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Mike Howard

Love Microsoft's Mike Howard's tweets!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

If you’re not following Mike Howard on Twitter, you should be. Howard is the chief security officer for Microsoft, with a background at the CIA. His focus is on best practices, both in security and in life in general.

I had the pleasure of speaking with him at ISC West 2013 in Las Vegas a few weeks ago. We discussed the challenges that still face security professionals in reaching out the c-suite and talked about Microsoft’s Global Security Operations Center, which I hope to visit one day.

What brings him to mind today for me are his thoughtful tweets from the Columbia Tower Club’s Distinguished Speakers Series, “China Playbook: How and Why U.S. Global Firms Are Being Attacked.”  

From conferences such as that to posting about leadership qualities, women in the workforce and more, Howard is a font of knowledge.

Follow him @MikeHowardMSGS on Twitter.


Day 2 at ISCW13

Friday, April 12, 2013

Bob Hayes, managing director of the Security Executive Council, and Shirley Decker-Lucke, publisher at Elsevier, were first on my agenda on Thursday, my second day at the show. They have a new collaborative venture, announced at ISC West, to produce texts on security topics, both for practitioners and for the 400 colleges with security curriculums. They aim to serve next-gen professionals as well as gathering book ideas from thought leaders in the industry. "They'll tell us what they need and we'll write a book about it," Hayes said.

Next up was Mike Howard from Microsoft. We had an interesting talk about the prevailing challenge security professionals face: Reaching out to the c-suite. "It's getting them out of their comfort zone," Howard said. Having the business acumen to "evangelize" for security and prove ROI is vital, he said. He's in his eleventh year at Microsoft and even at that corporate giant he needed to do some evangelizing of his own, he said. We talked about what he looks for when hiring to his team. Gone are the days of just hiring former law enforcement personnel, he said. He looks for the right attitude, great interpersonal skills, a willingness to learn the business, dedication, selflessness and subject matter expertise. Howard also talked proudly about Microsoft's Global Security Operations Centers, and the ''showcasing" of best-practice use of Microsoft products in a real-world operational environment. You can check that out here: I know I'll be visiting that site when I have more time to really delve into it.

From Microsoft I changed course to learn about Delta Scientific's portable crash barriers. They were used at the 2013 Inauguration and are used at military checkpoints in Afghanistan and Iraq, at busy ports, university football games, graduations and other events requiring other crowd-control. Simplicity is the name of the game, said Garrett Gustason, project manager for high security systems. It only takes 15 minutes to set up one of the barriers, he said, and there's no need to dig up the ground.

Saw a demo of NFC at Ingersoll Rand, quickly being adopted on campuses nationwide, making smartphones even smarter, access-wise.

Polaroid, yes, that Polaroid, is getting into security video. VP Nathan Needel explained to me the full line of surveillance solutions that will be offered to end-users starting June 1. Their solution comes with a 10-year warranty and an integrator dedicated to the user.

On the media stage, I interviewed campus security expert Berkly Trumbo, national business manager for campus solutions at Siemens. He discussed the progress of "the easy button," social media's impact and usefulness in regard to emergency management and the integrated approach to campus safety. I also went on air with Brian Johnson, network systems analyst for the Escambia County, Fla., School District, responsible for security at its 60 facilities. Video surveillance, law enforcement's access to that and active-shooter training were among our topics. You'll be able to watch Trumbo's and Johnson's video interviews soon on the SDN website. You'll enjoy them and get great takeaways.

In addition, I met with Kostas Mellos from interlogix about the company's part in the migration from analog to IP, stopped in to visit with Onvif, attended the Security 5K Awards ceremony and then a couple of receptions.

It's been a very productive show for me. Headed out now for Day 3.

So you want to sit at the C-table?

Security directors need to know the business they are protecting inside and out, pros say

NORTHBROOK, Ill.—After 10 years overseeing security, product stewardship and emergency management and response at the world’s largest fertilizer enterprise, Deborah Allen took a class that changed the way she did business.

ISC West is a Wrap

Monday, April 2, 2012

ISC West is the Security Industry Association's annual conference. As such, its purpose is to give manufacturers the opportunity to show off their latest and greatest security technology to integrators, specifiers and potential manufacturing partners.

As you can imagine, it's a bit overwhelming and the majority of attendants were not end users. However, during my three days on the show floor in Las Vegas I was able to meet and interview several security professionals who were attending the show. In my previous blog post that recapped my first day, I mentioned interviews with Peter Miller, CSO of Florida’s Orange County Government; Linda Florence, dean of the doctorate program in strategic security at Henley-Putnam University and a long-time member of ASIS International’s volunteer leadership; Bryan Warren, senior security manager at Carolinas Healthcare System and newly minted president of the International Association of Healthcare Security & Safety; and Pablo Antonio Sanchez Urbina, security director for 10 prisons and the state police department in the Mexican state of Guanajuato.

But before I get to the details about my second and third days at the show, I must mention the event that took place the morning of the second day: the Security 5K. The three-mile road race (there was also a 2K walk) attracted more than 350 runners to raise money for Mission 500, a non-profit that works with World Vision to feed needy children around the globe. The event ultimately raised $85,000, which will be used to sponsor nearly 300 children. (Security Director News and Security Systems News are sponsors of the race.) It's been a while since I ran a road race, but I was pleased with my performance. I placed 45th overall with a time of 23:22.

During my second and third days at the show, I was able to catch up with a few additional end users in our media studio. On Thursday, I spoke with Mike Howard, CSO of Microsoft, about how security managers should demonstrate their value to the C-Suite and use social media to spread that message. You can follow Mike on Twitter at @MikeHowardMSGS. I also spoke with Lauris Freidenfelds, director of security and emergency management for Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, about a newly completed construction project and the importance of including security in the early design discussions.

I also had a chance to visit several companies' booths. I heard the latest about CheckVideo's Ruggedized Outdoor Mobile Sentry (dubbed the CMS4000), which is a self-contained, cloud-based, wireless video surveillance solution that only requires power be added to provide remote video monitoring capabilities, from company CEO John Estrada. Estrada told me CheckVideo is experiencing as much as 25 percent increases in sales month over month.

Mark Jarman, president of Inovonics, told me about Radius, the company's enterprise mobile duress system. The product, which was originally introduced at the ASIS show in October 2010, has applications across markets, but Inovonics for now is targeting the healthcare industry. Jarman also stressed his company's commitment to supporting the open standards trumpeted by the Physical Security Interoperability Alliance. Though the company's not ready to make any announcements or offer any details, he told me that Inovonics has developed a product in complete accordance with PSIA open standards. "We're walking the walk," he said.

I heard the from Verint about the facial recognition software it's beta testing and its new, all-weather 5-megapixel cameras. I also saw new cameras from Pelco and JVC. The latter is introducing 18 new cameras this year, including several analog cameras, which John Grabowski, JVC's national sales and marketing specialist, was not shy about admitting are still the company's "bread and butter."

I saw a demonstration of IDV Solutions' Visual Command Center. The demo was actually given by a shift manager of Microsoft's GSOC in Redmond, Wash., which uses the platform to monitor its facilities across the globe.

Over at the VidSys booth, I was able to get a demo of the PSIM provider's new collaboration with Bridgeborn to integrate 3D modeling into its software. Another big partnership VidSys recently announced was with BRS Labs to integrate its behavioral analytics software into its PSIM software.

For more updates from ISC West, check out the blogs from Security Systems News' team, who were blogging throughout the event: Martha Entwistle's On the Editor's Desk; Rich Miller's Monitor This!; and Tess Nacelewicz's This Blogs on Fire.