'20 under 40' 2014—Sharon Shaw
Sharon Shaw, 29
Client development manager, Tech Systems, Atlanta
What inspired you to get into the security industry?
I was introduced to [my former employer] PSA Security by a family friend. What’s kept me in it is working with people who are very passionate about what they do. It’s easy to find a sense of patriotism and purpose in this industry, and at the same time it’s challenging. Also, as we’ve talked about in the past, there are not too many women in security. I want to help to make a change in that and bring a different perspective to the industry. Security is a high-integrity business. It’s a very trusted group of people you get to work with in this industry.
What can be done to boost the ranks of young people in the industry?
People in the industry should network with others in their sphere of influence. We should be proud of the industry and make sure we promote it. ... We should talk about the successes we have, not about sales and projects, but about the way what we do manifests in the real world. …Most people want to be part of something that’s growing, exciting, something that makes a difference. By sharing our experiences with people we spend time with, we can attract more high-integrity, ethical people, the people we want in this business.
Where, in terms of technology and trends, do you see the security industry going next?
The IT Network is the newest way to deliver security systems, and now we’re seeing cyber security [concerns] up close and personal. The definition of convergence has evolved over the past 10 years. Integrators used to worry that IT integrators were out to steal their business. Now we see that they don’t have that intention, but we do need to have a close partnership and work with experts in the IT field to ensure that our security systems are not vulnerable [to cyber attacks.] With video, access control and video analytics … we’ve just scratched the surface of what we can do with these tools.