Are you aware of the various options the security management career field offers? From countless job possibilities to professional development organizations, this industry is ripe with growth and purpose. We sat down with Jeremiah Frazier, the ASIS International Greater Atlanta Chapter Chair, who provided an in-depth and honest take on this line of work and what is in store for years to come.
ASIS International is designed for security professionals at every level and comprised of thousands of security members from over 140 countries and a wide range of industries to share ideas, methods, and information on the best security practices.
Before becoming Regional Vice President for ASIS International Region 4A, Jeremiah previously took on responsibilities as Group Director of Security Technologies, Regional Security Manager, Security and Compliance Manager, and Corporate Security Manager.
He used his background in security and safety, along with his knowledge in the security management field to successfully develop, implement and maintain corporate security programs for medium to large organizations municipalities, and non-government organizations (NGOs).
“My experience can be summarized as a byproduct of effectively collaborating with others to provide business assurance and gain their trust — the building block of relationships,” Jeremiah said.
Through the years, he found there are a few skills required to effectively manage a security program: the breadth and depth of security concepts and principles and practical communication skills.
“If you are leading a team of security professionals, the ability to develop your talent pipeline is a must,” said Jeremiah. “But, if you are not leading a team, you must be able to lead without authority [by being] persuasive, competent, trustworthy and have the confidence of those who work with you.”
Along with attaining specific skills, it is essential to have strong ties within the law enforcement community. He recently led a team of security professionals to develop, publish and implement enterprise security policies that provided the framework for the physical security project strategy.
When Jeremiah was assigned to work at a major international airport, he was the chairman of their security consortium, which conducted annual full-scale security exercises. Jeremiah has managed teams specializing in access control, closed-circuit television (CCTV) and intrusion detection system integration. When he served under the United States Air Force, Jeremiah was directly responsible for the supervision of critical defense systems and resources, supervised security operations for $75 million dollars of national defense systems, and 10 nuclear launch control facilities.
The Security Management Professional Certificate program can be beneficial for the next generation of security leaders. Students in this course are introduced to quality security programs through a structured approach. Jeremiah said, “Most private companies have flat hierarchical structures. The variety of topics taught will help to further in their industry knowledge.”
The Security Management course offered at KSU teaches students how to effectively protect a company’s assets, prevent loss and keep employees safe. Program manager Jennifer Henderson said, “Students in the course learn how to develop security plans and protocols, learn legal and liability issues, prevent theft and gain valuable insight into internal security programs.”
“Oftentimes, managers are individual contributors, or their scope of responsibilities include few direct reports and few mentors,” Jeremiah said. “Conversely, organizations that have a more traditional structure have aging business leaders that are set to retire with years of experience leaving a knowledge vacuum.”
Education is imperative for a security manager. Usually a 4-year college degree or higher is required by most companies and organizations. To be a security manager, it is important that you have the ability speak or write to a far-ranging audience.
In a recent ASIS assessment survey, conducted by the company, researchers found that nearly 70 percent of security professionals had at least a 4-year college degree, meaning that security management is an extremely competitive profession. Having a security management certification would be highly recommended and would help make a candidate stand out among their competitors.
“An effective security manager would be able to write formal, high-level policy or guidance documents that are aligned with business objectives and regulatory requirements,” Jeremiah said.
Along with having an education, having experience in this field has its advantages. An experienced security manager is likely more confident than one who relies solely on their academic know-how. ASIS International encourages transitioning law enforcement and military personnel to begin shifting their thinking ability from highly structured organizations, with strong laws, code enforcement and authority, to one with standards, guidelines and unorthodox enforcement.
“As with any subject, knowing theory, methods and concepts are a good start, but knowing how to implement and integrate them into existing policies, procedures, and the organization’s culture requires experience,” Jeremiah said.
The Security Management Certificate Program works for a wide range of students. From recent college graduates to experienced security professionals, this course curriculum is beneficial for anyone looking to gain useful information that will propel their career in security management forward.
“Organizations are seeking managerial candidates who have a good mix of education and direct work experience,” Jeremiah said. “The next likely candidate for this program would logically include experienced security professionals who may have some post-secondary school education and are seeking career advancement.”
“Another type of student that could excel in this course are professionals who are looking at changing their career,” said Jennifer. “The security management certificate program could allow this person to quickly reshape their professional career in a hot industry.”
According to Jeremiah, some of the most prominent jobs that can come from earning this certificate include Security Analyst, Security Specialist, Security Coordinator and Corporate Security Manager.
The common misconceptions about this field, like low wages, low barrier to entry or no experience requirement, are often tied to the security guard part of the industry. Security guards may be the most familiar title in the industry, but there are other elements of security that people often overlook. To eliminate these misconceptions, courses like the Security Management certificate program are necessary in educating the public and employers about the education and requirements needed to become an adequate security manager.
It is unlikely that the public is aware of the following facts in relation to security. For instance, the major part of the U.S. government discretionary spending is for defense. According to the United States budget for 2019, that amount is $886 billion or 74 percent of the discretionary spend for national defense.
The United States Chamber of Commerce says that 85 percent of all critical infrastructure assets are owned and operated by private organizations. These organizations employ proprietary or contract security service providers to protect these assets. The salaries of security guards are usually known to the public, but for private security organizations the numbers are lesser known.
“The future of this profession is very bright for security professionals,” Jeremiah said. According to Forbes, the sector has experienced huge growth in recent years and today there are an estimated 20 million private security workers worldwide while the industry is worth approximately $180 billion. That is expected to grow even further to $240 billion by 2020.
For years security practitioners have said the industry is coinciding with the information technology sector, but that has already happened, decades ago. Jeremiah predicts, “The future of security will be more personalized, automated, and will likely include robotics, machine learning and artificial intelligence.”
People in the industry have tried to improve what is known as multi-factor authentication (MFA) in the physical security realm for a while. And, they did, just without using a fancy name. They used personal recognition, a photo ID badge and an office or desk key to allow entry to a controlled environment. Most executives believed that deploying biometrics in low and medium-risk environments was ludicrous. They tried to get employees to input their fingerprint or eye via a scanning device, but it was considered too intrusive. However, with the exceptionally small form factors in current mobile technology, people are more inclined to use facial recognition programs to unlock their personal devices with their facial recognition software, index finger, voice, or a combination of these.
“As the cost of these technologies continue to decline and acceptance rate increases, I envision a world with more personalized security and automated protection,” Jeremiah said. “For example, valuables or other assets would be linked with their rightful owner. If the item becomes lost or stolen it will not function without proper authorization. Of course, this happens today, on a limited scale, but I think it will increase exponentially and be more commonplace.”