Brad Minnis: Proactively Tackling Counterfeiting, Cyber and the Supply Chain
A Security 500 Thought Leader Profile
According to a study by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the global value of all counterfeit and pirated goods is $1.77 trillion. Counterfeit products make up five to seven percent of world trade, and have cost an estimated 2.5 million jobs worldwide, with 750,000 jobs lost in the U.S. alone.
It’s an issue that Brad Minnis, Senior Director, Corporate Safety and Security for Juniper Networks, spends much time and effort to mitigate. Juniper Networks is a multinational corporation headquartered in Sunnyvale, California, that develops and markets networking products, with a presence in 47 countries with 60 offices. His philosophy towards counterfeit products, which he has successfully implemented at Juniper after 17 years in his role at the company, is that it needs to be proactive, rather than reactive. “You need to do more than find a counterfeit product, investigate it and shut it down. That’s reacting to a problem that you already have.”
That philosophy, he says, was born after roles that included security officer, electrician, security supervisor, site security manager and security system managers at National Semiconductor Corp, Caterpillar, and 3Com Corporation.
Minnis explains, “During my time at 3Com the company experienced a big counterfeit issue. I took the lead on that as Lead Counterfeit and Gray Market Investigator for the company where my role was focused on counterfeit investigation, but also counterfeit prevention, eventually working with other industry leaders to form the Alliance for the Abatement of Counterfeiting and Gray Marketing, (AGMA) which is still a pretty relevant organization today.”
About eight years into his role at 3Com, Minnis moved to Juniper, and immediately changed the name of the company’s anti-counterfeiting program from Brand Protection to the Brand Integrity Program, which is focused on counterfeit prevention. “We are protecting the product all the way through its life cycle, through design and R&D and manufacturing. We’ve implemented security best practices at all levels of the product life cycle. At 3Com, the issues that led to the ability for somebody to counterfeit its products was internally-driven: bad business practices and other factors. At Juniper we have best practices around our supply chain processes, including technology features, to prevent the infiltration of counterfeit components into our supply chain, and to make it very difficult for people to counterfeit our products. And as a result, in our history we’ve never had a counterfeit product, which is really unusual for our sector.”
As a result, Minnis says he’s spending more time talking to Juniper customers about its anti-counterfeiting mitigation strategies. “We have a great story to tell,” he says, “so I spend more time than ever in front of customers talking about security and positioning security as a competitive advantage for the company.”
In addition to anti-counterfeiting work, Minnis has responsibility for environmental health and safety, business continuity and crisis management, and corporate social responsibility, particularly where it pertains to environmental performance and supply chain management. “We outsource all of our manufacturing supply chain to third parties, so we have a rigorous program to not only ensure the security of the manufacturing process, but other factors as well, including human rights and human trafficking, labor and living conditions.” Minnis has a team of 14 professionals that help manage the health, safety and security program, which includes GSOCs in Sunnyvale and Bangalore, India.
He reports to Juniper’s General Counsel, and has solid access to the C-suite and support at all levels. “We have had some high visibility events where Security has demonstrated leadership and has reduced risk to the company. Also, our CEO has been with the company more than 20 years, and I’ve been here almost 17 years, so we’ve both grown through the organization and have a solid relationship.”
In terms of security technology, Minnis and his team have implemented the ability for Juniper employees to report suspicious activity via an anonymous reporting app. “We have a younger workforce, so we are looking to technology that caters to that generation,” he says. “Beyond that, our security technology needs to give us credible information, in a timely fashion, that’s also actionable. We have a good relationship with our employee base; we’re not looked upon as ‘big brother’ at all, and we want them to continue to share information with us to help us keep them safe.”
In his free time Minnis enjoys playing golf, participating in music concerts and spending time with his family, including his four grandchildren.
Annual Revenue: $4.9 billion
Security Budget: $9.9 million
• Cyber Incident Response
• Product / Supply Chain Security
• Information Security