As we have done in previous years, the Security magazine team compiled our favorite articles from this year. As we head into 2020, we hope you take a moment to review some of 2019’s top articles about lessons learned, thought leadership, security challenges and good practices.


Diane Ritchey, Editor-in-Chief of Security Magazine

  1. How a GuideWell Member Saved a Life. One of the most satisfying parts of my role as Editor-in-Chief of Security magazine is the opportunity to share inspiring stories with our readers. This was one of them.
  2. Security Leadership: Women in the Spotlight. It is always such a pleasure to highlight the accomplishments of female security leaders.
  3. First Responders and PTSD. During my research for this piece, it was eye opening to learn just how much exposure to stress can take a toll on a first responder's mental and physical health, which sometimes can lead to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
  4. How Personality Types Affect Cybercrime. Time and time again we hear that understanding human behavior and actions is the best way to mitigate risks, which includes cybercrime.
  5. Confidence in Making the Best Hire. How do you know if you have made the best hire? With his insights and advice, Jerry Brennan helps you to navigate that process.


Maria Henriquez, Associate Editor of Security Magazine

  1. Driving K-12's Digital Security and Privacy. I had the pleasure of interviewing James Watson, Security Administrator for the Leander ISD, who is helping ensure not only the physical security of students and staff, but also their digital privacy.
  2. Protecting Faith-Based Communities Part 1 and Part 2. Scott Breor, Associate Director within CISA’s Infrastructure Security Leadership Division team, Patrick Fiel, national security consultant, and Bob Chauncey, Church Safety Security Consultant and Public Safety Chaplain, spoke to me about the safety and funding challenges that houses of worship often face. They provided many insights on no-cost or low-cost measures that houses of worship can take to secure their infrastructure, staff and attendees.
  3. Protecting Students, Staff and Community at Marymount California University. Hector Rodriguez, Public Safety and Security Director at MCU speaks about his career in both public and private security, provides insights on building a threat assessment team and enhancing the university’s camera system. He also discusses the importance of creating a safe environment without creating anxiety for both staff and students.
  4. The First 90 Days of Your New Security Job. It is always fun and educational to read Jerry Brennan’s Career Intelligence column every month. In this article, he explores how to navigate a new organization, build long-lasting relationships, manage a new culture and more.
  5. Employee Training to Prevent Workplace Violence and Active Shooter Events. Ben Joelson, Senior Director at the Chertoff Group, remind us that the reality is that risk can never be fully eliminated, only managed. The question becomes: how critical is employee training to prevent workplace violence, and what does an aware employee look like? 



Guy Grace, Director of Security & Emergency Preparedness, Littleton Public Schools

  1. The Importance of Integrated Security Layers. As a K-12 Security professional and Chairman for the Partner Alliance for Safer Schools, I really believe in Security Layers and integrating the following:   
      The policies and procedures component involves a school or district’s emergency operations plan (EOP) and security plans. Comprehensive security plans, and the policies and procedures created to implement them, form the foundation of school safety and security. Without proper policies and procedures in place, it is impossible to use security technology and other security measures successfully, regardless of how advanced they may be. Effective policies and procedures alone can mitigate risks, and there are often no costs associated with implementing them.
      Personnel (vigilant staff and students) make up the most important component of each layer. To individuals with criminal intent, such vigilance is an effective deterrent. ALL students and staff should be empowered to take effective action in emergencies and receive appropriate training and instructions relevant to a school or district’s safety processes, plans, technologies and procedures.
      There are many architectural considerations that can enhance the security and safety plans for school buildings. Using Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) principles is critical to efforts by districts and their architects in designing buildings and grounds that enhance safety and security. Buildings should be designed to have natural surveillance (sight lines), territorial reinforcement (designated public, semi-private and private areas) and access control. The architectural component also includes collecting and sharing critical information about school facilities for mitigation and response to emergencies.
      Emergency communication is vital to the safety and security of the staff and students in our schools. It is important to distinguish between emergency and routine communication systems. NFPA 72 (the national fire alarm and signaling code) defines an emergency communication system as “a system for the protection of life by indicating the existence of an emergency situation and communicating information necessary to facilitate an appropriate response and action.” Routine communication systems handle day-to-day communication on all matters outside this definition. The use of dedicated emergency communication systems and technologies is essential. Normal business telephone, email and social media apps designed for routine communication are not adequate for critical communication during an emergency event unless they are especially configured for this purpose in a code-compliant manner. The 9/11 terrorist attacks and the 2011 tornado in Joplin, Mo., are two of many examples in which these routine communication technologies failed during emergencies.
      Controlling access to school property, buildings and classrooms is a basic security function and responsibility of school administrators. Mechanical locks have historically formed the base for any access control system, but there are other critical elements to consider. Many schools and districts have invested in electronic access control features that allow for enhanced security. Modern access control systems and procedures offer an effective solution to preventing unauthorized intruders from accessing a building during school hours and for monitoring access points for the various layers.
      A video surveillance system is a component of any school or district security program, providing deterrence and detection and, in more advanced implementations, enhancing response to a variety of daily challenges experienced at schools. In the past, video recordings were used primarily in a forensic capacity to help determine the who, what, when and where of an incident after the fact. As surveillance technology has advanced, so have capabilities that allow security professionals to leverage video as a proactive tool to help mitigate risks before and as they occur. Much of this capability has been enabled through the widespread use and increasing affordability of internet protocol (IP) cameras over the past decade. It is very important to note that, in video surveillance, there is no such thing as a “one-size-fits-all” approach. Designing a quality video surveillance system can be complicated and requires a collaborative approach involving multiple professionals
      “Detection and alarms” refers to technology used to detect and/or report an emergency event. Traditional intrusion detection systems represent a key platform that has evolved beyond burglar alarms to provide the capability to report other types of emergencies and support an all-hazards approach to safety and security. The most important aspect of detection and alarm systems is that they provide the technological means to easily translate the detection of a security threat to a strategic notification that best fits with the processes and protocols put in place to respond to the threats that schools face.


