquarium was David Stackleather, manager of corporate security for Circuit City and member of the CSO Standards working group. “We’re laying the foundation for how corporations create their security environment,” he said, “everything from IT to managing risk.”
Foundation Turns Fun into Funding
This year at the ASIS International 54th Annual Seminar and Exhibits the ASIS Foundation, Inc., sponsored two fantastic events—the 12th Annual Golf Classic and the 26th Annual Foundation Dinner—that benefited the Foundation’s continuing work funding and managing endowments for a wide range of academic, strategic, and professional development activities.
Tournament Tees Off
On the morning of September 14, ASIS members toted their golf bags across the rolling terrain of the Smoke Rise Golf and Country Club for the Foundation’s Annual Golf Classic.
The picturesque course offered gorgeous views of Stone Mountain as well as thick stands of hardwood and pine trees surrounding creeks that make the course as beautiful as it is challenging. The par-72 golf course boasted the intimidating par-5 13th hole, measuring in at 625 yards from the back tee and 441 yards from the front. Teeing off on 13, many golfers fell prey to the ravine that swallowed up shots meant for the fairway.
Tournament golfers competed in teams of four with AlliedBarton Security Services’ Michael Ricketts, Bret Almassy, Matt Sorrell, and Thom Burress taking first. Second place was won by General Information Services’ Albert Bueno, Dick Coons, Rodney Metzer, and Paul Thomas. Rounding out the top three teams were Ron King, Jon Guzman, A.J. Oletti, and Geoff Oletti of Securitas Security Services.
Other winners included Dick Coons and Mark Lowers in the closest to the pin contest. Bret Almassy and Staci Ballou won the men’s and women’s longest drive contests for their booming blasts on holes seven and 13, respectively.
The Golf Classic received generous support from four sponsors: AlliedBarton was the event’s platinum sponsor for its $20,000 donation, which included a hole sponsorship; Securitas gave golfers a special gift bag for their play, while ARATA Expositions supplied special golf balls to players. Finally, parched golfers enjoyed refreshments from the beverage cart sponsored by iView Systems/Guard Tour Systems.
More than 250 attendees filled the Imperial Ballroom at the Marriott Marquis for Wednesday night’s Annual Foundation Dinner.
The featured act was the Del Baroni Orchestra, which has been in demand on the local social scene for years, performing to rave reviews. From Frank Sinatra, to Nat King Cole, to Jimmy Dorsey, to Bruce Springsteen, this 17-piece orchestra satisfied every musical taste.
Del Baroni is a graduate of the University of Miami where he majored in jazz and vocal music. While in Florida, he taught music at the college level while performing as a vocalist and bassist. He moved his family to Georgia 20 years ago and has been busy entertaining at Atlanta’s premier events ever since.
The elegant evening kicked off with a reception of drinks and light hors d’oeuvres. Once seated in the festively decorated ballroom, attendees enjoyed a four-course dinner and a night of musical fun.
Also on hand was theatrical pickpocket Bob Arno, who mingled with the crowd after dinner. While Arno frequently entertains, he also serves as a resource to law enforcement and consults with authors and screenwriters. Deft at the craft of surprising unsuspecting marks, Arno’s expertise has widened to include credit card fraud, identity theft, laptop theft, and Internet scams.
As he moved through the crowd, Arno managed to collect several watches, cell phones, glasses, and wallets. Eventually, he managed to remove one attendee’s tie and another’s belt. As he returned his bounty to its rightful owners, Arno described how pickpockets and con artists choose their marks and accomplish their trade by reading and using body language.
Proceeds from the Foundation Dinner support such signature endeavors as chapter matching student scholarships, Security Journal, the Academic Practitioners Symposium, and the National Retail Security Survey. This year, the Foundation added the Roy Bordes Award for Physical Security to its roster of outreach programs.
Matalin and Carville Talk Politics
The battle of the sexes met the battle for the White House in Tuesday’s opening session as political gurus Mary Matalin and James Carville entertained attendees with personal anecdotes and insights on the presidential campaign. The husband-and-wife team epitomizes the axiom “Politics makes strange bedfellows” with their famously divergent political views.
