Study: 'Cops, Geeks And Bean Counters' Clash on Security Issues

By John S. McClenahen Companies attempting to upgrade their worldwide security efforts are being hindered by a clash of cultures among people who look after physical security, those who protect IT, and risk management personnel, contends a recent report from the Conference Board, New York. "Corporate security exists in three different worlds: the realms of cops, geeks and bean counters. Simply getting them to communicate with one another, without a translator, can be difficult," says Tom Cavanagh, corporate security specialist at the business research group. Part of the problem is that corporate physical security personnel tend to be recruited from law enforcement and the military, both of which have authoritarian command structures, while in IT innovation and privacy are admired and the emphasis among risk managers is on maximizing corporate returns, minimizing costs and avoiding losses, the Conference Board indicates. "To effectively manage their total security needs, companies must bridge this clash of cultures and create a common frame of reference for this function," says Cavanagh. The Conference Board is holding a conference in New York from Nov. 10 to Nov. 12 on strategies to protect corporate assets.

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