Blog Date: 8/9/2013
Author: Brian Coulombe
As the prevailing threats to safety and security and mitigating technologies have adapted over time, so too has the role and requisite skill set of the security consultant. Systems have gotten smarter. Protocols have been standardized. Transmission media are shared. On one hand, this technological progression has provided us with amazing tools for increasing safety and security. For example, if a chemical sensor is triggered, we can automatically pull up surveillance cameras, adjust the HVAC system, lock doors, defer elevators, and generate mass notifications. However, deploying these complex integrated systems requires a broader knowledge of their individual capabilities and the ability to create a secure network for them to communicate.
The next generation of security consultant and engineer will be required to be well-versed in secure network design and have a working knowledge of how buildings and facilities actually operate as a whole. This knowledge will allow the design of better systems for deterrence, detection, and response. As our technology tool chest grows, it will also be increasingly important to take a pragmatic approach in developing the design basis threat. It is easy to get carried away with expensive new devices and software; mitigating the true threats to a facility while maintaining sensitivity to a client's mission and operation is (and always has been) paramount.
Of course, the next generation of consultant would be remiss to not give credence to those who came before them. Sound security design principles don't change much over time - only the tools we use to enact them.