“You are living in the midst of stunning political history!” exclaimed Carville, a Democratic strategist who managed Bill Clinton’s 1992 presidential campaign. In his signature Louisiana drawl, Carville pointed to the robust television ratings for political events so far in the campaign, saying: “So much for the fact that Americans don’t care about politics.”
Matalin, well known as a Republican campaign advisor, directed President George Bush’s 1992 re-election campaign and served as counselor to Vice President Dick Cheney. She discussed the presidential campaign, which was still underway at the time. She gave her opinion of each of the candidates. She said Obama should have spent more time unifying his base after a long, hard-fought primary battle with Hillary Clinton. McCain, on the other hand, started unifying his party immediately, Matalin said.
She called McCain’s surprise choice of Sarah Palin as his vice presidential pick “the big game changer,” but warned that “it’s not over. In the end, this is a 50/50 country,” Matalin said. “Each side knows what they have to do.”
Carville spoke about the election more generally, touching only briefly on the candidates. He called Obama “a little prickly” and cited age as one of the 72-year-old McCain’s biggest weaknesses. “McCain, he’s old, there’s no other way to put it,” Carville said, “and he gets confused.”
Both predicted that the election likely would depend on something that had not yet happened. The economic crisis proved them right.
Brokaw Speaks of Service
For more than two decades, NBC’s Tom Brokaw enjoyed membership in one of the world’s most exclusive clubs—national news anchors who get to witness history and share each day’s events with millions of Americans gathered around their household televisions. Despite that high perch, Brokaw shared a stirringly intimate perspective on 45 years of the American experience during Wednesday’s keynote address.
Fresh from trips to cover the Summer Olympics in Beijing and the country’s two major political conventions in Denver and St. Paul, Minnesota, Brokaw contrasted the plainclothes, almost transparent security of the Olympics with the fences, riot gear, and vehicle barriers of the two U.S. convention cities.
“In this country, we’re still struggling to find the balance between freedom and the new security considerations. Both in Denver at the Democratic convention and at St. Paul at the Republican convention, it looked for a time as if we might all be living in some kind of a police state. And I do think, when it comes to that kind of security at least, our government and civic officials have to reconsider how we pose our security in public places,” Brokaw said.
Brokaw went on to recount the little-known story of the days preceding the government’s acknowledgement of the 2001 anthrax attack. Two members of Brokaw’s NBC staff were infected, and Brokaw struggled for nearly two weeks, with little effect, to raise alarm among federal officials. At one point, federal law enforcement officers told Brokaw that one of his colleagues had probably suffered a spider bite.
“We were all on an emotional roller-coaster that was heightened by the fact that we had no systems in place to detect a biological attack of any kind,” Brokaw said.
Has progress been made? “Things have gotten a lot better in your companies and in those areas that you represent,” he stated. But Brokaw also noted that a recent search of the term “anthrax” on the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Web site yielded nine speeches agency officials had delivered about the attack, and they contained “very little useful information.”
He added, “You know as well as I do that we still have miles to go.”
Another issue is cybersecurity. Brokaw recounted a night spent at the home of Microsoft chairman Bill Gates. In his guest room, Brokaw tried to connect to the Internet using an NBC laptop, but to no avail. With a phone call, Brokaw said “about 26” technicians appeared, followed by Gates himself. “What we decided was that the GE firewall was fighting with the Bill Gates firewall, and it was a draw. These are the kind of realities we’re all dealing with today.”
Not surprisingly, Brokaw said he’s most often asked by fans and acquaintances about the most memorable events and interviews of his career. He responds not with tales of the moon landing or his 1987 one-on-one interview with then new Soviet Premier Mikhail Gorbachev, the first conducted by an American journalist. Instead, he flashes back to 1965, soon after he was hired by WSB-TV, coincidentally in Atlanta, and assigned to cover the Civil Rights Movement. One night in Americus, Georgia, African-American residents congregated in a local church, deliberating whether to march on downtown in support of desegregation. Brokaw saw pickup trucks lining the town’s main street and white residents armed with guns threatening to kill any blacks they saw.
When the church emptied, Brokaw approached a black teenage girl and asked what they had decided. When she said they planned to march, Brokaw reminded her of the danger and asked her why she would take such a risk. Her response, Brokaw said, “‘Because I have no choice.’”
