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Two-Minute Interview: Matt Branigan

Our first Two-Minute Interview features RTJ advisor Matt Branigan. Matt is the Chairman and CEO of The Akal Group of Companies, and you’d be hard-pressed to find someone with deeper security experience. If you’ve had the pleasure of meeting or working with Matt, you also know he’s just an all-around great guy. We asked Matt three questions, and here are his responses:

  • What do you view as the single biggest barrier to good security practice in the modern enterprise? I see the single biggest barrier to be what it has been for some time: a failure on the part of leadership to recognize the value in a strong security program. Too many still see security as an expense rather than an investment. Good security practices can pay for themselves in return on deterrence, preparedness, resiliency, employee and investor/stakeholder confidence, and overall corporate/organizational value.
  • What’s the most exciting thing happening in security the security field today? Interestingly, the most exciting thing is that organizations are just starting to “get it” and recognize the value I outlined above. I think security as a value proposition is going to spread as a best practice, and it will be supported by metrics in the areas of resiliency and value. Security won’t just be gates, guards, and guns but a comprehensive package that reflects the value that’s always been there but not always recognized.
  • What advice do you have for people looking to enter the field? Recognize how security fits into the “whole organizational concept.” Security practitioners can’t just be experts in systems and security processes–they have to understand the operational environment they are supporting, whether it’s manufacturing or government service. Security will always compete for scarce resources. By understanding operations and being able to articulate the true value of security–as a force multiplier and even brand enhancement–the security professional will become a respected and sought-after leader in the enterprise. When we get really good at that, an entirely new vista will open up for security professionals, and we’ll see movement from a traditional career-long security track into other management and leadership opportunities.

Note: Updated April 30, 2015 to include Matt’s current full-time position.

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