|Business Summary Review
Last year witnessed substantial growth in all five of our core business practices and signs are that 2014 will see further progress. There is no doubt that our success stems from the unmatched corporate knowledge and experience of our team. All our associates have had successful and extensive careers as chief security officers and other senior security and risk management positions in multi-national companies, and they continue to add value to individuals, teams and organisations around the world today.
We have a global reach, and an intimate understanding of the societal and cultural factors that shape responsible business practices and lead to pragmatic results on the ground. Our players have ‘been there and done it’ themselves and fully understand the structural, financial and other corporate challenges facing organisations; from stakeholder demands for improved productivity and profitability, through to handling other strategic challenges in areas like compliance, governance, sustainability and ethics. In dealing effectively with those we help people achieve better results in getting more value from security and its enterprise-wide contribution and capability.
|Global Threats for Business in 2014
Let’s not forget that for what many consider to be established or even mature business areas in corporate security management, there is still a substantial and growing business in products and services like physical security.
Whatever technology brings, there remain unchanging ‘primal’ human behaviours that constantly adapt to create new threats and respond to defences with fresh levels of ingenuity. The need for certain types or groups of people to satisfy greed, criminal desires and motives, or unpleasant forms of protest, disruption or simply malevolence are not diminishing areas of concern for security professionals.
Politics, nation-state actions and developments in terrorism can and should be watched closely, and there are plenty of intelligence-led sources for information on developments in this arena that we do not need to cover here, and that are well-covered in free on-line sites.
Topical subjects getting much attention this year include threats regarding:
• Brand reputational damage
• The increasing use of BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) elements in organisations
• Data privacy and protection in the cloud
• Privacy, security and regulation in general, but especially in the area of
Personal Identifiable Information (PII)
• Technology expansion
Organisations need to continue to prepare for both known and unknown or as yet un-encountered threats. A high level of flexibility is needed to handle these threats, any actual events, and post-event care and management. Occasionally this level of flexibility is very high, and organisations may struggle to reach or surpass the levels the bar is being raised.
Too many enterprises still plan for ‘imaginable’ forms of threats, and miss out on setting up incident responses for unplanned unknowns. We spend a lot of time on helping people imagine the unthinkable and plan for it. In the dual worlds of physical and digital affairs, we are continuously building on our knowledge and experience to help organisations devise and implement robust yet truly flexible strategies. This means factoring in additional resource and expertise for our clients.
It also often means trying to get the same, or even more capability from constrained or reduced operating budgets. Adding value and saving costs continues to be a key driver of our whole approach.
|New Burrill Green Associates
Right at the start of 2014, we are pleased to welcome two new associates who will bring yet more experience to our consulting, career development and recruitment practices. They are Rick McConnell [more], former chief security officer at Euroclear; and Alexander Akimov [more], formerly BAT head of security practices for Russia and the CIS. Their profiles and those of all our other associates can be found here »
Rick and Alexander will assist in all of our established business practices, and will support the launch and development of Security Solutions Now, our latest service, dedicated to giving considered yet rapid responses to clients with urgent challenges or scenarios to handle.
|Burrill Green Practices:
Our Consulting Service
We have serviced a number of businesses consistently over the last eight years. Our reputation and the quality of our results has helped us enjoy continuing success for our clients. These continue, and our multi-national assignments remain an indicator of growth. We are certainly delivering ‘value from security’. Not only does this embrace strategic assignments on setting and fulfilling objectives; it also includes significant work in mentoring, coaching and the search and placement of senior executives in security management and risk mitigation roles.
We will continue to provide input that makes a real difference at a strategic level, and subsequently through company-wide implementation. We are also aware of the nature and form of a different need that, while still being an element of an overall strategy, might warrant a sudden introduction of intensive care in truly professional hands. For this aspect of our service, we have introduced a practice to meet needs and demands wisely and cost-effectively in a very short time-frame.
“I am so thrilled this is actually happening - has been a long time in the lobbying process - and a pleasure to work with you and your team.”
Security Solutions Now
Capitalising on our global expertise and connections, we are also now able to offer a short-term, focused deployment of resources from our pool of experienced interim managers, to tackle immediate issues and challenges in a business.
