Chair: Martin Gill

Dan Sauvageau, SVP & Chief Security Officer, Fidelity Investments (USA) 
Glenn Farrant, CEO & Founder at CriticalArc (USA) 
Les Allan, Director of Safety, Security and Logistics at Heriot-Watt Univeristy (UK)
Esther Hoban, Programme Manager, Estates and Facilities, Trinity College Dublin (Ireland)

Sponsored by CriticalArc

Key points

Dan Sauvageau set the context buy making some important points: for years security has strived to show value, now is its chance; Covid-19 is affecting the whole world, all companies and all crisis managers (and security too); daily the Chief Security Officer is dealing with the CEO and that has long been an aspiration (no excuses then); and technology is the key to success. He notes any security manager who is not effective, any team acting in silos will not be able to deliver in this new world; CEOs will be rewarding individual groups, team efforts, and security can be the ‘glue’. He underlines the need for security metrics, the need for good ROIs will loom bigger going forward. Note his point about security needing different talents going forward.

Les Allan stressed the point that we should not expect budgets to look the same; all departments will be competing for funds. The skill of security managers can in part be judged by their ability to adapt to the changing circumstances; to effectively collaborate and look for alliances; and to be able to assess what they do via the eyes of others. He outlines ways in which security teams can highlight their contribution by giving security people a ‘human face’ for example; making the best of data; and using social media.

You will witness Esther Hoban discussing the specific circumstances she has faced and is facing in dealing with Covid-19.  You will hear her discuss the context to the ways she is facing up to financial difficulties; the process of competing and collaborating with colleagues for funding; the types of technologies being purchased and why and how they are valued; and the thinking outside the box mentality that is governing processes. She too highlights the benefits of collaboration and data sharing and the dangers of the intrusiveness of some technologies allowed in the crisis but attracting the attention of the data commissioner.

Glenn Farrant notes these times are unprecedented. In looking at how security can shine he underlines the importance of being engaged. Specifically, he notes that security has a reputation for getting the job done and has people at the forefront of operations and technologies to enhance working practices. The weakness of security is that it has not always spoken the language of business; this may be an Achilles heel. You will witness him talking about the process of managing teams effectively; this will be vital in a world where people are dispersed and some are in danger. Training Is key, including how to maximise the benefits of existing and new technologies to the changing practices this virus has demanded. So too ensuring that security practices are fit for purposes. Several panellists develop ideas on this. As Glenn says, now is not the time for security people to be shy, but they also have to be good.

The challenges of the crisis will be followed by an economic squeeze, the panelists suggest that security can be enhanced, but that is not a given, there will be winners and losers, what happens now will influence where security people will be.

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