ISJ Leaders in Security Conference 2024: Senior leaders connect in Dubai

ISJ Leaders in Security Conference 2024:

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On 8 May, the ISJ Leaders in Security Conference 2024, held in association with Morse Watchmans, welcomed 278 senior professionals to the Grosvenor House Hotel, Dubai Marina, UAE.

After a lively opening hour of networking in the Windsor Ballroom at the prestigious waterfront venue, attendees settled into their seats at 9 AM for the conference. Delegates, partners and sponsors gathered to inaugurate the event, which was introduced by Ian Stokes, CEO, Centurian Media and John Cowling, Conference Chair and District Security Manager, Middle East & CIS – Global Security Law, Security and Public Policy, Caterpillar Inc.

During his introduction and welcoming address, John expressed gratitude to the Advisory Panel, composed of representatives from key businesses and organisations such as Unilever, Marsh, Mastercard and the NBA, acknowledging their pivotal role in shaping the day’s agenda. He highlighted their inputs as key to strengthening partnerships and fostering collaboration.

The event was once again honoured to then welcome His Excellency Khalifa Ibrahim Al Saleis, CEO, SIRA to the stage to deliver a poignant and informative Keynote Address. His presence and key insights not only underscored the significance of the occasion, but also emphasised the event’s critical importance within the Middle East and Africa security industry.

A unique and insightful agenda

In the first session, ‘Leaders of the Future: How the Role of the Security Professional is Changing’, chaired by Howard Leedham MBE, valuable insights were shared by the likes of Adil Abdel-Hadi (Managing Director, Shield Security Services Limited) and Dana Haubold (CISO External, Help AG). The session delved into the evolving role of security professionals amidst changing landscapes and emerging challenges.

In the first presentation of the day ‘Common Security Mistakes in Emergency Response Plans and How to Avoid Them’ – Tim Purpura, VP of Global Sales and Marketing, Morse Watchmans reflected on tragic incidents seen in the US, highlighting the importance of robust and comprehensive security measures. He underscored the significance of proactive planning and offered practical strategies to enhance preparedness and mitigate risks effectively. 

Before the first networking break, a panel titled ‘Anticipating the Unforeseen: Why it’s Vital to Leverage the Right Intelligence Within Organisations to Stay Operational in the Face of Crisis’ was convened. Chaired by International SOS’ Global Security Director of Information & Analysis, Sally Llewellyn, delegates heard from thought leaders such as Dahlia Mihyar, SAP and Praveer Singh Sanger, The Boeing Company. 

During the first networking break, delegates connected with partners and fellow professionals in the field. As well as engaging with commercial partners, they also had the valuable opportunity to interact with intellectual partners including SIRA and the ASIS International – Dubai Chapter.

As delegates retook their seats, the panel discussions ‘Security as a Business Function: How can Investments in Technology and Metrics Align Security Efforts with Business Objectives?’ and ‘Navigating New Horizons: Travel Security, Personnel Safety and Remote Work in an Ever-Changing World’ took place, featuring insights from experts such as Nigel Lea, CEO, Sicuro Group, Vincent Oostlander, Director, EMEA Solutions Sales, Seagate Technology and Gary Stoner, Director of Safety & Security, Careem.

In a presentation titled, ‘Credentials: The Connection Between Security and the Business’, Sarah Mathers, Vice President and Head of International Security at the NBA, also offered a compelling examination of the intricate relationship between security measures and business operations.

Following an hour of scheduled networking and a fantastic buffet-style lunch, delegates were then treated to other engaging presentations. The first, titled ‘What is Threatcasting and Why Should We be Doing It?’ was delivered by Mike Latza, CPP, CISM, Regional Chief Security Office, Mastercard Eastern Europe, Middle East & Africa, offering valuable insights into forward-looking threat assessment methodologies. 

Later in the afternoon, Evita Francis, Head of Business Resilience India and Middle East, Marsh Advisory presented ‘Navigating Uncharted Waters: Building Resilience,’ which explored strategies for bolstering organisational resilience amidst uncertainty.

The panel discussions on ‘Strengthening Corporate Security: Taking an Integrated Approach to Tackling Emerging Threats’ and ‘The Missing Link: Navigating Supply Chain Security at a Time of Significant Disruption’ also captured considerable interest among attendees. The latter sparked a vibrant Q&A discussion, which saw audience members engage in captivating conversations with the likes of Yacine Benamane, Security Manager at Unilever North Africa & Middle East (Panel Chair) and Hussein Abdallah, Regional Corporate Relations Adviser NBD – MENA, Shell.

The agenda wrapped up with an in-depth ‘Regional Round-Up’ presented by Matthew Burnard, Director of Global Risk Analysis at Control Risks. His presentation offered valuable insights into the region’s evolving dynamics.

The “who’s who” of the industry

“The ISJ Leaders in Security Conference in Dubai is really bringing together the ‘who’s who’ of the industry,” commented Tim Purpura, VP of Global Sales and Marketing, Morse Watchmans – Platinum Partner for the event. “It’s been a great day and I encourage anyone who hasn’t been here to come. If you have any business in the UAE or the Middle East, this is the place to be to meet the right people.”

“I attended the ISJ Leaders in Security Conference in Dubai today – it was a fantastic opportunity to learn more about what’s current in the industry and to meet many of its leaders,” added security professional Paul Brewitt. “It was a great networking event, but there was a lot of knowledge and expertise on show as well.” 

Steven Kenny, Manager, Architect & Engineering (A&E) Program – EMEA, Axis Communications commented: “It’s been a great privilege to join esteemed colleagues at the ISJ Leaders in Security Conference, where I had the opportunity to discuss business metrics. I had a fantastic day networking with colleagues across the industry and I look forward to attending the event next year.”

“It has been a pleasure being here. It’s my first time at the conference, and it had a completely different vibe, giving us the chance to interact with a completely new set of customers […] it has been a great day and a great event,” concluded Pradeep Nair, Senior Sales Director – Middle East & India, Video Security & Access Control, Motorola Solutions Inc. “Looking forward to the next one.”

Videos and other highlights from the ISJ Leaders in Security Conference 2024 will be published on ISJ’s social media channels in the coming weeks.

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