In our recent webinar, Leading Corporate Security During Volatile Times, Ontic security experts joined to discuss ways for security leaders to future-proof their programs, prioritize protection and leverage technology to help mitigate risks inflicted by the rapidly-evolving threat landscape. The panel consisted of Chuck Randolph, Executive Director of Strategic Intelligence, Dr. Marisa Randazzo, Executive Director of Threat Management and Fred Burton, Executive Director at Ontic’s Center for Protective Intelligence, and was hosted by SVP of Sales, Mat Thompson.
Here are six tactics the panel discussed to help safety, security and protection professionals lead through times of chaos.
1. Initiate Cross-Functional Communication
Security teams are seeing uncertainty from all different angles. Whether it’s around geopolitical issues, supreme court decisions or mass shootings, these events are all highly publicized and can often increase a level of fear in employees. Looking at the threat landscape from the corporate security point of view, businesses are seeing this increase in fear result in a higher volume of reports about unsafe situations. Opening the lines of communication across departments allows your team to learn about what concerns other departments are hearing. In the wake of these events, check with HR, management teams and the C-suite, and listen to what’s top of mind in their world to make sure security is aware as well. Consider standing up a monthly meeting to get with everyone who is managing risk in the organization. Reach out to non-traditional roles that sit outside of the security team. Don’t think about titles or labels, look at if their role is concerned with risk and talk to them.
2. Prioritize Concerns Specific To Your Organization
Looking at the news cycle or social media feeds can seem overwhelming and begs the security team leader to think about what is relevant to their organization’s security posture. With 88% of companies experiencing a dramatic increase in physical threat activity, it’s imperative to prioritize which threats need to be addressed and which ones will have the greatest impact on an organization. Think about the ripple effects as it pertains to your company and focus only on the things you can control. Whether it be a supply chain issue, cybersecurity risk, or insider threat, decide what you need to monitor and reassess on an ongoing basis as various situations develop.
3. Pressure Test Leadership
Leaders can be asked a lot of questions during times of crisis. Could something like that happen here? Do we have any of these issues? Now is the time to sit with your core leadership team to red team these scenarios to identify any vulnerabilities in your organization. Be sure to avoid any internal biases and walk through all the “what ifs.” A lot of atmospheres are changing so it’s important to plan out how your team would handle potential issues and discuss the effects. This will help identify gaps that need to be filled to ensure your team stays ahead of possible risks.
4. Educate C-Suite on Security Implications
As a security professional in today’s polarized culture, you can’t tell your C-suite to not take a public stance on current social and political issues. What you can do is educate them on the possible security implications of what they’d like to say and how they’d like to say it. Communicate in advance that anyone who may be taking a position on a certain topic should let security know so they can proactively listen and monitor on social media for any potential threats their statement could cause. Another way to mitigate these risks is to present the option to express a stance internally. Some leaders may choose to say something through an email to the workforce rather than posting it on social media – where it is welcome to external commentary, opinions and threats. By informing leadership of the potential public scrutiny from their stance, they may decide to do an internal communication first.
5. Lean Into Modernization
With the rate at which the modern threat landscape is evolving, it requires more sophisticated security programs. Leveraging technology allows teams to force multiply their individuals, which is critical given an inevitable economic downturn. For leaders, a digital transformation allows them to make sure the priorities are being managed properly despite an increase in the volume and complexity of threats. Having these intelligence systems and processes in play also allow your organization to better forecast impending vulnerabilities so you’re able to fill intelligence gaps as best you can.
6. Lead With Authenticity
It may sound cliché but your people need to see you and know you care about them during tumultuous times. Just showing up as a leader demonstrates that your team has your support. Amongst all the chaos and adrenaline, leaders are often impaired in their abilities and judgment which is why it’s critical to lead authentically and ask for feedback. Be open and honest that you might not be aware of something you’re missing so you’re relying on team members to be an extra set of eyes and ears within the organization to ensure you’re being spot-checked.
“When the leader goes down, the organization goes down,” emphasized Chuck Randolph. Be clear about your time and space to make sure you have the ability to lead.
Want to see the full webinar? Watch ‘Leading Corporate Security During Volatile Times’ on-demand here.