2. 10-Year Look Back at Technology's Role in Shaping Today's Security Professionals. Loved the article. As someone involved deeply in technology it constantly amazes about how my career and the types of incidents my team and I have responded to were influenced by technology. It truly does shape us as security professionals.

3. The Top 5 Reasons Why Your Security Program Needs Intelligence Personnel. This article did not focus on K-12, but what resonated with me was that it is important for security programs to empower personnel to play a key role in developing actionable intelligence for the security team. The security team typically does not have the luxury of time or the unique competencies to collect, analyze and synthesize vast amounts of information and distribute it in a meaningful way to help leaders make sound decisions. Therefore, for us in the K-12 setting, we train security officers to obtain so-called intelligence for us as well, such as social media monitoring and situational monitoring.  

4. Sandy Hook Promise PSA Shows Graphic View of School Shootings. I first saw this article on a LinkedIn Security Magazine post. The video, in my thoughts, does not help school security in any way. I include this story in my top five because of the negative emotion that the Sandy Hook Promise PSA gave me.

5. Facial Recognition: When Convenience and Privacy Collide. This article had a lot of influence on myself, and on other people I know. It was shared with me from the Security Industry Association. In my school district and at PASS, we are piloting facial recognition. The consensus in both environments is that it is a top fantastic emerging technology.


Jeff Hauk, MSA, CPP, PEM, Director, Public Safety and Police Authority Services, Memorial Healthcare

1. The Road to the CSO. (February 2019, by Diane Ritchey). Fascinating story of Brian Tuskan’s career path from an Officer with the Honolulu Police Department to CSO of Microsoft, particularly involving his interest in technology, innovative use of technology, his relationship building throughout his career and both patience and methodical approach towards achieving his goal of becoming a CSO. 

2. Best in Class. (January 2019, by Diane Ritchey). Several real-world examples of developing, construction, staffing and utilization of 21st century Global Security Operations Centers (GSOC). Gone are the days when security officers keeping an eye on an array of video monitors was enough. Advancements in software, automation and equipment technologies are getting good enough to replace humans for many routine, “if-this-then-that reactions.” GSOCs are a massive investment to create and maintain, but what GSOCs and staff are doing now delivers an innovative and higher value-add to organizations beyond just physical security. 

3.  The Rise of License Plate Reader Technology.  (May 2019, by Sarah Ludwig Rausch). It’s clear that this innovative technology (LPR) can do much more than read license plates. Beyond determining the license plate number, the make, model and color of the vehicle, this technology may offer a number of different applications, as technology advances and the systems continue to get smarter. However, as this article notes, there are challenges and risks to be considered with its deployment and use. The advancements in LPR capabilities and affordability may make it a more compelling technology for a security program, but security professionals need to make sure they are aware of their regional and state laws surrounding the technology. Moving forward, it will be imperative to find a solution that is customizable to fit changing regulatory environment.

4.  The Impact of City Surveillance and Smart Cities. (April 2019, by Sarah Ludwig Rausch). This article does a superb job of detailing a number of examples of the proven benefits, potential implications and challenges faced by many cities and communities across the nation. The use of technology can be a game changer, as many agencies responsible for “serving and protecting” are challenged with smaller budgets and reduced staff. Many are looking to technology to be that force multiplier. Moving forward, law enforcement, security and information technology (IT) professionals will need to work closer together to customize and integrate the appropriate technology into a comprehensive security risk management plan that works and supports a balance between safety and security and privacy.

5.  Privacy-An Emerging Security Career Trend. (October 2019, by Jerry Brennan). Jerry starts his article with something I, as a security professional, have also found to be true: that many true professionals are drawn to the security profession because they seek lifelong learning opportunities and have a willingness to respond to a constantly changing risk environment. The article outlines many of the “unknowns” we as a society are, and will continue to be, challenged with when it comes to the availability, risks and needs for protecting “information,” as well as the future opportunities for security professionals.


The most popular articles online for 2019, some that were published in our print issue, the Security enewsletter and Today’s Cybersecurity Leader enewsletter, include:

The 2019 Security 500 Rankings

Cybersecurity Trends To Watch For in 2019

The California Consumer Privacy Act: Everything We Know with Six Months to Go

What’s the Real Role of AI and ML in Cybersecurity?

The Cybersecurity Talent Gap = an Industry Crisis

Don’t Overlook LinkedIn as a Corporate Security Risk

A New Framework for Preventing Cyber Attacks


Learn more about the Security eNewsletter and Today’s Cybersecurity Leader or subscribe here.

The entire Security magazine team thanks you for reading! Please leave us a comment below to let us know what topics you want to read about next year.