The topic of selfless action led Brokaw to discuss the work for which he’s known nearly as well as broadcasting, his 1998 book The Greatest Generation, which is about the Americans who fought in World War II and returned home to spurn accolades and build their country into a world superpower.
Brokaw recounted how decorated World War II veteran and former Sen. Bob Dole, who is featured in the book, approached him with one last anecdote after the book had already gone to press. Critically wounded in Italy, Dole explained to Brokaw that he convalesced at Michigan’s Battle Creek Sanitarium, sharing a room with two other seriously wounded veterans. One, the son of interred Japanese immigrants, lost an arm fighting with an all-Japanese-American infantry unit in Europe and won the Congressional Medal of Honor. The other, a Georgetown-educated lawyer who could have avoided service, was wounded landing at Normandy on D-Day.
Discussing their futures, the three agreed that public service was the highest calling and the one each would pursue. The other two men were Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-HI) and the late Sen. Philip Hart of Michigan.
Flashing forward to the present day, Brokaw said that every day he dwells on the burdens borne by the country’s fighting men and women, both those in harm’s way and those back home, many critically and permanently disabled.
Brokaw recalled a trip to his hometown of Yankton, South Dakota. Three members of a National Guard unit based in Yankton were killed on a recent deployment to Iraq, while a fourth, Sgt. Corey Briest, returned home blind, confined to a wheelchair.
Briest and his wife live in the house Brokaw’s parents built. When Brokaw offered to pay for construction of a new, wheelchair-accessible home for the family, the local leaders told Brokaw they would accept a donation, but they insisted on matching it.
“That small town in southeastern South Dakota understood instantly that Corey will be a part of their lives forever and that they will measure up to it,” Brokaw said. “For the rest of their lives in this small town, they’ll have an acute reminder of the price of war, how little was asked of most of them, and how much was asked of Corey and his family. And they’ll take care of them.”
“These young men and young American women have volunteered for this duty. They get paid modest wages, but they pay a very high price,” Brokaw said. “However you feel about this war, about the wisdom of this war…they cannot be long removed from our thoughts on a daily basis. I hope that when you leave here and go home, you’ll find a way in your community or your workplace, your culture, your travel, to have a real connection to those families.”
Attendees Gather Information, Gain Insight
Security professionals must anticipate new threats as the landscape of risks grows and evolves. To bring home the latest in technology and techniques, speakers at more than 170 sessions gave information on a range of topics from homeland security to liability protection. Following are summaries from just a few of the week’s presentations.
Critical infrastructure. Seminar attendees charged with protecting the nation’s critical infrastructure and key resources (CI/KR) received an overview of the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) risk mitigation outreach efforts during a session on the agency’s Protective Security Advisor (PSA) program.
The initiative has placed 79 advisors in 60 districts across 40 states and Puerto Rico. PSAs are security experts, most with at least 20 years of experience, typically in law enforcement, the military, or counterterrorism specialties. PSAs serve primarily as facilitators in protecting 3,000 assets DHS has designated for heightened protection based on the consequence factors of an attack, such as potential loss of lives and economic impact.
The work done by PSAs consists primarily of one-on-one interaction with CI/KR operators, including site visits and assistance with vulnerability assessments to help those operators determine where and how best to direct limited resources for protective measures.
Mike Norman of DHS’s Protective Security Coordination Division, within the Office of Infrastructure Protection (OIP), spoke in place of division Director William F. Flynn, who was unable to attend due to the agency’s response to Hurricane Ike in Texas and Louisiana. Norman explained that DHS has set about the massive task of assessing both risk across CI/KR sectors and the cascading nature of failures based on the interdependence of multiple sectors.
OIP has begun the challenging job of assessing consequences within systems, as opposed to hard assets, Norman said. “We’ve done a few, and we’re looking at doing more in the coming year—many, many more.”
Coming years’ budgets will fund added PSAs, Norman said, with plans to post a PSA to each of the nation’s more than 50 state, regional, and urban intelligence fusion centers, where officials seek to detect emerging terrorist threats. “If you don’t know your protective security advisors, I recommend you reach out to them,” Norman told the audience. “They’re out there every day, doing great things, working in the community. They’re very energetic.”
