How far the security profession has come from the 2006 convergence-flavored predictions that all things security were headed to the IT department and security professionals were an endangered species. All evidence points to the contrary as the next generation of security strategy and execution through the application of enabling technologies lands fully in your lap.

What trends are converging (sorry) on the security profession?

You’ll Earn More:

A newly published survey by a leading compensation consulting and research firm, Foushée Group, Inc. headquartered in Ft. Meyers, Fla. found some interesting facts on security executives. The nation’s top corporate domestic security officers, those executives in charge of domestic security for U.S. companies, are paid an average of $221,193 annually in total cash compensation (including base salary and bonus paid).

“The sixth annual survey reflects the continued integration and enhancement of security programs throughout many companies. The top domestic security officers’ scope and accountabilities continue to increase due to their focus on threat planning, governmental compliance and integration of security systems and protocols necessary for the protection of company assets,” said Stephen W. Walker, general partner, Foushée Group, Inc.

You’ll Have More Solutions from More Providers:

The ISC West Show exhibit floor included displays from industry leaders Pelco, Honeywell, Tyco, HID, Assa Abloy, PCSC, Hirsch, NVT, Lenel and others with dynamic products, solutions and valuable new services. And IBM, Cisco, SteelBox, Imprivata and Intransa jumped over the IT fence and into the security pool for the first time. Actually, they trampled and flattened the fence.

This is not about “new” and “old” technologies, but about unknown and known brands, new and existing relationships, changes in channel strategy and suppliers coming together at a fast pace. While these companies are competing, many are also collaborating. The common thread as technologies converge and diverse organizations meet is that they are delivering solutions that solve business and organizational problems that include but are not exclusive to security. Gee, so are you. It is not a surprise that smart marketers are listening to and looking for you.

You’ll Do More:

Security technology specialist David Kakish of CDW Corporation has noted that, “The chief security officer’s job is expanding to include responsibility for investigating breaches of IT security as well as increasingly sophisticated approaches to physical plant security.” And the point should be noted that the CIO’s job is expanding to include responsibility for supporting the security function at an enterprise and infrastructure level.

And More Still:

Your role is increasing even more than Kakish implies. The 2006 Corporate Governance and Compliance Hotline Benchmarking Report published by The Network, the CSO Executive Council and the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE) presents the concept of “Unified Oversight Risk” with the top security leader as core to this team focused on organizational integrity. The study on Organizational Hotline Activity measures eight unique incidents that impact security including: Company/Professional Code Violations, Corruption & Fraud, Customer/Competitor Interaction, Employment Law Violation, Environment, Health & Safety, Misuse of Assets/Information, Other/Unresolved and Personnel Management. For an overview, e-mail: benchmarking@reportline.net

You’ll Need Executive Buy-in:

Which allows us to catch up with Dave Shepherd who seems to always be a few steps ahead. I asked how he worked with IT during his tenure at The Venetian in Las Vegas. “We worked great together, all day, everyday — we were a team” said Shepherd. By the way, Dave’s new venture is chief preparedness officer at Mission Assurance Services. He works with the leaders of major organizations on business integration and recovery planning. Typically, after assembling the top officers including the “C” executive suite together in a room, he begins by turning off the lights and asking, “OK, what’s your plan?” The result? At the end of the program the security budget goes up – way up.