The role of a security director is crucial to protecting an organization’s property, therefore the role must be taken with confidence and a high level of expertise. This paper seeks to highlight the professional responsibilities of a security director, the importance of maintaining strong relationships with external and internal partners, as well as the critical skills required for the position. The four distinctive professional responsibilities include: loss prevention, investigation, administrative, and managerial. Unfortunately, challenges, such as cyberattacks, often arise while trying to protect an organization’s assets. Security directors must measure every possible threat, and keep policies/procedures current as new developments and discoveries are made. This paper identifies these challenges to security and seeks to determine their seriousness and which solutions will best correct the problems.
Being a security director requires the ability to juggle many different tasks, all while focusing on one specific goal—ensuring that every aspect of security in an organization is satisfactory. He or she must oversee all security measures, implement security processes, and take action against any assessed threats. There are a great number of challenges that arise during the security director’s mission to protect an organization’s assets, and it is important that he or she utilize the best solutions.
The security director’s most important responsibility is to prevent/limit the loss of an organization’s assets. IT security suffers heavily from security breaches, malware viruses, and data exposure in which confidential information is compromised. Cyberattacks, such as phishing scams, pose an enormous threat to an organization’s security system and often results in the loss of thousands of dollars due to downtime, strengthening security, and hiring costs. To limit an organization’s vulnerability, security directors must work to develop stronger network security and continue to oversee that the most effective practices and procedures are being used. Risks must continuously be assessed through system audits to discover any loopholes in protection which need to be immediately addressed (Shannon, 1999).
The use of system audits to identify and measure vulnerabilities and threats is one of the most effective practices of prevention. If any holes are found, an investigation of the security breach must be performed to determine the extent of the threat. The security director should have a thorough knowledge of how to gather all pertinent data in the event of a security breach in order to develop the most effective plan to combat it.
Maintaining relationships with internal and external entities helps to strengthen security operations by incorporating multiple specialties needed to perform various tasks. Security directors will work alongside government agencies, law enforcement, and professional groups such as firms in addition to the other departments within their organization. In these relationships, knowledge, experience, and resources are shared. Cultivating a relationship with law enforcement will help to further along a case by the exchange of pertinent information in the event of an incident, as well as keep track of developments within security. Contracts may be negotiated which outline an agreement with outside entities who are to perform certain services for the organization, such as an investigator (Shannon, 1999). By developing partnerships, such as one with an investigator, necessary tasks are divided allowing more free time to focus on other job responsibilities.
Security directors are the leaders of security teams, and are overseeing all security functions as well as how everyone within the organization is using the systems. Improper use of systems from users not properly trained can pose just as big as a threat to an organization’s security as a scammer. Policy and procedure training should be developed by the security director, and should be completed annually or as changes are implemented. Many organizations now prefer the use of web-based training courses due to easy access and the convenience of completing them during downtime. When developing the courses, all applicable laws, regulations, and government agencies should be incorporated to make users aware of how policies are determined as well as the code of conduct. Security directors should create a working environment that mitigates an employee’s ability to be dishonest by establishing an internal audit system, and dividing job responsibilities. Implementing video surveillance will also deter employees from engaging in risky behavior.
Users with ill intentions are also threats to an organization. They are knowledgeable about the organization’s practices, and have access to various systems. To combat these issues within the internal staff, security directors must implement disciplinary actions as a result of improper use. The security director must ensure that all employees abide by all privacy policies and procedures through consistent monitoring of employee usage and system audits.
Natural disasters come with little to no warning and can destroy unsecured assets in a matter of moments. Security directors must prepare to increase security in the event of an emergency or any unplanned incident by implementing emergency preparedness procedures. Making sure to maintain an inventory of all business items and equipment secured in a safe place can help measure the extent of the loss (“Minimizing the Risks”, 2012). Software and data should also be backed up regularly. Unplanned incidents are the perfect examples as to why the security director’s responsibility of creating and monitoring budgets is so important due to weakening the financial blow caused by any natural or unnatural disaster.
When dealing with security risks as well as directing a team, it is almost certain that both conflicts and complaints will arise. Security directors must have the ability to resolve problems in an effective and timely manner in the midst of carrying out other responsibilities, as well as to manage conflicts to diffuse tense situations.
Interpersonal skills are required to effectively communicate with both internal and external persons to implement and develop processes. Effective oral communication is crucial to nurture a mutual understanding of all policies and procedures, and to prevent an organization from potential threats by spreading awareness.
In order to perform job functions, all security directors must be tech savvy and have a thorough knowledge of all security systems. Leading a security team requires strong leadership skills but not so much that the input of others is not taken into consideration. In the event of a crisis, leadership skills must be implemented to give directions and make decisions.
Critical thinking skills are needed in times of security emergencies, and security directors must have a thorough knowledge of hacking practices to develop effective prevention methods. To gather data in all questionable activities or situations, investigative skills are required. Lacking investigative skills can deter an organization from formulating the best possible action plan in response to a breach in information.
Security directors are essential to keeping an organization’s assets secure from possible disasters and crime. Numerous challenges may arise during their quest to security, but proper policies and procedures will prevent and combat any threat.