With more than 200security leaders in attendance, the first Security 500 Conference held in Washington, DC, brought high levels of thought-leadership and discussions to the fore. Verizon CSO Michael Mason started off the day with his keynote on challenging the technological imperative by asking “what problem will this solve? How will this support our mission?” before investing in new technology.

He emphasized the importance of driving security initiatives and purchases through metrics, not fear. Which has a larger day-to-day impact on your enterprise, he asked: terrorism or domestic abuse? Focusing on problems that are “closer to home” for your specific enterprise helps drive the business forward.

Metrics were key in the Universal Protection Services-sponsored panel on The Predictive Revolution. Panelists mentioned that metrics enable them to form better pictures of scale and efficiency in the enterprise, giving standards for the C-Suite to measure performance and see change. This is the difference between reporting and predicting, they said – now, you cannot bring old, reactive data to the C-Suite and expect results. Forward-facing initiatives require metrics.

Forward-facing security departments also require talent. According to a panel including John Stewart of Cisco, David Burrill of Burrill Green, Jerry Brennan of SMR and Stephen Baker of State Street Corporation, too much training is focused on the minutiae of security tasks rather than leadership, which leaves the security industry lacking new CSOs for the future. According to Stewart, every security leader should find and foster two new security leaders who could take your place, and that means betting on security industry awareness programs in high schools, international talent sourcing, looking for female candidates and spreading the job search nets to include more geographical diversity.

If you want to learn more about the Security 500 and other panels from this year’s event, visit www.security500.com