David Carpenter, vice president, global security, Pepsico Inc., had an educational challenge.
Wariness of increased federal and state regulation was evident among industry and trade associations as security professionals met in February for the Security Industry Association’s 2004 Corporate Security Roundtable in Miami.

According to independent security consultant Robert W. Hayes, CPP, CFE, the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks soon could result in security becoming the most-regulated industry in America. The security executive was in charge of security at Georgia Pacific Corp., Atlanta, at the time of the Al Qaeda and anthrax attacks. Speaking during his popular session at the roundtable, Hayes backed up his theory by citing recent executive orders, federal and state legislation, and new regulations created by more than a dozen federal agencies. “This is not a fad,” Hayes said. “This is a tidal wave coming at us.” Security guidelines and recommendations now being issued almost monthly by various associations across virtually all industry segments appear to be an effort to head off more government interference, Hayes said.

One participant noted that a sizeable segment of practitioners were not even aware of new mandates.

Another key discussion point was the perceived lack of consistency among the host of new security requirements.

Hayes suggested that these mounting and seemingly irreversible trends toward regulation and required security standards would result in boom times for practitioners and consultants offering peer review and third party validation services.

Sidebar: Closing Holes, Opening Minds

For utilities such as Chelan County Public Utility District in Washington state, guidelines aim at closing the security holes.

“That was the basis of the investment,” said Richard Robert, director of security. Robert, who attended the Corporate Security Roundtable in Miami, led a major overhaul of access control, video and monitoring for the district, which generates electricity for clients throughout the West from its dams along the Columbia River.

Prior to Sept. 11, the district had determined every possible security gap and “then put it on the shelf. After 9-11, ba-boom, everything came off the shelf,” he said. Now that an enterprise-level system has been installed with upgrades throughout the facilities, “it’s a better place to work, people feel more comfortable, and we have an excellent management tool.”

“When we spend money on gates, guards, fire alarms and security systems to better protect ourselves against threats, then we don’t have employees let strangers follow them in the door,” said David Carpenter, who heads up global security at Pepsico, and also was at the Roundtable. He said that concern about Sept. 11 is real, but didn’t hit home initially, a typical reaction from some employees being, “We make sodas and salty snacks. Why would someone want to get in our facility?”

Carpenter decided “to engage employees and make sure only people with passes come in [to the corporate facilities]. We’re trying to drive that home very hard.”