September 28, 2017
As the 2017 ASIS and InfraGard conferences wind to a close, I have had a chance to sit back and reflect on an amazing week and the what impacted me most. The week started off with an amazing session by President George W Bush. He was funny, sweet, smart and had a lot to say. He talked about what life after the Presidency is like, his painting, his family, parenting, what he misses about being President. He also talked about his views on leadership, being Presidential and on the current client from civil unrest to foreign events.
He talked about how much he admires Abraham Lincoln and how he brought unity to the country and helped keep the United States from becoming separate countries, leading one to think about how things would be different today had the outcome of the Civil War been different. Another speaker later in the day also referenced Abraham Lincoln. President Bush also talked about how the civil unrest of late is similar to and not as bad as past times in the history of our country, specifically referencing both the 20s and 60s. One of my biggest take-aways from his talk was how well-read President Bush is, and how I need to spend more time reading about history and the great leaders of the past. There was no doubt in my mind that President Bush loves this country and what it stands for.
After that presentation, CDL was asked to fill in for a presenter that was unable to make it to the conference that day. The original topic was on a holistic approach to security. We sat in the hallway of the conference center discussing what that means and outlining a quick presentation. We started by reviewing the definition of holistic security, or viewing security as a whole rather than as small parts. Our quick conclusion to what holistic security means is that a company’s security program should encompass all aspects of security starting with training and educating employees. It is not just a focus on the IT security team and limited to virus scans and firewalls. Fortunately, we were able to change the presentation topic to one we already had slides for and had presented in the past. However, brainstorming on holistic security was a good exercise and topic for a future blog post or presentation.
Through presentations, dinners, lunches and booth conversations, on people’s minds were topics such as football player’s kneeling, Puerto Rico/Houston/South Florida, North Korea, EMPs, and other issues ranging from cyber security to physical security to terrorism.
As Tuesday arrived and throughout the rest of the week, CDL moved its focus from presentations to our booth. We had the opportunity to interact with and meet a lot of amazing people and companies. People from all over the world and companies large and small stopped by to visit our Star Wars-themed booth. Being at a conference exhibit hall dominated by physical security companies gave us the opportunity to really talk cyber security. Overall, people and companies are concerned and interested in cyber services as well as realizing their own products need to be protected or include security measures.
The exhibit hall was full of new security solutions including open source intelligence tools, wireless locks, unbreakable glass windows and doors, security robots and drones. There were numerous drone companies in attendance showcasing their surveillance drones and even some that capture or shoot down other drones. It was clear the sci-fi future visions of the past are coming to fruition and coming quickly.
One thing I came away from this week is that there are a lot of people and a lot of companies that are passionate about and truly care about the security and safety of people not just in the United States but throughout the entire world. They care about protecting us from natural disasters, from cyber attacks, from everyday criminals and nation-state attacks. I am proud to work and participate in a community of people that are passionate about what we do, our country, and the people of the world.
I also work at an amazing company. Our passion about security, about protecting people and serving people is one of the things that makes us great. Post-conference it is time to get back to work. It is busier than ever. And in my limited free time, I need to read a little about Abraham Lincoln.