Did you ever see the movie Groundhog Day? In it, Bill Murray plays a uninspired weatherman who finds himself reliving the same day over and over again. It is only when he discovers something new about himself that he is able to break out of the rut and make something new with what he has.

Most security executives find themselves in a similar rut every now and then. Finding new ways to use what you already have – or finding value in your current investments is the real game we are playing. That’s the secret to being a superstar security executive – the secret that is never uttered aloud – just whispered in the halls of the business school. Look around, you have security technologies in place, long-time employees doing different jobs and a bit of a budget each year to update or enhance your security program.

People and collaboration are more essential than just technology.

Think about motivation

And how do we spend that money? To quell the fear. The fear that we will not be in compliance with this regulation or that standard. The fear of not being able to prove your own worth as security executive. The demons. Where does this fear lead us? To buy more security products, adding layer upon layer until you sit on top of an empire of technologies and processes.

You have a ten foot wall around your building; this year, is it time to add 3 more feet to that wall? Maybe encase the entire building in concrete? What will make the fear go away? What will seem like the best way to spend the money?

Are you going to let your security investments be motivated by fear, or are you going to control the fear and create real value? You learned it once but maybe you don’t remember...security is not merely about keep the demons away. It is about enabling the business to function and prosper -- no matter what happens.

You have a visitor management system, so you already know when a consultant or contractor is in the building. And you have a network that permits PCs to connect and share information. But do you know when a contractor is plugging his PC into your network from the conference room? Or you are considering deploying smart cards for physical access but you are afraid of the cost of the systems and software. Did you realize that your Microsoft servers already have the infrastructure and algorithms to support it?

Using what you have – but using it smarter and with more creativity actually gives you more security and delivers more value to the organization.

Being an effective security manager is not merely a matter of buying another layer of technology. It is a matter of seeking value - of finding better ways to use what you already have.

About the Columnist

Steve Hunt is president and chief executive officer of 4A International, Chicago. Contact him atinfo@4ai.comor visit his Web site atwww.4ai.com. Hunt thanks Sol Tzvi, a noted security industry expert based in Israel, for his assistance with this column. Tzvi may be reached atsoltz@bezeqint.net.