Vendor relationships. Product and service suppliers play a vital role in security. But companies have to know how to ensure that these relationships do not create vulnerabilities that can open up opportunities for crime. That was the topic of a session titled “Vendors: Are They Ripping You Off?”
R.A. (Andy) Wilson, CPP, CFE (Certified Fraud Examiner), and George E. Curtis, a professor in the Economic Crimes Program at Utica College in New York, provided an overview of the crime risks facing security managers who use vendors.
Curtis said that any client company hiring a vendor should require that the vendor abide by the same laws and guidelines as it does—from an internal code of conduct to statutes like Sarbanes-Oxley. Service contracts should afford the client the right to audit the vendor’s books, to ensure they match up with the client’s, Curtis said.
Curtis further advised client firms to keep in-house vendor files current. Typically, about half the vendors in those files are inactive and, thus, unduly expose firms to phony billing. Companies must also eliminate duplicate or erroneous company information—for example, when the same company is listed two different ways, such as “IBM” and “I.B.M.”
The session also covered “the fraud triangle” that is present when employees rip off employers: opportunity, motivation, and moral justification. Red flags for fraud include employees facing personal financial difficulty or suddenly living beyond their legitimate means.
Asked about best practices relative to gratuity policy, such as guidelines for employees accepting gifts from vendors, Wilson recommended a value limit, like $25 or $50, rather than a ban. If gifts are banned, he explained, employees are likely to still accept things like mugs or computer mouse pads, which could create a slippery slope.
Terrorism trends. A scholar from the University of Central Florida led a session titled “Looking Beyond the Threat Horizon: Future Trends in Terrorism and their Strategic Implications,” which highlighted the importance of identifying trends amid the violence.
“The need to identify future movements is absolutely important,” said Dr. Stephen Sloan, professor and fellow in the university’s Office of Global Perspectives. He noted that future analysis may seem like an academic endeavor, but has “serious operations implications.”
Citing the work of his colleague Abeer Abdalla, a Global Connections Advanced Scholar on Terrorism at the university, Sloan discussed the importance of tracking attacks to better understand important trends, including geographic distribution of attacks and information about the perpetrators and the victims. For example, data shows that more than 50 percent of terrorist attack victims in 2007 were Muslim. Sloan anticipates that inter-religious, sectarian violence will intensify.
Another issue is the impact on the youngest members of communities affected by terrorist violence. More than 2,400 children were reported killed or injured in terrorist attacks in 2007, 25 percent more than in 2006. Sloan worried about the legacy left behind. “You have youngsters who are combat veterans at 12 years old,” he said. “I think increasingly warfare will be fought by these youngsters.”
Sloan outlined other ongoing challenges including: state sponsorship of terrorism with Iran and Syria supporting the destabilization of Iraq; the Taliban resurgence in Afghanistan; the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that remains a source of terrorist motivation; and the opportunities for recruitment that multimedia channels offer.
He also noted other current trends, including an intensification of terrorist propaganda warfare, al Qaeda as a global insurgency, and the radicalization of immigrant populations, especially youth and minorities in Europe, Africa, and the Middle East.
Training. Attendees at a session on security awareness learned that despite the growing affordability and sophistication of security technology, the most important factor in protecting facilities and information is an organization’s staff. “It is fundamental to have an excellent security awareness program…. The most important resource you have is people,” said Deborah Russell Collins, executive director of the Chantilly, Virginia-based National Security Training Institute.
Shawn S. Daley, chief security officer of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Lincoln Laboratory in Lexington, Massachusetts, described a multifaceted security education and awareness program that regularly engages employees and researchers in different ways, whether they learn best by listening, reading, or watching.
“Audio” learners can be engaged in their new employee orientation, briefings, or a novel device Daley employs: regular security seminars. “Readers” might best be reached through informational packets, newsletters, and easy access to government counterintelligence materials. “Visual” learners might benefit most from World War II-style security posters, which Daley recommended arranging on a strategically placed bulletin board, which he calls a “security corner.”
Daley recommended reaching out to the National Security Agency (NSA) based at Fort Meade, Maryland, where fellow speaker H. Robert Kennedy Jr. runs the agency’s Counterintelligence Awareness Division.
