Women in Security: Christine Lanning, IST

Lanning leads her company to a bright future
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Monday, November 27, 2017

WAIPIO, Hawaii—Christine Lanning is president of Hawaii-based Integrated Security Technologies Inc., a woman-owned systems integrator recognized as a Hawaii Business Magazine Best Places to Work six out of the last seven years.

In addition to running a successful and growing business with her husband Andrew Lanning, she gives back a lot of her time to the industry as part of organizations and locally in her own community. Lanning was awarded ASIS Women of the Year in 2014, and became the first female elected in 2015 to the Board of Directors for PSA Security (North America’s largest electronic security cooperative), and was a Pacific Business News Women to Watch awardee in 2016.

“Andrew Lanning and I started the company 19 years ago, and I spent probably the first 15-16 years in operations managing the technicians, providing high-level project management and I was really happy being behind the scenes,” she explained, noting that over the past three years she has taken on more of a leadership role, interacting more with the industry, and getting more involved with organizations such as PSA, ASIS and ESA.

“I really had to learn how to be out in front, and it has been quite a challenge, but I am really having fun doing it now,” she said. “I am really getting more involved in the industry, speaking on panels—really trying to get out there and champion the industry and our company.”

IST’s mission—Leading Hawaii to a Safer Place—is a reflection of Lanning’s commitment to educating and giving back to her community. She donates time through her service with The Rotary Club of Hickam Pearl Harbor, as the treasurer of the National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC), as treasurer of the Armed Forces Communication Electronics Association (AFCEA), and as chairperson of American Society of Industrial Security (ASIS) Women in Security.

Lanning’s background in information technology has been highly beneficial throughout her career in security, where she has been able to bring her IT expertise to the company.

“The funny thing is, I am the one with the master’s in IT, and Andrew is the one chairing all of these cyber committees,” she pointed out, noting that her husband has a great knack for taking what can be often complex information and presenting it in easy-to-understand and interesting ways. “Prior to starting our company, I had this vision and dream that I would have this job at Microsoft. I have always been fascinated with computers and I was probably one of the first people on my block to have an Apple IIc. My dad was really into computers and electronics for that matter—he was an electronics technician in the Navy—so I was very much interested in IT.”

She continued, “At our company, I was able to take a team of security installers and help them with all of that added engineering that they never had to worry about doing before—creating test and acceptance forms, creating engineered drawings, creating checklists to ensure quality assurance in the field,” she explained. “That was something that was very easy for me because of my background in IT, which is based on 100 percent standards and tested processes of various kinds.”

In terms of the role of women in security, Lanning said that the industry has changed drastically since she first started.

“When I first started in the industry everybody kind of looked the same—typically older white gentlemen,” she pointed out. “And it wasn't that there weren’t any women; there wasn’t racial diversity either. When I go to tradeshows and events today, though, I am definitely seeing a lot more women and more racial diversity.”

She said that the convergence of physical security and IT is creating more opportunities for women and minorities in security.

Ultimately, though, “it comes back to networking, championing other women and supporting them in their endeavors,” she said, noting that putting together a ‘women in security’ group as part of the ASIS chapter in Hawaii has been a challenge. “In that women in security group, we have about 10 people of varying ages and it is about getting experienced, knowledgeable people who have been in the industry for a long time together with new people in the industry and mentoring them and giving them the confidence.”