A response can be set up very quickly from such a simple start-point as a telephone call to our global dedicated number or a rapid e-mail alert. Our purpose and role can be summarised by our business address for this practice: www.securitysolutionsnow.com
With our ability both to raise standards and lower costs, our new service is led by Geoff Gillion [more], our Director Security Solutions Now, and supported administratively by Lois Reynolds.
Whether clients are concerned about security risks in a new venture, or anticipating a need for rapidly improving security, our Security Solutions Now practice is our front-line response service.
Within this operation, we also operate a Technical Surveillance Counter Measures (TSCM) capability, delivered by our associate Tony Mannakee, who has over twenty years’ experience in this specialised and valuable field.
For assignments that may subsequently require more time and input, the added value resource of the core Burrill Green consultancy practice can be seamlessly accessed, so our overall approach helps ensure a more effective strategy for security’s role and contribution to business, as soon as immediate threats and challenges have been addressed.
Corporate Security Business School
“Come milk our knowledge”
Over three years ago, we sat down to discuss how we might share and disseminate our knowledge and experiences further. Many people asked us if we had further materials on topics after they had used one or more of our services, or whether we could help by offering inputs at different levels and with different styles of training, mentoring and coaching.
It was clear to us, after liaising with a number of specialist training organisations we had co-operated with, and with tertiary level academic institutions, that our material represented a unique combination of practical experience and insight based on desired academic working models. In addition, we could bolster learning with current real-time experience and practices, delivered by our own people who have successfully implemented what they are now teaching, out in global marketplaces.
We began to formalize our knowledge into a series of educational programmes that could be uniquely ours, or adapted to fit in with parts of other organisations’ training and career development plans, either as academic institutions or within a company’s own tailor-made teaching syllabus.
To contain these bundles of experience, we created a virtual learning centre, peopled with our own associates and with other people who could bring different forms of expertise to the overall mix, in higher education, research and other specialist domains. The enterprise sits under the wing we call the Burrill Green Corporate Security Business School - learn more here >
We are acutely aware of the demands on time, costs and resource in already busy and challenged enterprises, so our response to these realities is to offer a very flexible series of programmes that can vary immensely in time commitment, resource location and cost dimensions. Whatever the mix, the only elements we do not compromise on are the quality of the material, the quality of the tutors, and the provision of post-course coaching and care.
Launched in January 2012, we have already had the opportunity to test and try out several ways of working that suit our client’s needs, both alone and in conjunction with other companies and training organisations. As we progress in 2014, we are developing and further refining our programmes and services to meet existing and emerging needs across a broad and multinational client base. Our website features current courses, and more will be added as the year progresses and client requests increase.
To root our efforts in reality, there is no better reference than from those who have already taken part in our services. Let some of our 2013 students speak up for us:
“Value for Security training is a masterpiece. I recommend it to any serious mind in the security profession.”*
“It was a brilliant week.”
“Thank you for your fantastic presentation, everyone was impressed.”
“I really gained a lot of knowledge about the very interesting topic, to implement business in security.”
“Thank you again for a brilliant Masterclass program.”
“What I took away mostly, is a different way of addressing management or other business peers in security issues and increased confidence in what I do.”
“This course was a world class one and one of the best that I have ever taken, benefited from, and enjoyed.”
“Impactful package! It’s great to be a part of this!!! Thank you all.”
“It was great indeed, wish it can be repeated sooner than later!”
* (All quotes are anonymous for confidentiality requirements.
We are happy to supply references to those who subscribe to our privacy policies.)
We were delighted to make an entry into the Nigerian market in 2013 running two ‘Value from Security’ programmes. We will be back there again this year.
In conjunction with the MIS Training Institute we have successfully launched a revised version of the Corporate Security Masterclass. This now comprises two modules:
“Essentials of Enhanced Security” (2 days) and “Achieving Excellence through Security” (3 days). Delegates may attend either module separately, but most prefer to attend both (and save on fees).
Successful completion of each module entitles the delegate to a Burrill Green / MIS certificate and completion of the full five days additionally entitles the delegate to 37 CPE points. These accreditations can be a significant part of our offer, as well as the service being a fulfilling career-development exercise in its own right.
The pace and intensity of the programmes ensure that each delegate is taken out of their professional comfort zone and discovers new ways of working to deliver added value through security within their organisation from the day they return.
