ISJ Influencers 2022- John A. Petruzzi, Jr., 2021 President, ASIS International


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With market forces colliding during the pandemic, the security profession has been evolving. The mantra of today’s security management professional should be: “doing more with less—faster and better!” The security function has been elevated in both the public and private sectors across the globe like never before. Security professionals need to understand the role they play and the value they offer to their organisation; those that do are at undeniable advantage.

The truth is the pandemic hit the security profession earlier than many other professions. I remember sitting in a meeting of global ASIS International volunteer leaders in January 2020 when several of my peers were immediately called back to their respective offices. It was around this time that organisations had no choice but to begin reviewing their health and safety protocols, access control, remote working protocols and the like. Security is now front and centre in an organisation’s business equation.

The pace of change for security professionals has been steadily on the rise and the pandemic has only hastened that pace. While none of us know exactly when the dust will settle with COVID-19 and its variants, one thing is certain—security professionals need to get used to an environment of expedited change. Those that don’t will surely be left behind.

As security professionals, we need to work even closer with solution providers to address core business needs. I expect we will continue to see consolidation as a force for addressing current and future business needs, as mergers and acquisitions can lead to broadened and diversified capabilities.

Those who want to not only survive, but thrive, will need to be nimble and plugged into a global security network as well. Why? This network is yet another way to get to expedited solutions. That’s where the power of organisations like ASIS International, with 34,000 members representing 158 countries, is extremely valuable. Through its members-only ASIS Connects platform and 35+ subject area communities, global security professionals gather daily to connect, learn and problem-solve.

The digital transformation train has already left the station. Security professionals who don’t leverage new technologies and ways to analyse, use and share data are limiting their organisation’s ability to react more effectively and efficiently. By embracing digital transformation – security professionals can become a catalytic force for collaboration organisation-wide as well across departments.

The world surrounding the security profession is changing at a rapid pace, too. According to Deloitte: “The coronavirus pandemic has created new challenges for businesses as they adapt to an operating model in which working from home has become the ‘new normal’. Companies are accelerating their digital transformation and cybersecurity is now a major concern. The reputational, operational, legal and compliance implications could be considerable if cybersecurity risks are neglected.” The reality of the new challenges we face is directly linked to the bottom line. We need to embrace that.

When thinking about the breakneck speed security professionals need to move at, I am reminded of a quip by the motorsports star, Mario Andretti: “If everything seems under control, you’re not going fast enough.” I suppose that applies to the security profession as well.


John Petruzzi, Jr., CPP, currently holds the position of President, Mid-Atlantic region, Allied Universal Security Services. John’s teams are responsible for providing a seamless customer experience from an initial security risk assessment to a fully deployed technology and staffing solution designed to meet each customer’s specific security needs.

John has extensive security industry experience with in-depth expertise in implementing risk-based security programs, deploying technology enhancements and managing organisational resiliency programs within Fortune 500 companies.

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This article was originally published in the December 2021 edition of International Security Journal. Pick up your FREE digital edition here

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