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ASIS International continues to adapt, innovate, and grow at the high speed of the industry and profession. If 2016 represented a year for new CEO Peter J. O’Neil and his senior management team and volunteer leadership to explore, review, and assess, 2017 was the year when many new initiatives took wing.

Career Pathing Initiative

For one, the Society is working on a new model that includes corporate membership. A Career Pathing initiative is under way, in which the knowledge, skills, and abilities for various career trajectories will be identified, with ASIS charting the course with tailored educational opportunities, certificate programs, certifications, and knowledge resources. A new content management framework will result in more strategic development and distribution of our information resources. IT security and ESRM have prominent new futures at ASIS.

The CSO Center is adopting executive coaching and will be holding chapter-based programs around the globe. The ASIS Foundation is undertaking a Scouting the Future initiative that explores the change drivers that are and will be affecting the security profession over the next several years. From the resulting analysis, ASIS leaders will develop strategic priorities for both the association and the profession, as well as create a research agenda for the Foundation.

Attendees to the annual seminar and exhibits in Dallas got a preview of changes to come at our flagship event. Former President George W. Bush, Mark Cuban, and futurist Scott Klososky drew in and stirred the imaginations of attendees. The event also featured more diverse educational programming, a new show footprint, a busier show floor, and a refreshing new energy and buzz in the air. 2018 in Las Vegas promises even more positive developments, including a wholesale rebranding of the event.

The Internet of Things (IoT) will attract hackers looking
to interfere with everything from airplanes to pacemakers

2017 Security Trends

Trends that we identified in last year’s review and forecast intensified in 2017. We predicted “high numbers of lone wolf and soft target attacks,” driven by “the confluence of self-radicalization, social media, violent extremism, and mental illness.” We saw each one of these factors alone or in combination lead to horrific attacks. For example, the culprit in the Texas church shooting was a mentally-ill lone wolf with a grudge against his in-laws.

The drivers who rammed pedestrians in Barcelona, on London Bridge, and on a bicycle path in Manhattan—as well as the bomber at Ariana Grande’s Manchester concert—were all self-radicalized Islamist extremists targeting the most vulnerable. Unfortunately, there’s no indication that these attacks will abate. Many of them take little time, coordination, or resources. The best preparation is preparation, situational awareness, and strong networks. 

Internet of Things And Hackers

We also noted that the proliferating Internet of Things (IoT) will attract hackers looking to interfere with everything from airplanes to pacemakers. According to researchers at F5 Labs, attacks against the IoT in the first half of 2017 surged 280 percent compared to the six months prior. Much of that increase can be attributed to the malware known as Mirai, which turns IoT devices into bots. And even though the Mirai botnet was identified in August 2016, the threat it poses remains severe.

Other of our projections looked farther into the future, with security leaders becoming holistic risk managers steeped in Enterprise Security Risk Management (ESRM). In fact, ASIS’s ESRM initiative has started to embed these principles into the DNA of the Society.

Specialized work teams are integrating ESRM into ASIS standards and guidelines, education and certification, marketing efforts, and a maturity model. Security professionals will begin to see the fruits of those efforts in the first and second quarters of 2018.

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Michael Gips Chief Global Knowledge and Learning Officer, ASIS International

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