Women in Security: Ina Staris, Securitas ES

Securitas’ legal counsel guiding company during pivotal time
 - 
Monday, November 27, 2017

UNIONTOWN, Ohio—Ina Staris was hired as vice president, legal, general counsel & corporate secretary for Securitas Electronic Security in February 2016, just one month after the Diebold acquisition was finalized, and was instrumental in making the transition smooth for customers during this pivotal time for the company. She is part of a team of eight senior leaders who report to Securitas ES president Tony Byerly.

Staris is an attorney and business counselor with more than 20 years of experience in the electronic security and fire services industry. She is also an experienced corporate legal specialist, strategic business partner and has been a key advisor to several national and international companies on all aspects of general corporate, litigation, commercial, and compliance matters. In addition to her business law experience, Staris has advised, structured and negotiated several U.S. and international business mergers and acquisitions. She is a graduate of UMASS Amherst and Boston College Law School, and a member of both the New York State and Massachusetts bars as well as being admitted as “in-house counsel” in Florida.

“At Securitas ES, I am in charge of all legal affairs and issues for the company, including customer contracts, licensing, overseeing litigation matters, acquisitions, customer issues that may lead to litigation, to name just a few,” said Staris, who first got introduced to security working for a law firm that represented Honeywell’s security business. She also worked in a legal capacity for Simplex, HSM Security and Stanley Convergent Solutions before coming to Securitas.

In regard to the role of women in security, Staris believes it is beginning to change.

“I am seeing more and more women in security, even at Securitas where we now have women techs, which was always very rare in this industry,” she pointed out. “I am also seeing more women in leadership roles, but it is an uphill battle because it is still very much a male-dominated industry.”

She continued, “I do think women are making inroads into the industry, and as it moves away from being an installation-only business to more technology driven, I think there will be more opportunities for women to join and grow the security industry.”

Staris noted that she is excited to see how the industry will move forward with all of the technology changes that are happening today.

“It is an exciting time for the business, but technology many times moves faster than the law, so on the legal side we have to be very aware of all the opportunities and challenges that we face with all of these technology advances,” she explained. “As the industry evolves at a fast pace, data privacy becomes a major issue for our customers, so as security providers we need to be very cognizant of that and make sure that we take steps to protect all of their data and hold our suppliers feet to the fire to make sure that the technology that they manufacture limits the chances of their systems being compromised.”

Once the data is protected, she noted, there is great potential for what can be done with it. “There are great opportunities there with data analytics, which the industry is moving toward, as it allows for our customers to be able to anticipate what could happen, figure out what their needs are and what their challenges might be, all in an effort to reduce the risk of shrinkage in a retail business, for example, or losses and security breaches in other types of businesses.”

Overall, Staris is excited to be at Securitas ES, which “is very committed to expanding the electronic security business,” she said. “Securitas is one of the largest guarding companies, but we also understand the need for moving forward with technology and electronic security and embracing all of the new technologies coming down the pike.”