End Users '20 under 40' 2015—Jon Luhman

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Jon Luhman, 39

Physical security manager, National Cancer Institute

Rockville, Md.

Future challenges for all security professionals include “staying on top of and leveraging rapid advances in technology,” according to Jon Luhman, physical security manager for the National Cancer Institute. In brief, that means IT, he said.

“We will continue to need to be knowledgeable about traditional physical security areas like guards, barriers and lighting, but it’s now critical that security professionals understand IT and IT security,” Luhman said.

At the National Cancer Institute, Luhman oversees nine facilities including its headquarters and one of its labs. He directly supervises a system administrator and assists with supervision of the onsite guard staff.

Predictive analytic technology is on Luhman’s wish list.

“Studies show that people can only focus for about 20 minutes—that presents problems for a security staff. Predictive analytics could be used to identify incidents as they’re happening and help increase situational awareness and response time,” Luhman said.

“I envision predictive analysis identifying behavior and making notifications based on that. For example, the analytics could identify the beginnings of an altercation in real time and could notify our officers for response. There are potential implications with reliability—false positives/false negatives—and privacy in play here, but the ultimate goal is putting in place a system that helps us become increasingly more proactive and enhance our response time,” he said.

One of his current challenges is balancing convenience with security, he said. “The question we ask is: how can we best provide for the safety and security for our staff while not impeding the institute’s mission?” he said. “Promoting and supporting collaboration is a huge focus. So, how can we make it easy for collaborators and visitors to enter our facilities while maintaining a high level of security?”

“Going one step further, as things like big data, analytics and machine learning continue to mature, they will have big implications for the industry. How do we capitalize on that?” he said.

Luhman got his start in security working part-time, fingerprinting people for a biometric pilot project. “That led to a full-time job, and I’ve been in the security industry ever since,” he said.