End Users '20 under 40' 2014—Brian Katz

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Thursday, December 11, 2014

Brian Katz, 36

Manager, global investigations and intelligence manager, Google, Mountain View, Calif.

Katz’s team is responsible for internal corporate investigators, asset investigators, monitoring and the management of threats to Google's employees, buildings and information. The intel program includes the 24/7 global security operations center, which serves as the monitoring and customer service hub for Google's security, safety and transportation team while also supporting business operations worldwide.  His team also conducts internal testing of security products under consideration for use.

What inspired you to get into the security industry?

I enjoy helping people feel safe. I wanted to influence an organization from the security perspective.

If you could have any technology you wanted, without regard to budget, what would it be?

It would be technology that allows us to know who is in our facilities—and who should not be—at any give time, while maintaining an open culture. Some areas are open to the public, some areas you don’t want the public to be in at all. We will have to design buildings so that guests don’t have to go through restricted areas to get to a restroom. We have a lab set up to test that kind of technology and how it will integrate with the technology we already have. Our focus is on balancing employee security with employee privacy. Our employees have to buy into that kind of technology—card access, facial recognition. I’m dealing with some of the smartest people in the world. They want us to catch up to [the latest in] technology. Our employees are very security conscious. There is a culture that engages all employees to try to help combat tailgating, including the wearing of badges, presenting a badge when entering a door behind someone so they don’t have to challenge you, and then if there isn’t a badge, directing people to a lobby to check in instead of allowing entry. Our founders still walk around the facilities with their badges on.

What’s your biggest physical security challenge today, and what do you think it will be five years from now?

Growth, how quickly my organization is growing. We have to get ahead of it. We are very much about our campuses. We use the public safety model of college campuses as our model. My challenge is movement throughout buildings. The coolest thing about Google is that I have no idea where it will be five years from now. We try to get ahead of ideas. “By the way, we’ve just acquired a new company and you need to take care of that so it’s not at (security) odds with the rest of the company.” That’s why I’m here.