‘20 under 40’ end users work to build security success

Badging, cultural challenges among top issues, they say at TechSec2015
Wednesday, February 25, 2015

DELRAY BEACH, Fla.—It’s difficult to raise risk awareness among employees when everyone thinks everything is going just fine. Achieving security autonomy across different types of businesses that fall under one banner with almost 30,000 employees is difficult, too.

Those were just two of the challenges discussed by two of the “20 under 40” end user award winners at during the Next Gen Security Series at TechSec Solutions 2015, held here Feb. 3-4.

“Challenge is changing people’s perception of what security should be. Nothing changes unless something happens,” said panelist David Avedikian, supervisor project development for Southwest Airlines.

He referred to the message earlier in the day from TechSec’s keynote speaker, Brian Katz of Google, who had a lot to say about access control, employee badging and the issue of tailgating.

Avedekian said that his company has had “wear your badge” campaigns, although he joked that Southwest’s efforts were “not as character-driven as Google,” which featured an executive officer wearing an alligator outfit. Southwest Airlines has increased its badge compliance through these efforts, he said. “Wearing a badge is good for everyone.”

There always are a number of contractors present at Southwest’s Dallas HQ who might not feel the need to be as compliant with badging protocols because it’s not their company, Avedikian said. He is working on “getting in front” of that.

Panelist Brad Reeves, director of loss prevention for A&P with its 30,000 employees, addressed security culture challenges that result when other companies are acquired. He’s had experience with that, along with the day-to-day challenges of LP in the grocery industry. “The freezer is very important,” losses there are huge losses, he said. His diligence in monitoring freezers has saved the company a half a million dollars, he said.  

Continuing to do more with less and also to operate at a high level of execution is a chief goal for Reeves in the coming year, he said.