Kennedy’s office indoctrinates all new NSA employees and contractors to ensure that they are prepared for the ever-present threat from foreign agents. The division also produces myriad visual education materials, like posters, which it distributes free-of-charge to all government security stakeholders who ask.
All the speakers, including Kennedy, said security units must be accessible so that employees feel comfortable reporting concerns. Training and education programs can help demonstrate that accessibility. “We want people to come see us. We want to stop something before it becomes a real problem,” Kennedy said.
Workplace violence. In the session “Recognizing, Assessing, and Managing Those Who Present Workplace Risk: A Case Study,” speaker John Lane, vice president of crisis and security consulting at Control Risks, provided advice on how to recognize and deal with potentially violent employees. He pointed out to a standing-room-only crowd that 70 percent of workplaces do not have a formal workplace violence program, despite findings that there are thousands of threats of violence every workday.
One challenge in fighting workplace violence is the fact that about 43 percent of those threatened and 24 percent of those attacked at work do not report the incident, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Lane said it’s important to conduct training and demonstrate to workers that your team is capable and prepared to respond to workplace violence issues.
Lane dispelled several common workplace violence myths, including the perception that most incidents come out of the blue. “These incidents don’t just happen spontaneously,” said Lane. “People work through a process—there is a pathway that people will pursue toward ultimately committing violence.”
Some of the risk factors for workplace violence that Lane pointed out are paranoia, depression, and feelings of grievance. “People [who] will rationalize in the workplace that others are out to get them…will ultimately have increased potential to commit violence.”
The process of evaluating an employee’s risk of becoming violent should be a fluid one, warned Lane, because the evaluator won’t get all the information right away, if ever. For example, it’s difficult and sometimes impossible to get accurate mental health and criminal histories. As more information comes to light, the conclusion about the risk an individual presents is going to change.
Weapons detection. The challenge with regard to weapons detection is the range of everyday objects that terrorists can use to conceal weapons or to serve as them. And perhaps no other country faces as many of these rapidly changing security challenges as Israel.
In a session titled “Cutting-edge Security Development in Israel—Intensive Co-op and High-tech,” a senior advisor at the Israel Export Institute said the next great terrorism threat will be the unconventional weapon of mass destruction. “There is a lot of activity among terrorist organizations trying to obtain this type of weapon,” Major General David Tsur said.
There is also the traditional bombing attack delivered by a suicide bomber. He pointed to the Madrid train bombings as an example of the effectiveness of the suicide attack strategy. The attack prompted voters not to reelect the incumbent political party, and the new government pulled Spanish forces out of Iraq. Even though the bombing was not a huge terrorism attack in terms of casualties, “it became a strategic attack because of the influence on the government, which had to take actions and measures because of the public pressure.” He added: “It’s the most primitive weapon you can think about.”
Several companies made presentations about new high-tech tools used to fight terror, but Tsur warned, “Technology by itself cannot solve the problem.”
IT security. Physical and information technology (IT) security professionals should work more closely together, according to speakers in the Monday session, “Computer Security for the Physical Security Manager.” Security pros from the physical side should also become familiar with many current IT security goals—and pitfalls.
It’s sometimes been difficult for the two kinds of security professionals to work closely, said Ronald Lander, CPP, chief specialist, UltraSafe Security Solutions. One reason is that both sides worry that working too closely together could diminish the perceived value of each side’s respective jobs. But many companies are well along in converging their IT and physical security, he said. Highly effective physical security professionals learn some IT security basics, and if they are not already doing so, they should speak with their IT security colleagues to make sure core company security procedures are in place.
A major IT security objective is to keep private data private. This is especially important for companies that need to follow major regulations such as Sarbanes-Oxley (concerning finance and accounting at public companies regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission) or the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (on health data). Another key IT security goal is to locate and protect the company’s most valuable data assets first. In addition, it’s becoming increasingly important for IT managers to look at security problems within the context of broader company business goals.
Lander also listed a number of major, but surprisingly common, IT security mistakes. One is failing to regularly patch applications; another is neglecting to install and update antivirus software. Another problem is leaving default passwords on applications ranging from firewall appliances to wireless networks.
As physical security systems migrate to the corporate network, physical security professionals should ensure that the systems remain secure. One example includes Internet Protocol video. Physical security professionals should make sure the firm’s network can remain running after a power failure, he said.