During 2013 and continuing in 2014, we have and will continue to deliver courses in partnership with Praesidio, principally for the Scandinavian markets, and in 2014 we are beginning what we believe will be another lasting and fruitful partnership with the Canadian Security Executive Forum.
2014 already promises to be a busy year for the School’s tutors and teaching associates. Additionally, this year we will also be introducing courses in Crisis Management and Investigative Interviewing to our growing global audience, to be delivered in Botswana, Belgium, Denmark, Jordan, Poland, Nigeria, Russia and the UK.
Also, Dr Frank Marsh [more], our Director Cyber and Information Security, will be offering two courses in the challenging subject of helping achieve fruitful convergence between corporate and IT security. The first course will be on corporate security for IT security managers and the second course will be IT security for corporate security managers.
In the second half of this year we will be launching two distance-learning courses; one specifically focused on country security managers, and the other on security analysts who wish to further their careers in security management.
To “milk the knowledge”, and to help others get the opportunity to see what can be achieved with the service, revisit the site for further details, or to contact us about contributing to the school: More >
Both from the School and within the other group practices, we are particularly well-placed and in demand to give key-note presentations both on conference platforms around the world, and on-line.
Our confidential, personalised search and selection practice that only handles senior level placements has grown considerably in the past year. During this time we have successfully sourced and placed first class candidates in Europe, the Middle East, Asia-Pacific, Africa and Latin America. Getting the right people, with a suitable blend of leadership, security and risk management skills and experience, together with the appropriate business orientation for a specific organisation’s objectives and operating culture is our key service. Cultural as well as business alignment is our principal driver, and crucial to our clients’ wishes to gain ever more value from security as a business-integrated function. On a corporate note, we are also passionate about helping drive into markets the values we believe are fundamental to our overall mission, the Burrill Green goal of pushing the professional bar for security higher and higher.
Driving our success in this field is the tenet that underpins everything that we do:
Our people have done it themselves, successfully - for real.
Our whole selection process is conducted by interviewers and assessors who have held top security positions in multi-national companies for many years; they know what true capability looks like. For example, if a position requires a person with exceptional investigative skills, we will have candidates interviewed by an acknowledged expert; and likewise for other key requirements. We believe that we are unmatched in this respect.
We are aware of the breadth and depth of changes and approaches in the search and selection business all around the world, and across all disciplines, and we monitor developments and effectiveness. We believe our knowledge of candidates and our access to them. can help reduce the time and resources often put into such searches, yet with highly effective and cost-efficient results. This is a virtuous circle, where clients, candidates, and us all benefit from a streamlined approach with no loss of suitably qualified people.
Unlike a number of operators both on and off-line these days, we also pride ourselves on communicating effectively with candidates. We do not believe in the practice of many whose approach, or sadly the lack of it, appears to be, “If you do not hear from us, you have not got the job”. We treat people with the utmost respect and will always provide feedback to those who have not succeeded. This approach also represents a key dimension of our overall group practice behaviour in treating people as individuals with the levels of respect they deserve.
Here are some comments from clients and candidates:
“That’s excellent feedback and I really appreciate receiving it. It's rare to get anything like this.”*
“I really appreciate the time, effort and personal attention put into ensuring that we have a keen, hard-working and talented individual, and that everything goes off without a hitch.”
“Can I take this opportunity to thank you and your colleagues for all your assistance? The service provided has been first rate and no matter what the outcome, I will be recommending your services.”
“I personally have never had this much assistance or interest taken - ever, so thank you.”
“I have to say our discussions, your openness and the process I went through with you helped enormously in getting to the right position – I am truly grateful to you.”
“Whatever (the company’s) final decision is, I wanted to sincerely thank you for the high quality of your selection process as well as incredibly human way of running your activity. Consider me as a living advertisement for your company.”
* (All quotes are anonymous for confidentiality requirements.
We are happy to supply references to those who subscribe to our privacy policies.)
Analysts for Security
Business-integrated security can only be as good as the intelligence an organization can utilise in its search for a competitive edge, or to provide an improved service. In a world of Big Data, information can only be useful if there are efficient means of collecting it. Following that, all the data in the world is useless if there is no-one who can interpret it and then convince others of its value, turning it into actionable intelligence.
