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40 under 40: Jon Harris, Group337

40 under 40: Jon Harris, Group337

Jon Harris, CPP, PSP, says there was never a dull moment in his role as Director of Enterprise Solutions at Guidepost Solutions LLC. Harris just recently took on a new position as vice president of The Index at Group337, a team of experts focused on the business of the security, access control and IoT industries.

“In my role [at Guidepost], I worked with organizations to deliver a wide array of Guidepost Solutions services,” he explained. “[Guidepost] offers a large slate of capabilities from compliance monitoring, investigations, security operations services, and technology/design consultation. I’m supporting the various stages of service delivery, project management, and program development. I get to work with a very diverse group of clients, partners and colleagues.”

Harris, 38, had been with Guidepost for nearly two years. Before entering the security industry, he originally had plans to go into federal law enforcement (LE) and got a job as a security officer while he waited for his LE plans to develop. “In the meantime, I began to work my way through the corporate security ranks and eventually expanded into other areas of compliance,” he said. “What inspires my development and growth in the industry is the opportunity to take on greater challenges and be an active problem solver.”

SaaSification and Identity Management

When asked about emerging trends in security today, Harris replied, “I see the SaaSification [transformation of application delivery in a software-as-a-service (SaaS) model] of physical security expanding outside of just technology and security operations being offered as a service. This includes outsourced security operations center services, investigations, compliance support - you name it. Organizations have been outsourcing non-core functional services outside of security for decades and they are realizing they are doing the same with security, while retaining the quality and effectiveness required.

“On the security technology side, COVID has expedited the adoption of technologies such as facial authentication, cloud-hosted access control and video systems, intelligent edge devices, and the virtualization of the entrance experience. This has increased the exchange of information and raised concerns around privacy, making the individual’s identity a critical discussion point. How the industry manages the identity and can leverage it across a multitude of platforms will become a key system feature. Security systems (specifically access control) have the opportunity to become the source of truth for identity management and that is a powerful position.”

Data Technology

Harris noted the emergence of data-focused technology as an essential component of security solutions.

“For me it is all about the data,” he said. “Security technology is collecting so much information, and if it can be effectively harnessed, there is great opportunity to unleash immense value. We have scratched the surface with the automation of incident notifications via door alarms and video systems; however, we have new market entrants that are aggregating the data, sifting through the noise and pushing through actionable information to the end-user. The proliferation of this data-focused security experience enhancement is critical to the evolution of security programs.”  

Keys to Success

As we navigate through the COVID-19 pandemic, Harris provided four bullet points as keys to success during these unprecedented times, both on a personal and business level:

  • Give yourself patience and grace
  • Growth mindset and commitment to continuous learning
  • Be intentional about time away from your work and how you take care of yourself
  • Talk to people and connect – we are an industry used to being together and socializing.

He also outlined three views on the security industry going forward:

  1. Focus on talent potential over long-term experience
  2. Acquire new talent into the industry in non-traditional areas (data science, User Interface/User Experience [UI/UX], non-security operations and manufacturing, product development, etc.)
  3. True adoption of software platform versus hardware refresh.

Recruiting Young Talent

Harris noted that in order to get more talented, diverse young people involved in the security industry, there must be “direct outreach to higher education institutions (recruitment and collaboration); career mapping from non-traditional fields of study; paid internship programs; and engagement with early and mid-career security industry personnel.”



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