Aronson draws a crowd

Friday, May 1, 2009

SEATTLE--Calling it the Great Conversation, a phrase the company has trademarked, Aronson Security Group’s Security Summit & Expo drew 300 end users and consultants here for a program headlined by Microsoft security chief Johnny Walker, Cisco security director Bill Jacobs, and Hunt Business Intelligence head Steve Hunt.

And though ASG’s an integrator, and most of the attendees were end users, Aronson CEO Phil Aronson said the event is successful precisely because it’s not a sales event. “I want to leave a legacy that we did everything we could to help the security ecosystem,” he said. “We’re honest with the attendees. We call it the great conversation because they can come and talk about the security industry with other professionals and discover the value of security and know they won’t be sold a product.”

Aronson said the big takeaways from the event were that there is a lot more communication going on between the IT and physical security departments, “where that wasn’t the case two or three years ago”; and that security is increasingly being seen as a business unit of the corporation, “just the way that HR is a business unit and operations is a business unit.”

Not only do security systems more than ever need to be repurposed to show value, but CFOs are now looking not only at the actual cost, say, of a window being shattered or a laptop being stolen, but also what the potential cost to the brand might be were a security breach to occur.