The role of analysts in security and risk management continues to be a specialised area with a growing profile and proven success. In the same way that our corporate security search and selection practice utilizes specialists to help management and its HR supporters to identify and hire the best people for their business, we are sure that the same approach is required for analysts.
To this end, we created a dedicated search and selection specialist practice, called Analysts for Security. With the same level of depth and empathy given in our Secure Leadership practice, we provide similar levels of excellence in helping companies source and select the best candidates for their business.
“I have to say our discussions, your openness and the process I went through with you helped enormously in getting to the right position - I am truly grateful to you.” Career guidance.
The service and our approach can be seen here >
in the interests of diversity and talent development we believe that many analysts have the potential to populate security manager positions. With this in mind the practice is also developing courses and distance-learning programmes that will be offered to analysts through the Burrill Green Corporate Security Business School
|Burrill Green Services in Action:
The Convergence of Corporate Security with IT Security
To address this critical issue successfully, we have provided consulting services to a number of clients, enabling essential co-operation between CSOs and CIOs on broad company strategy and effective implementation and evaluation.
This is reflected operationally by building a ‘joined-up’ service with corporate security managers and IT security managers. Helping corporate security managers to understand the IT security world, and IT security staff in turn to understand the security world, is an area where we have provided holistic solutions, leading to greater business value, reduced risks and enhanced talent development.
CSOs and CIOs/CISOs continue to face the growing use of blended threats by criminals intent on stealing money, goods, intellectual property and other valuable information and intelligence. Criminal groups and cells continue to be often far more flexible and quick to exploit opportunities than companies whose systems and procedures are complex and occasionally cumbersome. These sophisticated groups and individuals are using cyber-attacks to support thefts and physical attacks to support access to IT systems. Some are still there simply trying to disrupt business, and methods of attack can cripple or kill many enterprises that don’t have the resources to respond quickly to restore the business and customer and client relationships.
To ensure that security risks are fully addressed, all security and risk mitigation managers have to consider and imagine cyber vulnerabilities, physical and people risks that can compromise or damage IT systems. Traditionally operating in very different areas, the CIO/CISO and CSO must find ways to ensure their activities are fully and closely co-ordinated so risks are properly covered, there is no wasteful or contradictory duplication of effort, and that there are no gaps that can be exploited. Gap analysis and a strategic approach to managing uncertainty are critical infrastructure protection elements that need to be part of the daily operating systems and procedures that are used to protect assets and reputation.
Our leader in this domain is Dr. Frank Marsh [more]. He has provided advice and organizational support to enable CSOs and CIO/CISOs alike to find a common language, to provide good practice guidelines and training in areas of information security where the two functions meet head on, overlap, or are operating with exploitable gaps that can be identified by malicious or disaffected parties., This can including working to help develop a security programme coming out of the core strategy that ensures the holistic development of all staff, as well as those who have a significant part of their remit involved in security matters. This increases the talent pool available to both IT and security functions. It can also provide individual staff with a wider career choice, a contribution that can be determined and managed with Human Resource personnel and other managers with cross-functional responsibilities in the organisation.
It is self-evident that our exceptionally experienced and talented team has the wherewithall to provide services beyond our current business practices. In this context, we will always be open to approaches about developing other opportunities, and we continue to build relationships with like-minded partners who are seeking to expand their own horizons, connections and knowledge.
Finally, reflecting our determination to raise the ability of corporate security to bring greater worth to companies and their stakeholders, we are delighted with the success of our two books: Value from Security and Crossing the Line. Again, we can do no better than to allow our clients to comment:
“Thank you once again for this very valuable book (Value from Security). I have it in both an electronic and hard copy format, and use it again and again.”
“Your book is very valuable and I have it always with me (just like the Bible)”
Crossing the Line serves to give more help to those principally seeking to move from public to private sector roles, along with a DVD that provides further insights and help.
These books are available from all major on-line booksellers, and the DVD is available exclusively from firstname.lastname@example.org
It is likely that more publications will be produced as our courses develop and we seek to share yet more experiences.
See you next time,
David and Kevin, and all at BurrillGreen
Burrill Green - Raising Value, Lowering Costs