Ethics. In the session titled “The Business of Ethics in Today’s Security,” led by Mike Kolatski, CPP, security manager for the City of Seattle, attendees learned that establishing a code of ethics is particularly important for those in the security industry. This is because its professionals often have access to information that others in the company might not.
The ethics challenge is a unique one for companies because it is not just a question of right and wrong; rather, there are three major types of ethics (personal, business, and cultural) that are often in opposition to each other. For example, Kolatski cited California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s recent plan to cut wages for state workers while waiting for a new budget to pass. While Kolatski said that was likely the right business decision to force the issue and get the budget passed, it was not necessarily ethical on a personal level to the employees who would be taking the pay cuts. And cultural ethics, or what is “right and wrong” in a specific society, can vary not only from nation to nation but also within different areas of the same country.
Kolatski said it’s not enough to have a written policy or code of ethics in a business or organization. “If the culture’s not there, if those ethics aren’t there, if we’re not leading them by example, how can we expect them to understand what we’re saying about what’s right and what’s wrong?” He illustrated the point by reading from Enron’s code of ethics from 2000, which he called a “typical” code of ethics. Although the company hit all the right points in its policy, the leadership obviously did not follow them, as evidenced by Enron’s accounting scandal and 2001 bankruptcy. Kolatski says leaders must ask themselves if their company’s code of ethics truly represents what is believed in the organization.
Port security. While the need to protect coastal ports has received much attention, new efforts aim to protect smaller high-risk maritime facilities in rural jurisdictions, said Laurie Thomas of the University of Findlay in Ohio.
The scope of the challenge is daunting. “Forty-one states, 16 state capitals, and all states east of the Mississippi River,” she said, “are served by commercially navigable waterways.”
Rural high-risk maritime facilities face many of the same threats that large ports do, but the perception of “It won’t happen here” still persists, said Thomas. Nevertheless, many “facility security officers fear being used for practice, like a tackling dummy,” by terrorists, she said.
To ensure that rural responders are prepared for a terrorist incident in their jurisdictions, Congress and the Department of Homeland Security created the Rural Domestic Preparedness Consortium. Led by Eastern Kentucky University, partners are researching what common emergency response gaps many rural communities share so that rural emergency responders can get the necessary training they need to handle a terrorist attack or a natural disaster.
Thomas also stressed that all security breaches that occur at rural, high-risk maritime facilities must be reported to the National Response Center. It could be the last link analysts need to recognize an emerging threat, she said.
Special events. Two security professionals whose companies had a presence at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games shared insights gained from the experience in the Tuesday session, “Global Security Planning and Operations Supporting the 2008 Summer Olympic Games: Challenges, Success, and Lessons Learned.”
Steve Chupa, CPP, security director for Johnson & Johnson, and Raymond Mey, chief executive officer for Security Consultants International Corp., provided a retrospective view of the games, packing their presentation with practical advice learned the hard way: on the ground.
Chupa and Mey warned that the response from a host government in an emergency situation may not be what you expect it to be, and they stressed the importance of communications systems in emergencies and otherwise. “You have to take care of yourself,” Chupa said. “You can’t rely on the government; they have their own concerns.”
The presenters also advised that you should expect the unexpected. On the morning of the opening ceremonies, 200,000 soldiers with guns replaced the unarmed policemen on security detail in Beijing, Chupa remembered. But by the next morning, the soldiers were gone. “With constant changes in security,” Mey said, “we didn’t know how to act.”
The two professionals mentioned several of the efficient processes they saw from other companies as well. Visa placed a bar code on their credentials and used portable scanners to keep track of their guests and staff. Coca-Cola accounted for all of their tickets by counting, shrink-wrapping, and then moving them to the area on an armored truck.
Chupa stressed the problems cultural concerns can cause and the importance of having local, on-site contacts. He learned quickly that when you hire security officers in China, you are responsible for feeding them. You are also responsible for bringing in bottled water. “It’s not so easy to bring large quantities of bottled water into the Olympic Green,” he said.
A different kind of special event is being planned for next year—the ASIS International 55th Annual Seminar and Exhibits. The highlights above are only a sampling of the information available to seminar attendees. Don’t miss next year’s opportunities in Anaheim, California from September 21 through 24.